Maarten Maartens

Cycling and walking routes

Maartens was a champion of the bicycle.As a local councillor for Langbroek, Maarten Maartens tried to lift the ban on bicycles on the through roads of Langbroek, which was in force between 1881 and 1899. In 1881, it was decreed that “riders of ‘velocipedes’ or of vehicles driven by compressed air” must halt at the roadside when a horse-drawn carriage or vehicle came within a distance of 40 metres, as most roads were lined by water and the horses were often startled by their new ‘steel competitors’. When someone ended up in the water with horse and carriage, a total ban on cycling was considered.

The ban was eventually lifted in 1899, due to a growing group of cyclists who were collectively guilty of flouting authority. It proved impossible for the single rural policeman to maintain law and order.

For the occasion of the ‘Maarten Maartens 2015’ commemorative event, a cycle route and walking route have been set out, both of which start and finish at the Zonheuvel country estate. Information is given in the route descriptions about the places where Maartens worked and lived with his family. So you will get to know more about him by walking or cycling along one of these routes.

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The cycle route is around 46 kilometres and goes through the hills and dales of the Utrecht Hill Ridge, passing places on which Maartens left his mark. You can take a shorter route by turning off halfway and cycling back to De Zonheuvel via Doorn. The trip will be less strenuous by electric bike. You can rent bikes at the Zonheuvel country estate for € 12 a day (electric bikes € 25 a day) from or by calling 0343 473500. You can download the cycle route here (PDF).

The walking route goes across the Zonheuvel country estate for 3.8 kilometres and takes around 40 minutes. You can download the walking route here (PDF).

Both routes are also available for 1 Euro each from reception at Hotel Zonheuvel.