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Boat and bike: A formula we love

3 Jun 2015

Lesley - UK

This is our 5th boat and bike holiday so it’s a formula we love. We also keep returning to The Netherlands and Belgium…we haven’t found anywhere that caters so well for cyclists…we are not courageous in traffic nor good on hills. This trip was on The Gandalf…one of the smaller ships…takes about 20 passengers..the skipper, Hans, was welcoming…a friendly and generous host. His crew and the chef were really excellent and the food was varied, imaginative and extremely tasty and lots of it. The route Bruges to Amsterdam is really lovely…beautiful cities, towns and villages. You really feel you can see day to day life…what people are growing in their gardens…whole classes of school children out on their bikes…small holdings with a few sheep and a duck pond. The guide, Rikko, worked hard to find good spots for refreshments and had excellent knowledge…historical, technical, local, which made the trip richer. He did tend to keep the pace a bit swift. He also led a walk each evening so it was not all cycling. Our group of 16 was by far the most mixed we have experienced and we all got on well…people came from France, UK, Germany, Argentina, Australia, USA and The Netherlands…this made for some interesting conversations. This is not a luxury holiday. Be prepared for getting soaked, wind blasted, sunburned, exhausted and in need of some good muscle rub. The bikes are good. We have seen more and more people using ebikes and have some qualms about this. We feel it might put those not on ebikes at something of a disadvantage at times…and sometimes we did struggle with the pace. Three of us therefore decided to ride independently using the maps provided…this was easy and fun….but you did miss out on the guide’s local knowledge and the group experience. Being able to go at a slightly slower pace worked well for us. We love cycling holidays (have been on about 14)..we especially love the boat and bike formula but a word of caution…on almost every trip we have done…with a whole variety of companies… there has been a tendency to play down the daily distances…so practice beforehand and be prepared for some long days in the saddle (sheepskin saddle covers seem very good investment!). We hope to do more bike and boat trips …they are something a bit special.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 8 Jul 2015

Reading your extensive review makes us happy! We sent your compliments forward to Hans and Rikko. This month the programms for 2016 will be published on our website. We would like to welcome you again next year.

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