Erwin Sikkens

The Great Keteleiland Adventure

Bike Touring Collection by erwinsikkens_com

A two day bikepacking adventure with hope for an overnight stay on the uninhabited Keteleiland.

Together with adventurer Eline, we set out from Arnhem hoping to make it to Keteleiland and spend the night there. A beautiful and largely unpaved trip through Veluwe and the surrounding floodplains, with hope for a boat crossing from the Buitenhaven harbour in Kampen.

However, an adventure is not an adventure without a few setbacks, and it turned out that arranging a crossing at the port was not possible. A golden tip and a telephone number helped us further; a few kilometers away we found our spontaneous crossing to Keteleiland.

As a special honor for the first bikepackers ever on the island, we slept that night in the house of the island manager, Anton. His place is a beautiful 1960's cabin on the waterfront without electricity or running water. Our day couldn't have ended better!

After a morning swim, coffee in the sun and a quiet crossing 30 minutes later, Eline and I were back in Buitenhaven harbour the next day. With a quiet and relaxing start and a delicious breakfast, we headed south again towards the Veluwe.

A beautiful second cycling day through nature followed. The great Keteleiland adventure was short in duration, but great in terms of experience!

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    68.6 mi
    12.3 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,400 ft

    The great Kettle Island adventure, chapter 1 - Boat hunt.In front of the Open Air Museum in Arnhem I meet Eline, the most adventurous lady I know. Together we trek bikepacking across the Veluwe to the north, on the way to the uninhabited Keteleiland.A beautiful - largely unpaved - trip through forest and polder, which eventually takes us to the Kamper outer harbor. Arriving there it unfortunately turns out to be more difficult to arrange a crossing with a boat than hoped. Kettle Island is close by, but further away than ever.However, we get a golden tip and a telephone number and arrange - a short bike ride later - a boat at Keteleiland itself. Skipper Andre gives us our dream crossing to our final destination of the day: Keteleiland!A warm welcome awaits us on Keteleiland. Manager Anton is ready with berenburg cola and we can even sleep in his manager's house, located further on the island.
    A special welcome for the first bikepackers ever on his beloved Keteleiland.

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    68.9 mi
    11.9 mph
    1,850 ft
    1,750 ft

    Wake up in Anton's idyllic manager's house on the otherwise uninhabited Keteleiland. A morning dive in the river next to it and a coffee in the sun, put on a gas appliance from the 60s ... it is better not to start a morning!Not much later I am chugging along with Eline and island manager Anton on his boat towards the Kamper outer harbor. A relaxed crossing of about 30 minutes in the morning sun.After breakfast and a good coffee in Kampen, we continue our bikepacking adventure towards the south. The first kilometers are mostly paved by the polder south of Kampen, but soon we are back on the so familiar Veluwe. We mainly ride a mix of concrete paths and unpaved double track forest paths.
    I say goodbye to Eline at Hoog Soeren. She continues her journey towards Amersfoort, on the way home. The last solo part between Apeldoorn and Arnhem feels like a home game and I race through beautiful landscapes.
    The big Kettle Island adventure was small in duration, but felt big on the scale of domestic adventures.

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    Bike Touring Highlight

    Keteleiland is an uninhabited - but never deserted - island in the IJssel Delta.
    Island Administrator Anton a.k.a. Kratse welcomes you to visit his island or even stay overnight to enjoy nature.
    His shelter "ut 'Keteltien" in the harbor mouth is open to everyone, including bikepackers. But how you get here by bicycle ... you will have to find out for yourself!

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    Gravelweg door de heide Deelerwoud

    Mountain Biking Highlight (Segment)

    Beautiful and remote gravel road through heather fields just north of Deelen, connecting the 'Kop van Deelen' with either 'Woeste Hoeve' or 'Loenermark' gravel sections.

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    Gravel Kroondomein Het Loo

    Bike Touring Highlight (Segment)

    Beautiful hard-pack gravel road, running through forest and heather fields in the 'Kroondomein het Loo' area. 'Kroondomein het Loo' form the official royal hunting grounds and are therefore closed of to the public from mid September to Christmas (unfortunately), so bare that in mind before planning your trip here.

    Also, please stay on the road here, as the area is former military practice grounds and the heather fields themselves are still full of explosives. Yikes!

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    Grindpad Staverden

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    Great gravel road / Strade Bianche in the Staverden Estate. Great for gravel bikes, due to the loose sand probably tough on road racers. The scenery is amazing... fields, forest and farms. You get the feeling like you went back in time 100 years or more.

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    Strade Bianche Grevensweg

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    Fine Strade Bianche gravel road hidden behind a farmyard, but nevertheless just publicly accessible. The road cuts through maize fields to the north, where it almost perfectly connects to the second part of the Grevensweg gravel road.Easy to cycle for most bicycles, but the condition of the road depends of course on the weather.

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    Gravel & graspad Stobbentocht

    Mountain Biking Highlight (Segment)

    Gravel in Flevoland ... it exists! A lovely straightforward gravel road with a piece of wood in the middle through a meadow. Then this easy to ride gravel road connects to the Reve-Abbertbos, where you can continue your ride.

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    Oude Buitenhaven - Kampen

    Road Cycling Highlight

    Beautiful old outer harbor of Kampen, just outside the old town. Partly filled with modern pleasure craft, but also home to the historic Kamper Kogge.
    The harbor itself is a delightful collection of old harbor buildings and feels like a place where time has stood still. You could also call it a small open-air museum.

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    Single track Zwolse Bos

    Mountain Biking Highlight (Segment)

    Nice single track through the Zwolse bos, part of the Hattem route. The singletrack goes up and down and has some nice curves to keep you entertained. Also great to ride on a gravel bike as the route is not very technical.

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    Gravelweg Paalweg

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    Personally one of the most beautiful roads through the Crown Domain!

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    Mountain Biking Highlight (Segment)

    This great gravel road is mainly dominated by the impressive power lines that run bypass them.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Highlights
  • Distance
    138 mi
  • Duration
    11:22 h
  • Elevation
    3,000 ft

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