Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vrienden op de fiets

The new Vrienden op de Fiets book has arrived! And wow, is it shiny and new.

The printed book is improved for legibility, and there was a wonderful redesign of the website.

For those unfamiliar with the organization, Vrienden op de Fiets is a dutch non-profit group started  in the 80's as a network service for touring cyclists to find affordable and friendly accommodation on the road. The hosts (private or commercial) list their availability and agree to certain standards while charging a low price of 19 for an overnight stay with breakfast. An annual membership for a cyclist is 8.

When I first joined in 2011, the booklet and website were inconvenient but usable. I found the coding for how to determine the number of rooms and beds very confusing. Even the 2012 booklet looked like this (3x1; 1x2+1x1 = what??):

 For 2013, they changed the design to include little symbols which I find much easier to understand!

All the listings are legible now, with higher contrast paper and better design.

One thing unchanged is the awesome giant map that comes with the booklet. (Note- there is now an interactive map on the website, but I do so love a paper map.)

The Vrienden op de Fiets map includes all of the Netherlands, northern Belgium and the western edge of Germany.  For orientation, there are knooppunten references and little circles to indicate the hosts.

It's big!

Size comparison:

With the low annual fee, I will probably remain a member for awhile. Afterall, there is a "foreign countries" section with five listings in the United States. :)

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