Cutbacks in government spending mean that paths in the woods for mountain bikers and other recreational users are not being maintained. It makes no sense to have expensive campaigns to get people to take more exercise if you do not provide the facilities for them to do so.  Please go to the link below and sign the petition!

The only note of caution I would add about such petitions is that we have to be very careful not to give the impression that we think that mountain bikers should be confined to official paths. In Wageningen we are fortunate that in a number of areas there is not that restriction.  Not far away, on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug, that is strictly enforced.  In areas like that, if the paths are not maintained then the woods will be closed to mountain bikers. The forestry service is muttering about charging admission instead.  Whilst that might sound reasonable, it does not fit well with the aim of encouraging everyone to be fit and to get out into nature. The woods should be open to everyone, and that means providing the facilities.  Sign the petition!

Twelve degrees

It really has been the most bizarre winter. No snow at all. Hardly a day of frost. Crocuses in flower in January and daffodils in flower in February. Hardly any days where long trousers were necessary on the mountain bike. Now it is nearly March and I'm wondering, are we going to get a winter or not?  There is certainly enough water.  With the lack of frost, the trails round here are like they usually are in November; deep slushy mud. My daughter's new bike has Racing Ralph tyres on the wheels, which are all very well for speed, but in these conditions spin around hopelessly. I guess we will need to swap at last the front one for something with bigger knobbly bits. Maybe my back tyre can go on her front.  Thank goodness we did not decide to go for 29" wheels, that makes this sort of thing ever so much easier.

Mountianbiking by Wageningen

The only way to avoid the crowds

After some wet and gloomy days, it as beautiful sunny weather today, and warm; 7 degrees C, which is about 10 degrees more than it should be at the beginning of February. That had the inevitable consequence that near enough the entire population of Wageningen was out in the woods walking their dogs.  So the choice was either to slow down and avoid the dogs and their owners every few minutes (good for track-stand practice, but otherwise not such fun) or to take the alternative route.  Which was wet and full of muddy mud. If you know me, you know which option I went for...

Mud in the Renkumsebeekdal

Mountain bike for sale

Good quality ladies/girls Haibike, 43 cm frame, 26"wheels. See

Haibike Life SL


In the gold mountains

For those who think that the Netherlands is flat, today's tour was definite proof that this is not the case.  We did over 500 meters climbing over a distance of 55km. It is not that the Goudsberg ('golden hill') is that big (it goes up to a massive 50 m above sea level), but the cleverly-chosen route took us up and down its steep slippery sides time after time (see below). And they were so steep and (especially) slippery that on quite a few a few of the ascents most people had to get off and push. There were a lot of people taking part as well, we had to queue for ten minutes to sign in at the begining. As usual the organisation and sign posting was perfect.


Riding to raise money

Last weekend mountain bikers raised money for two local charities simply by joining in a tour in the same way they always do. For organised tours there is always a small charge (4 to 5 Euros).  For this tour there was also a €5 charge, but the organisers persuaded a local supermarket to provide the refreshments and all the money went to two local charities (horse riding for the disabled and a 'clothing bank'). Good idea! It was a great tour as well, well organised, good signposting and nice route.  

Manege zonder drempels

Photo: Bert-Jan Piek