The True 'Hell of the North' – Drentse Keien Cobbles

Wielren Collectie van erwinsikkens_com

Zowel Vlaanderen in België als Noord Frankrijk zijn beroemd vanwege hun beruchte kasseienstroken en -klimmetjes, bekend van voorjaarsklassiekers als de Ronde van Vlaanderen en Parijs - Roubaix. Maar zij die denken dat dit de enige plek is waar je de kasseien ervaring kan beleven hebben het mis…

Sinds de laatste ijstijd lag Drenthe in het noorden van Nederland duizenden jaren vol met miljoenen zwerfkeien, achtergelaten in het landschap nadat het ijs smolt. Akkers en velden lagen er vol mee.

Aan het begin van de vorige eeuw was er veel werkloosheid in Drenthe. Om deze werkloosheid tegen te gaan en tegelijkertijd een probleem voor de boeren op te lossen werden er projecten opgezet om de vele zwerfkeien uit de velden te verzamelen. Boeren waren eindelijk die vervelende stenen kwijt en van de keien werden in de vele nieuwe bossen wegen aangelegd om het de bosbouw makkelijk te maken.

We springen honderd jaar vooruit en veel van deze keienwegen (of flintenwegen zoals de Drenten ze graag noemen) liggen nu vergeten en veelal ongebruikt verstopt in de Drentse bossen. Op sommige plekken is al zo lang geen onderhoud meer gepleegd, dat de natuur de wegen weer terug claimt. Mos en zand bedekken hier de ooit zo strak aangelegde keienwegen.

In deze Komoot collectie heb ik zoveel mogelijk van de nog bestaande Drentse keienwegen
voor jullie verzameld. Sommigen in perfecte staat, sommigen nauwelijks herkenbaar maar niet minder mooi.

Gebruik deze collectie van keien-highlights om voor jezelf een hel van een route te maken, of maak simpelweg gebruik van mijn al bestaande ultieme ‘Hel van het noorden’ route via deze link: komoot.nl/tour/163785747. Deze route is 112 km lang, waarvan meer dan 40 km aan keienwegen. Een hel van een rit die alleen voor masochistische rijders een pretje is.

Geniet van mijn, of jouw persoonlijke ‘hel van het noorden’.
“De echte hel van het noorden is hier, want wij zitten hoger op de kaart dan Parijs - Roubaix” - Gerrie Knetemann

Op de kaart

Tours & Highlights

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    Kasseienstrook (keien cobbles) Ieberen

    Wielren Highlight (Segment)

    Leberen is a cobbled section (AKA keienstrook) near the Ieberenplas.

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    Keienstrook (keien cobbles) Zwatte

    Wielren Highlight (Segment)

    Zwatte is one of the 'keienstroken' near Schoonloo. Just around the corner there's also 'Tweelingen' and 'Egbertsweg'. Enough to go around and make your bike bounce!

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  • © OSM

    Kasseienstrook (keien cobbles) Zwatte

    Wielren Highlight (Segment)

    The south part of the Zwatte cobble road (keienweg) is only partially true cobbles, as parts of it are starting to disappear into the ground, covered by so much dirt that those parts can only be described as dirt road.

    Most of it is still decent old cobble road though, with a nice escape avenue on the concrete cycling path next to it. An escape you'll need when exiting the forest, where the cobble road turns into a wild farm-dirt-road-thing.

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    Steenhopenweg is one of the few keienstroken (cobble sections) that is actually still also a road accessible by cars. Not a busy one of course, as it's nothing more then a road through the forest... only made of keien (flinten in Drents).

    The road itself forms a beautiful old lane surrounded by trees and makes for a beautiful ride with incredible views of some heathers and wetlands along the way.

    © OSM

    In the forest north of Exloo, there are multiple cobbled sections... but none as long as 'Voorbos'.

    At 3.6 kilometres (2.2 miles), it's no walk in the park. It is a ride in the forest however... a bumpy one. Except for the last part (or the first if you enter it from the north), that's a bumpy ride in the fields! Anyway, prepare for a bumpy ride and you're good to go!

    P.s. There's a sharp rim in the middle of the one corner in this section. Go easy on that one and lift up. I didn't and it broke my saddle, yikes!

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    Kasseienstrook (keien cobbles) Bosrand

    Wielren Highlight (Segment)

    Bosrand is a small keienstrook (cobble section) at the edge of Exloo town.

    Its name is quite suitable, as it actually forms the edge of the forest and that's basically what the Dutch word of bosrand stands for. Fancy detail in this section is the 90-degree corner in the middle. Hit it fast, but not too fast!

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    Kasseienstrook (keien cobbles) Meerweg

    Wielren Highlight (Segment)

    Meerweg is a beautiful example of a Drenthe village cobbled road. It's short, curvy and nowadays unfortunately rare.

    Meerweg survived the modern times up until today and is a nice little road to throw into your cobbled keien-ride.

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    Dalakkersweg is a cobble section linking up to a bigger one to the west. It has a small curve in it and even a little bit of gradient. Drentse gradient that is, nothing fancy! There's even a 'Hunnebed' next to Dalakkersweg in the small field just behind the corner.

