The road out of town leads to Eijsden (right, courtesy Google Maps), one of the oldest and most southern villages in the Netherlands. Originally funded as a roman settlement, then becoming one of the dominant areas for fruit-trees, and finally a center for producing zinc and gravel, the village has now become a bedroom community for Maastricht. There are rows of neat, modern brick houses, a small village square, café’s along the river, and a chateau / castle at the perimeter. The bike path winds through orchards and fields of cows, finally ending up at the river crossing past the town center.
The route back north passes the Sluis, deep locks that lift working barges over a drop in the river. Many cyclists stop to watch the boats go up and down: I think that there’s a Dutch link and fascination with the water and the boats since the show draws in everyone, not just the children. The full circle beyond the locks leads back to the old city wall and gate of Maastricht, about three hours of very leisurely autumn riding, looking, and eating.