... and I am told I should expect the coldest and wettest weather of the year around this time. What kind of gear do people like to use for staying dry and warm on their bikes? Would it be crazy for me to plan some sort of light touring around Netherlands/Belgium during the winter/spring months? I am hoping to tour with only a large messenger bag and a handlebar bag (I can live lightly) and rely on restaurants and hostels/cheap hotels. Is this a feasible plan? Can anyone recommend other resources for cycling information in Europe? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Yes, it will be the coldest, wettest, least touring-friendly weather. However, if you're a tough cookie (or really hard-headed) it's obviously doable...
Check out crazyguyonabike.com for great resources re: touring all over the world!
In general the Netherlands are moderately cold in January. Not very wet. (The colder the dryer!). And the colder it is, the warmer te people are for you.
Last year (thaks to Al Gore) there were many good days to cycle here.
And I prefer ending up in a (warm) hostel in winter to riding in the March/Apri rain and sleeping in a tent.
Just use an (old-fashined) cape against rain (and coldness). And two or three layers.
Well its better than England the weather in the Amsterdam is ok I find when it rains it dosn't rain for long, In amsterdam itself there is plenty of places to hide up out of the rain. Its cold in my village last year I think it was recorded as the coldest in the Netherlands! -20 I believe it finally got down to. But to be honest I cycle to work each day wearing a shirt and a small jumper. If it gets cold I put on a wolly hat and a pair of gloves. I have eaven put on one of those gilet's to take of the edge of the wind!.
Here its flat so there is plenty of wind wind wind wind did I say lots of wind
Anyhow people cycle everyday here so it cant be that bad