Dutch appeltaart, available at every roadside cafe and the cyclist's worst enemy.

You would think that cycling 50-90km a day would have a desirable effect on the waistline. On the Pieperpad, things don’t work that way. Here’s why…

Around lunchtime we rode into Finkum. A kaatsen tournament was in full swing. Kaatsen is a mysterious Friesian sport. Imagine lawn tennis but with leather gloves instead of racquets for hitting the little white ball.

This is what kaatsen looks like. Please don't ask me to explain the rules.

We thought we should complete the cultural experience by eating the local food – ‘gehaktbal en patat met’. It was a meatball and French fries with mayonnaise.

Everyone should try it once. Then they should stop.

Only forty kilometres further and a few hours later we arrived at de Zwarte Haan cafe restaurant, sheltering behind the dyke keeping the North Sea from invading Friesland, to find that traditional Dutch cuisine had undergone a transformation.

A lovely old building, thatched roof, warm interior, friendly service and look at the food…

Entree. 'There's a lot going on here,' the Masterchef judges would say. 'And all of it good,' we would reply.

Main course - a perfectly cooked fish fillet, with light foamy sauce.

Dessert. Ice cream and fresh Dutch strawberries. Everyone should try it once, then stop (till tomorrow!)

Feeling satisfied but guilty we climbed back on the bikes. It was still light, and we had a few kilometres to ride to the town of Sint Jacobiparochie, where a pleasant room was waiting for us at B&B Jacobs Hoeve. That we slept well goes without saying.

Then next morning we sat down to a groaning breakfast table – coffee, tea, boiled eggs…and five sorts of bread, three sorts of cheese, sliced meat, currant buns, yoghurt, chocolate sprinkles…

Oh no, it was all happening again!


Je zou denken dat als je tussen de 50 en de 90 kilometer per dag fietst dat er een positieve effect op je gewicht zou zijn. Zo gaat het niet op het Pieperpad.

Tussen de middag kwamen we bij Finkum aan. Een kaatsentoernooi was in volle gang. Kaatsen is een geheimzinnige Friese sport. We dachten de culturele ervaring te voltooien door het proeven van het traditionele nederlandse eten – ‘gehaktbal en patat met’.

Een kleine 40 kilometer verder en een paar uur later kwamen we aan bij de café restaurant de Zwarte Haan. Daar vonden we dat de Nederlandse kookkunst helemaal was veranderd.

Een mooi oud gebouw met een rieten dak, warm interieur, vriendelijk bediening en heerlijk eten, bizonder mooi gepresenteerd.

Tevreden maar schuldig klommen we weer terug op de fiets. Het was nog licht, en we moesten nog een paar kilometer rijden naar St Jacobiparochie, waar een aangename kamer in B & B Jacobshoeve stond te wachten. Dat we goed hebben geslapen is vanzelfsprekend.

De volgende morgen gingen we aan de ontbijttafel – er was koffie en thee natuurlijk, maar ook gekookte eieren, diverse soorten brood, drie soorten kaas, vleeswaren, krentenbollen, yoghurt, hagelslag …

Het gebeurde alweer!

The writer was assisted by Greenpeace, NL and Bionext.


Filed under Cycle touring, Holland

14 responses to “WHY CYCLING MAKES YOU FAT

  1. Menno

    Jullie zijn nu op mijn geboortegrond. Wat leuk! Ik ben geboren in Tzummarum. Fietsen jullie daar morgen misschien langs?

  2. I’m already fat – perhaps I should skip the cycling.

  3. There you’ve just proven to me why I should remain in my French cooking School and forget all about the cycling. You nearly had me going there for a while! Therese

  4. There are some great tours on offer featuring French cooking and cycling the French countryside, Therese. The combination has always looked very appealing to me!

  5. Did you say French cooking AND French countryside?? Well, why didn’t you say so earlier? That puts a whole new perspective on that fatty word! Therese

  6. Laurens Hoogenboom

    Bon apetit!!!! Something different than an Emmercompascuum sandwich, except for the “Bal met Patat”.

  7. ilona

    This column makes me hungry. (or could it be lunchtime?)

  8. The cycling diet. The only caveat is to never stop cycling!

  9. Pingback: WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – my best and worst ever lunches | Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

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