Inspirational Destination: special cycling experiences

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Cycling is popular. In the Netherlands alone, we cycle around 15 billion kilometers a year, according to the Dutch cycle organization “Fietsersbond”. But the bicycle is also increasingly emerging worldwide, and special cycle paths are sometimes being developed. Below are the seven most special cycling paths in a row.

#1: Cycling with the speed of light (Auckland, New Zealand)

In Auckland you will find the cycle path with the name “Te Ara I Whiti”. That is Maori for light path. And that says it all. An unnecessary stretch of highway has been transformed into an iconic bicycle path in the middle of the city. The road surface has been made bright pink and there are hundreds of LED posts along the route. The LED lamps are interactive and change in color with the cyclist. This creates a special experience and you cycle in a sea of colorful light.

#2: From tree to tree (Hechtel-Eksel, Belgium)

Nature experience is taken very literally in Hechtel-Eksel. There they developed a bicycle bridge that allows you to climb up to the tops of the trees. You gradually ascend via a double circle. Eventually you finish at a height of 10 meters and you cycle through the trees at a special height. The 700-meter route provides a new way of experiencing nature by bicycle.

#3: In the wind or out of the wind (Zeeland, Netherlands)

In Zeeland there is always wind and almost always against. At least, if you have to believe the cyclists in the Dutch province. This is experienced as a disadvantage by some, because it is extra heavy without support. They have found something in Zeeland. There, the bicycle network has been adapted in many places. The routes split into two choices: cycling in the wind or out of the wind. If you want to be in the wind, follow the signs of an upright wind vane. For example, you cycle over dikes with a beautiful view. If you want to cycle out of the wind, follow the signs with a hanging wind vane and cycle under the dike along or via sheltered paths. That way the wind remains your best friend.

#4: Floating cycling (Lake Garda, Italy)

In Italy you can cycle at Lake Garda on a spectacular cycle path 50 meters above the lake. The construction of the steel and wooden route even required helicopters to enable the special construction. The cycle path is anchored in the mountain wall, so you can cycle above the water next to the mountain. This offers you spectacular views of both the lake and the mountain, but is also exciting. In the evening the path is also illuminated.

#5: Dry and covered cycling (Berlin, Germany)

In Berlin, work is underway on project “Radbahn” (planned for 2023). The goal is to transform the unused space under the iconic U1 subway lane into a nearly nine-kilometer-long covered cycle path. Moreover, the intention is to transform the cycle path into a technical tour de force. With pressure-sensitive paths that generate energy, bicycle sharing systems and a drive-in bicycle café, it promises to be a special part of Berlin.

#6: Starry Night of Van Gogh (Eindhoven, Netherlands)

In the Dutch province of Brabant you will find various Van Gogh cycling routes (the provincie where he was born). A very special part of this route is formed by a special Van Gogh cycle path. A pattern of thousands of glistening stones has been formed over 600 meters on the cycle path. The pattern is inspired by the famous painting “Starry Night” by Van Gogh. During the day the stones charge and in the evening they give light. This makes it look like you are literally driving through the painting. The lighting is strongly tuned in such a way that it does not burden the living environment and nature. Innovative and creative craftsmanship and also special to cycle over.

#7: Through the water like Mozes (Bokrijk, Belgium)

Nature reserve De Wijers in Flemish Limburg is a beautiful nature reserve with a lot of wet nature. The area has about 1,200 ponds and is 700 hectares in size. With the Belgian bicycle network you can get right through the area. You can then cycle along the water, but also literally through the water. A bicycle path runs through one of the ponds. It splits the pond in two, so you literally cycle with the water at eye level. You can smell and feel the water and this guarantees a special experience.

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