Bikenode for dummies - what are bikenodes anyway?

Dernière mise à jour : 18 janv.

So you are wondering what bikenodes are? Yes read till the end of the article and so you will be able to discover an unknown parallel world at your doorstep.

First the common word for bikenodes is in Dutch fietsknooppunt and in French pointnoeud. The node system is a way to navigate bike recreational routes in Netherlands, Belgium and parts of Germany and France.

Have you ever had the problem that you make a nice bike ride along a route and than had to drive back the opposite way to come back at starting point? Or that you wanted to make a short cut in your bike route because of bad weather and end up on a National Road full of traffic?

The node system is a recreational bike route system with following principles that have been choosen:

- above all a preference for safe bike roads

- a driving pleasure in the sense that the bike infrastructure is OK and that the directions are smooth and easy to follow

- and finally something entertaining or enjoyable in the bike itinerary: a nice panoramic view, historical site or neighbourhoud.

So why is it actually called node?

The network actually has no set itineraries from point A to B; instead the

network is composed of different loops of around 6-10 km long next to each other. The intersection of these loops is called a node and receives an identifier in the network. Thus various itineraries can be created with several nodes and coming back to the original node.

Basically before starting your bike route, you need to create a bike ride, than note down the node numbers, and than off you go and follow just these numbers to enjoy a great ride.

So now that you got the principle you may wonder how it works in practice.

A node network is mostly organised by a touristic regional office and provides a network between 250 km (for Brussels), around 2000 km (for province Vlaams Brabant and Limburg). Each of these networks are organised independently, but are interconnected so you can go from one network to the other without too much hassle.


1/ Go on a website or on a specific app, and look for an area of your interest.

Most of the time there is a routeplanner that allows you to create your network and indicates the node numbers to follow.

These websites

also present already existing thematic routes as a suggestion and you can also use these to make your life easy. You can also retrieve paper maps of the network (often at a city touristic office or to be ordered online)

Write down the node numbers and bike from one number to the other following the signage (when available)

Get out of the house

2. Oh yes, and get a bike, just a normal bike will do. You can start with loops of 20 km going up to 35-40 km ; if you have an electric bike you can extend your range to 60 or more. So no need to be a racing dude speeding at above 40km/h. Get on a bike and start the journey.

Start the journey

3 a. Write down the node numbers from the routeplanner or from the map and bike from one number to the other following the signages. the signages indicate the direction of the next node. and at a node crossing

the node number is indicated as well as the following number on your network and alternative numbers to other loops. Just continue following the numbers and enjoying the ride.

3. b You can load the itinerary on a digital device that can guide you as a GPS; This can be usefull for node networks that are only virtual like the one in Brussels;

Next article Bikenode for dummies: what is and how to use it?

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