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Gallery: Assen, Netherlands

Photos of cycling in and around Assen. It's a wonderful place to live and a wonderful place to cycle. It's also being made nicer all the time by excellent quality new provision. Assen spends 1.8 million Euros on new cycle provision each year, which breaks down to nearly 30 Euros per person per year. This is just the capital budget for new infrastructure. The maintenance budget is in addition to this, school cycle training is in addition to this, etc.

The city also receives a lot of benefit from the equivalent of S106 money.

65000 people live here and each person makes an average of nearly 1.2 journeys per day by bike.

Some shots here of the new housing estate Kloosterveen, are of note as this is a new development of some 8000 homes which is similar in scope to some of the "eco-towns" in the UK. This, however, is MUCH more cycle friendly and the new development has a wonderful direct route to the very centre of the city, which has no traffic lights on it at all (this makes it rather more efficient than using the driving route which has a minimum of three sets to get to the city centre).

People use practical bicycles for practical purposes here. As a result, cycle parking does not use sheffield stands, but more useful stands which hold the bike upright while you load your shopping on board. The few sheffield stands in the city are generally left unused as better alternative are available. Or people will use the stands on their bikes.

For more information on Assen, including some short videos, see this website:

Also see the photo gallery here:

And the English language articles on Dutch cycling policy and provision here:

And there's a blog here, explaining different aspects of how cycling works in the Netherlands:

This gallery was created on Thursday, 20th September 2007

Primary school children cycling back to school after lunch - stopped for a bit of fun in the snow. Note the completely snow and ice free roads even here in a residential area. ALL the roads and cycle paths are gritted and salted in Assen ... [more]

Nodding Donkey oil pump at the NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij - Dutch Oil Company) headquarters in Assen. NAM is a good part of Shell, and the size of their headquarters reflects this.

View of the bike path which takes workers to the large NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij - Dutch Oil Company) headquarters in Assen. NAM is a good part of Shell. Also see #12064

Another cycle path as wide as a minor road and to which the roads give way. What you can't see from this shot (but can see from Google's aerial photography) is that following this path gives you a more direct route than the road through an ... [more]

Different ways to travel at this junction. This is a large roundabout with wide cycle paths around it. The priority at these junctions is for the drivers, but you never have to wait long as the roundabout itself is designed for low speed ... [more]

Bike parked at a bus-stop in Assen. It's not at all unusual to see bikes parked all day at bus-stops, but it is increasingly unusual to see bus-stops which don't have proper bike parking. Note how passengers waiting for the bus do not ... [more]

Very old and very cheap cycle facility on a road used by few cyclists where a cycle lane becomes a cycle-path momentarily and goes behind a bus-stop. This prevents cyclists using the cycle lane from being cut up by buses which overtake a ... [more]

It may seem frivolous, but space to do daft things like this on bikes (or not on bikes) seems to be provided in the Netherlands. This extreme mountain biking action was made possible only by reserving space for it and by building an arti ... [more]

Most things to do with bikes are legal in the Netherlands, including cycling with Fido on the bike path. Why should dogs miss out on the fun ? Cycling with two dogs at the same time is considered to be a bit more than the average person ... [more]

A horse being led by cyclist. Riding into the village of Loon, near Assen in the Netherlands on the wonderful smooth and wide cycle path usually used by commuters, shoppers, school run kids, skaters, cycle tourers and of course racers. T ... [more]

View of the construction of a new lifting bridge on the canal at Groene Dijk in Assen. The existing bike path has been moved towards the camera and a new crossing will be installed to cross the road (in one go and with no obstacles). ... [more]

Alternative view of new path construction also shown in #12105 The camera shows the direction of the cycle path, which also turns right to cross the bridge. The van is parked parallel with the road that the path crosses at this point and ... [more]

New bike path over a new bridge. The bike path is as wide as one lane of the road. Other views of the bridge can be seen in #12105 and #12106 The video shows how this new path joins with that shown in #11713 and #12302 The bike ... [more]

Cycle path as seen in #12789 showing the route over the road next to the bridge. It's still under construction, but we've got proper lights now so that cyclists can see where they are going.

"Glass" barriers on this bridge serve to keep traffic noise from the residents of house boats, stop cyclists falling into the water from the bike path and they look nice.

Memorial to the crew of Lancaster Mk III JB 154 which crashed at this site near Assen in the Netherlands on the 20th of October 1943 at 22:45 when returning from Leipzig. The grey path is a smooth cycle path to the memorial. You can also ... [more]

Kamp Westerbork. After being caught in Amsterdam, Anne Frank was moved here for her last few days in the Netherlands before being put on an East-bound train. You can read more about Kamp Westerbork here: ... [more]

Bicycle inner-tube vending machine. The sign reads "Never more without... Continental cycle inner tubes". Also someone had written on Euro-5.50 (the price of an innertube). It's not particularly unusual to see boxes attached to buildi ... [more]

Rijwiel Hulpkist. A chest of tools for cyclists on the outside of a restaurant. Lots of restaurants take part in this scheme of providing free tools to cyclists. You have to ask for a key inside the restaurant. The ANWB are the equivalent o ... [more]

