A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Today was the day of the bike tour for the 444th anniversary of Leiden University. It was full of sweat, muscle tension, and huge smiles. Cycling through many picturesque terrains of South Holland was invaluable.
This kind of events welcoming a large number of participants provides us with the opportunity to meet new people with common interests. At least, all of us were keen lovers of cycling there! From the view of an international student, the events organized by the University deserves appreciation in this term. Happy 444th birthday Leiden University!
We had been afraid of rain possibility the day before the tour but the weather was extremely generous today. It was always sunny and relatively warmer when compared to previous days in May 2019.
Being the members of the Leiden Campus, we started our journey from the University Sports Centre. There were many participants ranging from children to ones in advanced ages. After a few kilometers, the first substantial part of the tour brought about by the moment where we started climbing to De Klip uphill.
The dunes part was around 15 km and it was the best part in my opinion. The reason is the terrain is not entirely flat, there are ups and downs from time to time. Climbing for a while then going down is something that makes you feel cycling in true sense. I reckon that’s why there were many other cyclists on the dunes with mostly professional bicycles apart from bike tour participants.
Another point that I want to touch upon is how well the bike roads are designed in the Netherlands. In the flow of the tour, we cycled through both urban areas and rural areas. At every single point, there was a road allocated for the cyclists. No matter if we were cycling along the highway or in the city center, we didn’t need to go on to the auto road.
This complete tour also gave us the opportunity to observe at first hand that how the urban civilization and protection of nature go hand in hand in the Netherlands. Even the road lines don’t go beyond what is necessary to maintain the transport between cities. My observation is that nature is well prioritized in the Netherlands and all actions which are capable of restricting natural areas are proportionate in sense.
We must give their credits to the organization team. The checkpoint system and free refreshing drinks provided in checkpoints in almost every 15 km were worth mentioning. It kept us motivated by making us feel the small accomplishments in the course of the complete tour. In addition, delicious free raisin bread rolls and bars were the energizers of the event.
Have you taken part in the bike tour today? You can share your impressions below! Keep cycling!