A list of the most likely questions is below – if you have any further queries, please contact either:

Bright Pryde-Saha at bp@academyofurbanism.org.uk / 07748 444 652

George Weeks at george.weeks@cantab.net / 07870 454655  

Isn’t 85km a long way to cycle in one day?

It is entirely manageable in the Netherlands! Dutch cycling infrastructure is very good: continuous, well connected and designed for covering long distances. A continuous cycling speed of 11 mph (i.e. slow!) will cover this distance in five hours, i.e. a morning. The Fietserbond route planner can provide further detailed information on routes.

Should I bring my own bicycle or hire one?

It is normally simpler to bring a bike from the UK. Please get it serviced before the trip (see below).

I don’t own a bike but my uncle Barry has an old unused one in the shed – will this be ok?

Please do notbring any bicycle that is not in good mechanical condition. We will be covering long distances and the potential for delay from successive punctures/chain failures is considerable. All bikes will need to be professionally serviced before the trip. Brakes, tyres, chainsets, cables, etc should be in good working condition and capable of lasting the duration of the trip. Please take your bicycle to a good bike shop and ask them to give it a once-over.

If you have ever considered getting puncture-resistant tyres fitted to your bike (Schwalbe Marathon or similar) now is the time to do it.

Can I do it on a tandem?

Of course! However, please bear in mind that tandems can be difficult to transport on trains in the UK.

What about insurance?

Please ensure that you have purchased adequate travel insurance. The Academy of Urbanism does not take responsibility for any injuries or accidents that occur on the trip, so only you will be responsible for your health and safety.

Is there a support vehicle?

In long-distance cycling events it is not uncommon for someone to keep an eye on things from the comfort of a van. After careful consideration, we have decided against this, for the following reasons:

  1. We will be cycling through the most densely populated country in Europe – medical help is never far away.
  2. Bicycle repair shops are (unsurprisingly) quite common in the Netherlands. Mechanical failure that cannot be tackled at the roadside can be addressed in the nearest town.

Do I need a cycle helmet?

This is entirely up to you. Helmet-wearing is almost unknown in the Netherlands; however you may be used to wearing one in London. If you prefer to wear one, please bring it along.

Is this event for charity?

It is not a charity event.

What should I bring?

The following list should suffice:

  • Bicycle
  • Bike lock
  • Panniers or rucksack (Panniers are more comfortable)
  • Spare inner tube (please make sure you buy the correct size for your bicycle)
  • Bicycle pump
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Allen keys/multi tool
  • Tire levers
  • Sun hat
  • Helmet (if you want it)
  • Clothes that are comfortable for cycling (bring sufficient clothes for four days)
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Notebook
  • Euros
  • Passport
  • Raincoat
  • Water bottle
  • Swimming costume (large open air pools are quite common in Holland and they are a delight in May)
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • Any medications that you require
  • Any specialist tools that are specific to your bike (e.g. unusual screwdrivers, crank extractors, etc)

We will bring a general toolkit, including a chain tool, crank extractor, spanners, oil and duct tape. This should allow for the vast majority of repairs to be done underway.