All over the country of Holland you’ll spot them; white and green signs with numbers. What are those? Well, those signposts are part of a route network for cyclists. ANWB is a national tourist organisation and they have created a network of safe cycling paths all the way through the Netherlands. They consist of several numbered route nodes. Between each of these routes nodes are bidirectional signposted routes. Usually there is an information panel with the route node number and an overview of the bicycle route network. In this blogpost I will show you some action photos of how the nodes network works.
Me and my road bike = love at first sight.
These are ‘normal’ signposts. Not the ANWB nodes route ones. These are OK too, but you have to stop every time and get your map out, or use Google Maps on your phone. With the ANWB nodes network the best you can do is to decide upfront where you want to go and which route you take, and you write down the numbers on a piece of paper. This piece of paper you attach to your bicycle or keep in your pocket (or bra, that is what I do) and during cycling you have your guide with you!
But, where can you view and decide your route and numbers upfront? How to decide what route to take and which numbers to follow? You can decide that online, go to this website; it’s easy, but it’s in Dutch. You don’t have to read a lot, though. Just decide a route, the km, write down the numbers, choose a place for coffee and/or lunch (points of interest are also on the ANWB online map) and go!
If you prefer a paper map with you on the bike, for just in case, then you can buy those maps at ANWB stores. Or order them online. I have a few from North Holland and the area around Amsterdam, and those are practical too. If you are prepared like this, look out for the signs and the fun can start.
Typical Dutch: cows, meadows and water.
This is a board you often see at a node. If you are a bit lost or forgot to write down upfront the numbers, you can stop here and just quickly view the map, deciding which route to take and which numbers are the next to follow.
Don’t forget to watch out for those signposts. Sometimes they are hidden in high grass along the sides of the cycling paths, or they are suddenly somewhere in a city on a wall. It’s fun for children, too. Who’s gonna be the first to spot the next signpost?!
*Note: I have not been asked or paid to write about ANWB cycling nodes network. It was my own idea. All photos are mine and made with a Canon EOS M3 camera.