Sunday 12 May 2024

Go Dutch 2024 - Part 3: Football And Fietsers

Ostensibly, my trips to the Netherlands are meant to be holidays, but of course, it's impossible to switch off completely and besides, travelling is about finding out about how other people live isn't it?

Over the last few years the trips have included little detours to things for me to geek out on, but there has to be balance and for my son who was with me for this trip, he wanted to go and see some football in Eindhoven. Unfortunately for him PSV Eindhoven weren't playing at home for our visit and so we booked tickets to go and see the slightly smaller and lower division FC Eindhoven.

A wide street with a red one-way cycle track with a grass verge left and a road beyond and a footway to the right in front of shops. It's dusk.

I'm not especially a sports fan, but fair's fair and the agreement was that we would of course cycle there, and so we did from our hotel in the city centre to the Jan Louwers Stadion in the south of the south of the city, a distance of 4km or about 20 minutes relaxed cycling. The trip was easy and made on cycleways such as Stratumsedijk (above) which is a multimodal corridor sporting a central two-way bus road.

A large protected cross roads with an orbital cycle track and parallel pedestrian and cycle crossings.

Of course, the junctions we cycled through were fully protected such as the junction of Stratumsedijk with Elzentlaan (above) and even at dusk, we felt safe and protected from drivers.

A street with a red one-way cycle track with a grass verge left and a road beyond and a footway to the right. Over on the left, there are some tall spires with large balls on them as a piece of sculpture, several metres high.

As we approached the large park and recreation complex in which the stadium sits, we still had protected space which allowed us to enjoy the sunset on Antoon Coolenlaan (above), although some local roadworks did make access down to the stadium a little awkward. However, there were so many people walking and cycling at this point, the odd car driving into the site was treated very much as a guest.

A narrow greyish road with a central red brick paving effect asphalt strip in the centre.

As the light faded and as my phone camera quality got worse, I managed to snap the cycle street style treatment on Charles Roelslaan as we approached the stadium (above).

Cycle parking hoops full of bicycles with a glimpse of a football stadium beyond.

Because I had checked out our the destination before travelling, I knew that there was cycle parking right outside the 4,200 seater stadium (above) and we arrived about half-an-hour before kick-off which meant there was plenty of space. When we left to head back into the city after the match, it was all taken up with lots of people just using their wheel locks leaving their cycles where they could.

The view across a flood lit football pitch with stands around it.

The stadium does have a very small car park, but the wider complex has very little car parking generally which means most people travelling to a match will walk, cycle and use buses. In the event, FC Eindhoven were beaten 3-0 by northern club SC Cambuur in a match with plenty of controversy. 

The most amusing thing of for me was even though I know very little Dutch (about as much as I do football), it was very clear the home crowd was full of football experts shouting at their team and the referee. Like their drivers, the Dutch really aren't that different from the British!

The return cycle was a little quicker and we parked up at a city sports bar and ended up seeing the highlights of the match we had just seen!

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