I grew up in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, so of course I liked cycling from an early age. Being Dutch, cycling is not just a recreational sport. It is a mode of transport and an integrated part of everyday life, of our culture. I grew up cycling to school, to sport activities, to work, to the grocery store, to the pub: everywhere.
Every spring when I was little, my father participated in the recreational bike-version of the Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities Cycling Tour). The 240-km-long tour leads 15,000 participants through the eleven ancient cities of the province of Frisia in the northern part of The Netherlands. When I turned 16, I could finally join my father. Such a long tour requires training. On the weekends and summer evenings, I biked through the forests around Apeldoorn. First with my father and brother, but soon also with my best mates from the neighborhood.
Just participating in a one-day event was not worth all the training. In 2003, I traveled without my parents for the first time, to celebrate high school graduation and bike in Norway for one month, together with two mates. Between 2003 and 2007, my biking adventures were about pushing myself to the limit, while philosophizing what I wanted to do with my life. Harder, better, faster, stronger. Longer and longer trips, with more and more difficult mountain passes, all around Europe.
Like so many people who travel on cycling holidays as students, I stopped cycling after I graduated. When I moved to Norway, my life became about hiking, outdoor life, running my own company, and traveling – without a bike.
But old love does not know rust. When we got kids, I tried to convince my girlfriend that cycling holidays are the best way to enjoy nature: covering great distances at just the perfect pace to secure a sense of place. Since 2021, we have gradually increased the number, length, and difficulty of our biking trips. Electric, with kids, and (for now) all in Norway. It is not so much about achievement anymore. For me, it is about exploring nature, finding peace, and social bonding with my family. That does not mean others still think we are slightly crazy, engaging in such complicated forms of what most people would not even call a holiday. I hope my craziness never dies…
Below, you will find all my/our biking adventures in Norway and Europe. Enjoy!
All Biking Posts
Biking along Telemarkskanalen, over Suleskard and finishing at the Lysefjord. Biking 350 km in 10 days with 2 small kids was a totally new kind of adventure.
3 days of biking along several highlights in Norway: Rallarvegen, Flåm, Nærøyfjorden, Aurlandsfjellet and Stalheimsvegen. Biking fjords & mountains with our son.
Our first biking holiday with our son. On this 3-day tour, we tested our new kid trailer, and cycling with electrical bikes, while island hopping through Ryfylke.
Loen in autumn is just WOW, and without the crowds. We hiked and biked to Lodalen/Lovatnet, Olden, Briksdalsbreen, and tried the Loen via ferrata, of course!
2,667 km crisscrossing southern Norway, visiting 11 hospitable Norwegian friends along the way. Lush valleys, deep fjords, high mountain passes, and coastlines.
My toughest bike adventure. 4300 km | 34,000 meters of elevation gain, through 7 countries. We biked an alternative, inland route to the North Sea Cycle Route.
From The Netherlands via the Ardennes, Vosges, Jura and the Alps to Monaco, following the tracks of the Tour de France. 2,400 km | 32,000 m elevation | 22 cols.
1,552 km through 4 countries. Following the Rhône and Rhine valleys, over high Alp passes, through wet Tyrol, crossing the hot Po Valley and the Apennines.
Celebrating high school graduation with a first bike adventure in southern Norway. Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger, with lots of mountains and fjords in between.