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Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

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Singapore, Singapore
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Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

I'd like to enjoy Dutch countryside scenery when I'm in Amsterdam this December, but there are no bike tours that operate outside of the city during this time.

I'm hoping to still do the bike trip as a solo female. I do not cycle much back home, nor do I know how to fix a tire. Some questions:

1) are there clearly marked bike trails or recommended routes in the countryside? If so, are they isolated or with some traffic?

2) is it crazy? considering the weather.

Thanks! Would appreciate a recommended bike route!

Amsterdam, The...
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1. Re: Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

There are plenty of bike routes, see here for example:

www.fietspad.nl/Fietsroutes/_Engelstalig/

Going solo is no problem. But we cannot predict the weather. It could be sunny and dry (but cold), but it can also be windy an rainy. The latter would not be fun on a bike, except for the die-hards.

Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

It could also be icy or snowing or both. Even us die hard cyclists take public transport in the winter and especially if you come from such a warm climate as Singapore then it will be doubly cold for you. When the wind blows here there is very littel shelter to stop it or for shelter so make sure you are wrapped up.

This is probably one of the safest countries in the world to cycle in but it does worry me that you rarely cycle at home and that you will also have to cope with cycling on the opposite side here.

Remember also that it will be dark until approx 8am and sunset is around 5pm in the winter.

Best thing to do is check the weather and decide on the viabilty of your idea when you get here.

Singapore, Singapore
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3. Re: Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

Ger_Holland, thank you! The bike routes are just what I needed.

RonaldoC, thanks for the tips! I'll be coming from UK and would probably have acclimated myself better.

Fort Worth, Texas
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4. Re: Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

its only crazy in the sense that you are riding the bike in the countryside in the winter.

Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

steveftw, may I know how/why is biking in the countryside crazy?

Amsterdam, The...
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6. Re: Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

The last two Decembers here were full of snow, in an amount much higher than normal. I've read in the news that European meteorologists are predicting another snowy winter for us, calling it a "mini ice age" (ok, a bit dramatic, but it helps them sell papers). As others have suggested, make a plan, but come with an open mind and adapt with the weather as it comes. I can recommend one nice, easy path that is close to Amsterdam, runs along the Amstel river, and you soon reach a quaint little town called Ouderkerk a/d Amstel for lunch or dinner. Maybe 20 km round trip and you can take your time. You'll even pass by a windmill on the way. If that path proves to be to your liking, you can venture further afield on other days.

Nashville, TN
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7. Re: Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

I wouldn't suggest it. It's a great idea and a very good way to see the countryside. However, it's the wrong time of year considering your country of origin and your jetway question in the air travel forum. As you state you are a novice and would have a problem even fixing a flat, it's just not a good idea.

Haarlem, The...
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8. Re: Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

It can be beautiful. Last year when there was so much snow I took my bike into the forest and through pastures and it was gorgeous.

Just bundle up and go slow. I wouldn't go during a rain or snow storm of course.

Amsterdam, The...
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9. Re: Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

Your biggest problem won't be the weather, it is the fact that you are a novice. Dutch, and especially Amsterdam traffic while cycling, takes some getting used to. Tourists who have no idea how to cycle endanger not only themselves but also their fellow road users. And they annoy the sh*t out of locals because of it.

That said, I have cycled myself in some weird non-bicycle friendly traffic in other parts of the world but with instincts honed daily in Amsterdam. As somebody who loves to cycle, I'd say go for it if you have a clear sunny day with not too much wind. You won't be the only out to enjoy the countryside on those days even in the dead of winter. However, if it is raining or icy or absolutely freezing cold, don't do it. I can't fix a flat tyre either btw so make sure you bring a cell phone, money for public transport and comfortable shoes to get back to civilisation.

Singapore, Singapore
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10. Re: Solo female biking alone in countryside in December - crazy?

Netrobes, thanks for the tip. The weather was horrible last year around the time I'm travelling but I'm hoping for clear skies and roads for a few days at least.

vegas-guide, may I know what the jetway question has got to do with this particular question about cycling in Amsterdam? I have taken planes that uses jetways for embarking, but never in a cold climate thus the question (because it would be really horrible to catch a terrible cold the first day I'm there simply because I did not anticipate that part of my journey).

AnnaNLCH, thank you. I'm hoping to get decent weather this time.

synnae, thanks for the tip. I'm not too keen on riding in the city itself because of the traffic rules (I usually cycle in the parks and not roads here, where there are just other cyclists and roller-bladers and little kids) which is why I will just be walking around the city. I'd like to explore the countryside thus the question. :)

Anyway, I'm thinking of finally learning how to fix a flat. And maybe actually start using the bicycle I have at home.