The trail system in the Netherlands is amazing! On the 4 day, we were given the chance to utilize the system as we traveled to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. It was a 12 km (7.4 mi) journey from our Hotel near Vondelpark.
We traveled from the hectic streets of Amsterdam towards the Amstel. As we made our way to the path, it wasn’t really a path per se. Instead it was a shared space where bicycles and cars co-existed. However the balance was heavily favored for bicycles as cars had to yield to bicycles. Cars also had the added traffic calming at various intervals with pinch points where only car can pass through.
As for cycling, it was pleasant to see wayfinding signs at every major intersection. The Dutch bicycle trail system is amazing for this fact alone. It also takes some getting used to since the intersections are numbered and not the paths. So at every knooppunt (junction) there is a number and you go from one to another. So for our journey we went from knooppunt 60 to 61 to 62.
On the 5th day, we traveled even further up to waterland. A journey of 22.4 km (~14 mi) to the north. After getting lost for a bit, we made it to the path. We went from knooppunt 46,47, 79, 77, 52, 53, 54, and finally 55 where we stopped in Monnickendam.
In this case we moved from shared roadway to separated path very quickly. As we traveled next to the Markermeer, we quickly ate up kilometers without a bother in the world. With only having to worry about other cyclists, it was a nice and pleasant ride. The only downside was riding upright the whole way there. It definitely makes the tailbone sore. 😦
On the way back from Monnickendam, we got the chance to travel along the highway. N247 has traffic that is going around 80 to 100 km/hr (49 to 60 mi/hr). However we were next to the traffic on our own dedicated cycle path. While not the most pleasant, it was a quick way to travel from city to city.
I could only imagine what that kind of path would be like from Eugene to Corvallis along HWY 99. I guess one can dream.