I am planning a bike trip in April and May and need some help planning. I have a few books with some route guidance and general suggestions but have a bunch of questions that I haven't found answers to (even Google is failing me). My general plan is to fly into Amsterdam, spend 5 nights there with day trips to Horn/Medemblik/Enkhuizen, Edam/Volendam/Marken, Alkmaar, and Keukenhoff. From there I plan on heading east to Arnhem and Utrecht (depending on head winds either travel there or back by train). From there I am either going to go through Eindhoven where I have some friends of friends, or swing over to Delft and Rotterdam. From there I am looking at the North Sea Route, Ghent, Bruges, Ypres, Brussles, swing up through Antwerp and back to Amsterdam. Probably at some point I am going to run out of days and take the train back to Amsterdam to fly home. I have some specific bike related questions, and would like to know if there are any special places along that general route to swing by.
1. Is there a tire pump at AMS? For that matter are they available in public places? Most of our (pedal) biker bars in Iowa have them, I am not sure if this correlates to BeNeLux. Has anyone had experience storing luggage/bike boxes at the airport? I have a CoMotion touring bike with SS couplers that has travelled fine in the US as checked luggage, this is it's first overseas trip.
I have some safety concerns with my bike and theft. Has anyone used the monitored bike storage places in the Netherlands? I plan on finding indoor/courtyard storage at night but worry about the day time.
I have trouble with maps. I accidentally biked on the Autostrade last year in Italy. I would like to either have a reliable GPS for my iphone 6, or get a garmin or similar. Has anyone had success with any of these devices or failures? Would I be able to throw a sim card into my phone to use mobile data (without being charged a ton of money)?
This is my first trip where I don't have a day to day planned out and it's making me a little bit nervous. I would like to have the spontaneity of being able to stay in a town an additional day, or switch up my route based on good beer, others recommendations etc. To ease my anxiety I plan on finding the next nights accommodation either the night before or in the morning before I head out for the day. I would like some reassurance that this works and has not left people sleeping in train stations or paying way to much for a room.
Any special towns, experiences, or beers that anyone recommends? I have read most of the bike routing books that are in English but would like a good (kindle) resource for breweries if there is one that people use. Do the hoteliers usually know where to go? Covering 50-100 km is a normal ride for me and I would consider a 50km (100km round trip) ride to an awesome sight/beer a good day. Probably with all of the beer chocolate and frites I need to be putting in some decent distances.
I would (with some train backtracking) be able to see the Bloemencorso parade. It looks awesome, is it worth the (train) backtracking to see?
Thank you for your input