Saturday the 3rd of June is World Cycling Day, which is the perfect occasion to explore the province of Groningen’s many excellent cycling routes. Marketing Groningen, the city’s marketing department, wants to raise awareness of local bike networks on behalf of the province.
According to a press release from Marketing Groningen, the goal of the Cycling Month campaign is to inspire the residents of the province of Groningen to travel by bike more often and become more familiar with the scenic cycling routes near them.
The campaign will feature select routes across the province – namely in Westerwolde, Oldambt, Eemsdelta, Waddenland, Westerkwartier, Midden-Groningen the Veenkolonien – in the hopes of motivating locals to explore their own corner of the north.
On Saturday 3 June, in honour of World Cycling Day, there will be goodie bags at participating VVVs (tourism bureaus), museums, information centres, cultural sites and camp grounds across the province for folks who get out and about on their bikes this weekend.
Routebureau Groningen and the knooppuntennetwerk (nodes network) are the focus of the campaign. Routebureau Groningen offers routes for walking, cycling, and even sailing through the province. The knooppuntennetwerk exists across the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, consisting of more than 9,000 numbered nodes or hubs where cycling routes connect.
The point of the network is to enable cyclists to design their own ideal cycling route. There are several apps available for cyclists to use the network, such as the ANWB app, the Routeplanner from the Fietsersbond (Cyclists Union) and Fietsroutenetwerk.
The cycling route network began in Limburg in Belgium in the ‘80s, when a former mining employee in the area pitched a project to create a cycling and hiking route network in the region in car-free and low-traffic areas.
For international residents in the city of Groningen, IWCN is celebrating World Cycling Day with a FietsFriend Festival. if you sometimes struggle to understand Dutch cycling rules, want to explore the province of Groningen or even if you still need to learn how to bike in the first place, this free event will be held on Saturday from 10:00 to 14:00 with an introduction at Spaak about the rules of the road and then several hours of mix and match activities for cyclists of all experience levels.
Photo credit: Stella Dekker