Due to extensive road works, some roads in Assen can't currently be driven down. This style of temporary road sign shows which. However, despite the inconvenience to drivers, it has been ensured that cyclists can continue to use those route ... [more]

A temporary cycle bridge over a canal. This is constructed of concrete and steel and has a smooth 3 metre wide surface. If this had not been installed then an important link in the cycle network would have been broken. That very rarely h ... [more]

The sign reads "Take Care. Cyclists in the bus lane" Cyclists are never expected to share space with buses in the Netherlands, but in this case the cycle path is being resurfaced so cyclists have to use the bus lane. However, buses were ... [more]

This cycle path is being resurfaced so one lane of the road has been taken from drivers as a temporary cycle path while works continue. Note that there is also a cycle path on the opposite side of the road, but cyclists are not told to c ... [more]

The cycle path alongside this dual carriageway has had to be removed temporarily. However, you can't inconvenience cyclists like that, so they've closed half the dual carriageway so that cyclists can use it. This is in Assen in the Nethe ... [more]

A FietsNED van ( see ). This is a nationwide franchise business which will come and rescue you should your bike break down. The slogan ? "Fiets kapot? Bel onze servicelijn" ("Bike broken ? Call our service line"). ... [more]

Racing cyclists on a cycle path in the Netherlands. While there are occasionally criticisms of Dutch cycling facilities based on them not being suitable for cycling at speed, this is not really the case. It is generally those who have no ... [more]

Cycle racers going very quickly on one of the many wide, smooth and direct cycle paths in Assen, Netherlands.

One of Assen's very high speed commuters riding a fully faired recumbent trike. All types of bicycle are accommodated on Dutch cycle paths, and high speeds are possible. You can see more velomobiles here: #14710 And read more about ... [more]

I've now been out a few times with the local Sunday morning recumbent riders group, the Huneliggers. This photo shows the bikes outside the cafe where the ride starts, ready to set off on Sunday morning. Many of people ride these velomob ... [more]

Heading back home on the cycle path after racing in Groningen. Note brand new wide, smooth unidirectional cycle path (it's to be the same on the other side of the road), several km of which have been completed along here since we came here ... [more]

Young cycle racers on Assen's cycle racing track. Cycle racing is very popular in the Netherlands and a lot of people compete. Assen, like most towns, has a cycle racing circuit. It also has various road races for which roads are closed ... [more]

The Jeugdtour is the largest youth cycling race in the world, which attracts competitors from all around the world. It is a week long event held annually in Assen. This photo is from the criterium, which is held on roads closed for the occa ... [more]

Female cycle racers in Assen, Netherlands.

Racing cyclist on cycle path near Assen. The Dutch have considerable success in cycle racing given their small population, and this is in no small part aided by their large cycling population. The cycle paths here support very high cycli ... [more]

In the Netherlands, wheelchairs and mobility devices are also required to use cycle paths, which have to be made suitable for all these uses.

The neighbour's nanny with a child on a trike with trailer. Residential roads here are used by children with all sorts of contraptions like this. A few days previously the child sitting in the back was riding the trike and pulling his 9 ... [more]

The all important junk mail delivery in Assen, Netherlands. This huge bicycle trailer carries vast amounts of paper and must be very heavy to pull with a bike. Lots of delivery jobs are done with bicycles in this area. The junk mai ... [more]

Children travelling on odd devices safely... The Netherlands. You sometimes see devices like this some way from civilization. These two are actually just outside their house.

A comprehensive network of cycle paths allows all sorts of people to cycle. In this case, a disabled person on a tricycle is being accompanied on a ride out into the countryside. No amount of "vehicular cycling" training allows this to h ... [more]

Three generations of a family cycling together. A very common sight on Dutch cycle paths.

Mobility scooters are also welcome on Dutch cycle paths

Temporary parking for the fietsvierdaagse in a field at a farm. This is the location of one of the controls, and also a nice place for a coffee.

More bikes parked for the fietsvierdaagse

A vintage bicycle ride in Norg, near Assen in the Netherlands. 107 machines are lined up, on a road closed to cars for the occasion. To see a video of this ride, look here:

Dutch primary school children turning up for a traffic safety test. They have ridden their bikes from schools around the city and are now given a 6 km course to follow before riding home again. Schools often make school trips by bike. A ... [more]

Xtracycle Free-Radical taking yet another load of baskets to the post office... You can read a review of the bike after 5 year's use (including a video) here:

This is a secure entrance to the military barracks in Assen, Netherlands. The turnstile is for a person to pass into or out of the area, the gate on the right is for their accompanying bicycle. It is very rare in the Netherlands to find ... [more]

It's very common here in the Netherlands for bicycles or bicycle accessories to be given away in competitions for products with no connection with cycling. I guess that is what comes of having a cycling culture. In this case you can win ... [more]

In a bike culture, everyone wants bikes. This bakfiets, surrounded by cartons of fruit juice, is a competition prize in a supermarket. The juice is selling. Unusual bicycles make common competition prizes in the Netherlands.

Advertising on bicycles. These leaflets advertise an upcoming event and had been placed on most bikes in Assen today.

An obstruction on the cycle path... actors putting on a show. This was part of a free to enter "cycling and culture" ride organised by the local council. You can see a video of this here:

What use is a set of photos of the Netherlands unless at least one windmill is included ?

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