Trans Euro Trail – The Netherlands

It’s time to saddle up again and explore a new TET track. I have decided to drive up north and visit our neighbours in The Netherlands.

The track starts in Postel, at a very relaxing pace. The first kilometres I find myself on asphalt roads; this is nice and easy start of the day. After this ‘warming-up’ the sandy roads come in sight. ‘Sand’ in The Netherlands means: deep and loose sand. Not all unpaved roads are sandy; you’ll find a mixture of hard and soft surface. And just like the Belgian TET you‘ll get some marvellous nature views.

The track partly runs alongside the Belgian-Dutch border. North of Lommel the underground is becoming tricky. Although it had been raining for a long period the sand gives me hard times. There is one section of approximately 1 kilometre just before I reach the small village of Gastel where I have to struggle to keep my 200kg KTM up.

I look like a drunken sailor swinging from left to right. But, somehow I manage not to fall and I’m relieved to feel the harder surface under the wheels again.

Apart from the challenging section earlier the rest of the route is easy. It’s a mixture of unpaved and paved roads, but always in the beautiful Dutch countryside. Easy riding! There are some minor parts where I encounter muddy lanes or have to wade trough a puddle of water but it’s all doable with a big machine like my KTM 990.

I’m driving alone; I always make sure I don’t get stuck in the mud or do silly things. Further up north there are more tarmac roads; I pass some idyllic small villages. In one of these small villages a mother with her 3 young children is standing at the roadside trying to fix the bicycle of one of the kids. The chain came off and she can’t get it back on the sprockets. Riding a KTM you always have some gear with you. I loosen the chain guard of this young girl’s bike, and the chain is back in place a few minutes later. With a good feeling and greasy hands I continue my way on the Dutch TET.

In the neighbourhood of Arnhem I jump over the German border. The track takes me trough this country for about 15 kilometres; all paved roads.  What a scenic ride it is.  At Emmerich Am Rhein I cross the river Rhein again and I’m back in Holland. The day is running on its end. It’s time to find a nice place to eat and sleep.  I leave the route and head for the small city of Zeddam. I find a hotel where I can park the bike in a garage. I have a good night’s sleep. 

After breakfast day two starts. The weather looks completely different than the day before. It’s 15 degrees colder; it is all grey and cloudy.

From the moment I’m at the TET track it feels like I’m the middle of nowhere. A vast wide landscape of green fields and brooks. The place I’m in is called the ‘Achterhoek’, the most eastern region of the province Gelderland. One of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands. It’s dotted with farms and a lot of typical dyke roads. The small (paved) roads meander trough the fields. It’s a delight to ride a motorcycle here. The more north I’m heading the more I find tarmac roads.

The unpaved sections are hard and muddy. But it still is an easy track. Only at some minor stages I wish I had myself a lighter off-road bike.

As the day continues I nearly reach the end of the Dutch TET. The last section runs trough the province of Drenthe and Groningen. A heather landscape with wide views. It starts to rain and it becomes freezingly cold for the last 40-50 kms on the Groningen plains. In this wide-open landscape I feel every drop of rain. With cold hands I end my Dutch Trans Euro Trail trip and look back on a pleasant 2-day journey crossing The Netherlands via het most beautiful and remote roads.

In my opinion the southern part of the Dutch TET is more interesting than the northern part. There is a greater variety and more unpaved sections. But all in all it was a great experience to have ridden this part of the TET.

See our other episodes about the Trans Euro Trail

To know more about TET go to:

www.transeurotrail.org

www.facebook.com/transeurotrail

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