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    Exloërzandweg is part of a longer cobbled section (keienweg), linking up to Valthe village in the south and a choice of two other cobbled sections in the north, Valtherzandweg and Dalakkersweg. The latter even has a small gradient and corner in it as an extra element of surprise.

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    This keienstrook (cobble section) is called after a dirt road (Weerdingerzandweg) but is everything but that. It's a mean, clean cobble section, just right up the alley of those with a good sadistic love for the Spring Classics!

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    Hammeersweg used to be all cobbles (keien in Drents) but most of them have disappeared over the years. There's two small sections left of the Hammeersweg cobbles now. This one is in between some old farm houses, and the other one is just around the corner at the edge of town.

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    Hammeersweg used to be all cobbles (keien in Drents) but most of them have disappeared over the years. There's two small sections left of the Hammeersweg cobbles now. This one at the edge of town, and the other one just around the corner, in between some old farm houses.

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    Schaapstreek is something else. It's a long cobbled section through the heather and forest of 'Boswachterij Odoorn' ending up or starting in the village with that same name; Odoorn.

    Schaapstreek is a long one and is named after the sheep grazing in the fields here. You won't have much time for admiring the sheep however, rambling over these 'Drentse keien'.

    Only little break in this section is when you hit the little tunnel under the N-road... but this is only for a short while!

    Also note that there's a small 'cobble' exit half way called Manrhowijk, which leads you out of the forest towards Schoonoord.

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    Kasseienstrook (keien cobbles) Wezup

    Wielren Highlight (Segment)

    This cobbled section (AKA keienstrook) with the name Wezup is a truly harsh one. Where other cobble sections in the region are sometimes overgrown with mosses and cracks filled up with sand, this one is so clean you feel every bump and stone... making it even worse than the ones that are bad.

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    Kasseienstrook (keien cobbles) Pieterpad

    Wielren Highlight (Segment)

    In the forest next to De Kiel run a couple of cobbled sections or keienstroken as they're called locally.

    This is part of a keienstrook called Pieterpad. At the one end ending up at a crossroads where you can ride straight ahead, finishing this cobble straight, or turning left or right turning into either end of the De Kiel cobble section.

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    Kasseienstrook (keien cobbles) Pieterpad

    Wielren Highlight (Segment)

    In the forest next to De Kiel run a couple of cobble sections or keienstroken as they're called locally.

    This is part of a keienstrook called Pieterpad. At the one end it finishes at a crossroads where you can ride straight ahead, or turning left or right turning into either end of the De Kiel cobble section.

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    Kasseienstrook (keien cobbles) De Kiel

    Wielren Highlight (Segment)

    In the forest next to De Kiel run a couple of cobbled sections or keienstroken as they're called locally.

    This is part of a keienstrook called De Kiel. At the one end ending up in a crossroads where you can ride straight ahead, finishing this cobble straight, or turning left or right turning into either end of the Sleenderzand cobble section.

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    Tweelingen is a long cobble section (keienstrook) in the tweelingen heather fields just south of Schoonloo.

    It has this nice curve to it and links up with cobble sections Zwatte and Egbertsweg.

    © OSM

    Kasseienstrook (keien cobbles) De Kiel

    Wielren Highlight (Segment)

    In the forest next to De Kiel run a couple of cobble sections or keienstroken as they're called locally.

    This is part of a keienstrook called De Kiel. At the one end it finishes at a crossroads where you can ride straight ahead, or by turning left or right you can turn onto either end of the Sleenderzand cobble section.

    © OSM

    This keienstrook (cobble sectio)n is called Egbertsweg. It's part of more cobble sections in this patch of forest south of Schoonloo. You can easily connect it up with cobble sections Zwatte and Tweelingen.

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    The Sodemorseweg keienweg (cobbled section) is a nice but short set of cobbles. It used to be longer to the east, but now that part beyond the modern road has disappeared all together and is nothing more than mud. This part however is good and rideable, as far as cobbled roads are at all of course!

    Sodemorseweg links up to 'Staatsbos' in the West, and that's where the real fun begins. Staatsbos is a 6 km (3.7 mile) cobble section. If you hit Staatsbos from Sodemorseweg, you're hitting it about a third of the way in. Go north for another 2 km (1.2 miles) of 'keien' and south for another 4 km (2.4 miles) of 'keien'. It's cobble heaven over here!

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    Kasseienstrook (keien cobbles) Staatsbos

    Toerfiets Highlight (Segment)

    Staatsbos is the longest cobbled section of the Netherlands. At some places it's overgrown with mosses, but still a beauty to ride!

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    Keienstrook (keien cobbles) Gees

    Wielren Highlight (Segment)

    Één van de keienstroken uit de Ronde van Drenthe.
    Tip. Shakel een aantal tanden zwaarder en houd spanning op de ketting!

    Tip van
    Jelmer
    © OSM

    Stevige kasseienklim bovenop de Col du VAM. Door heel Drenthe liggen decennia oude kasseienstroken, of beter gezegd flinten, zoals de kasseien hier genoemd worden. Deze strook bergop is uiteraard vrij nieuw, maar niet minder leuk. Gewoon een keer proberen, achteraf is het altijd veel leuker dan al hobbelend tijdens het fietsen.

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