Friday, July 25, 2014

Hire a bike in Berlin and drop it off in Copenhagen

If you hire a car in Madrid and wish to drive to Oslo, you can leave it in Oslo at a branch of the company. It will cost you a few pounds/dollars/euro/krone more, but you can do it. Normally it is not possible to rent a bike in one place and return it somewhere else. We have written about this problem recently.

We are planning a tour along part of the Berlin-Copenhagen cycle route and by chance I discovered that you can rent a bicycle in Copenhagen and return it in Berlin or vice versa. 
Fahrradstation (a Berlin bike hire company) in collaboration with MTB-Tour (Værløse, Copenhagen) offers the opportunity to rent a reliable bicycle in Berlin to ride this beautiful and famous international cycle route and then easily return it in Copenhagen. As well as the other way round!  You can enjoy a one-way ride without worrying about returning the bike to the starting point.

Choose your two-wheeler among a range of:
  • trekking bikes
  • mountain bikes
  • e-bikes
But also childrens' bikes and tandems!
Bike7 Days10 Days14 Days
MTB€ 199,-€ 229,-€ 259,-
Trekking Bike€ 199,-€ 229,-€ 259,-
E-Bike€ 299,-€ 349,-399,-
Child's Bike
€ 169,-
Tandem

€ 399,-
For any further information and for reservation, contact Fahrradstation  at berlincopenhagen@fahrradstation.de.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Refreshing drinks for touring cyclists.

If you are lucky enough to come to Germany this summer, you will be faced with a wide range of beers to try. However at lunchtime bear in mind that a typical German beer has an alcohol content of between 4.5 and 5.5%. Half a litre of beer can fill your legs with lead when you set off.  You find that the hills are steeper than they were before lunch and the fields you pass get every more inviting. Alcohol is an excellent diuretic and you might find yourself nipping off into the bushes too often. It's probably better to lay off the booze at lunchtime. So what do you drink? If like us you are not a cola fan and you want a cold drink, you can order a water, but be prepared it'll be a mineral water and not free. The economics of a German restaurant are such that the customer receives expensive mineral water and not free tap water. Sorry, that's how it is. Try ordering a nicht-alkoholisches Weizenbier. This is a cloudy, very low alcohol wheat beer (less than 0.5%) and it tastes much like a yeasty normal Weizenbier. Try it. A lot of cyclists drink it not only at lunchtime.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bike Hire in the Rhine Valley between Ludwigshafen and the border with France on the left bank and between Mannheim and the Black Forest on the right bank.


We have been asked a number of times about hiring a bike at the start of a trip and dropping it off at the end. Although this idea is common enough in the motor car hire industry, it appears to be a concept that is too difficult manage in the bicycle hire industry. Basically if you want to hire a bike choose a circular route like round Lake Constance. Otherwise you will need to return the bikes to your starting point. Having said this there are exceptions:

  • Luxembourg, but as the country is only a little bigger than a postage stamp, this is not much of an advantage.
  • Rheinhessen between  Mainz and  Worms.
  • The Niederrhein Region between Düsseldorf and the Dutch border.
  • Switzerland, if you hire a bike for  two days or longer.
All of the above areas will let you hire a bike in one town and return it to a hirer in another town, but in comparison to hiring a car in Copenhagen and dropping it off in Madrid it's small beer. 

We have found another local company, bellorange® ( www.bellorange.com) that hires bikes in 15 small towns and villages between Ludwigshafen - Mannheim, the French border by Wissembourg and into the northern Black Forest. They offer a wide range of bikes, e-bikes and tandems. The website is only in German, but it features an interactive map which makes it very easy to use. This is odd because the company has a brochure in German, English, French and Spanish.

Friday, July 11, 2014

All over Rain Suit for Cyclists: Bikesuit

We have been using Rainlegs over-breeches for some years and found then to be a good way of keeping off the worst of the damp when it rains (http://www.rainlegs.com). Rainlegs cover the upper portion of the thighs and leave the rest of the leg free. This means that you are not bathed in sweat after a few kilometres in the rain - the problem with over-trousers. They are especially useful in showery weather when they don't need to be taken off once it stops raining.
We have just ordered a replacement set of Rainlegs and I noticed on the website that the company is about to sell an all-over garment resembling a multi-zipped boiler suit with a hood and feet cover in a waterproof, breathable fabric called the Bikesuit. This will be introduced to the world at the Eurobike Exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany in August. This is all we know. How much it weighs? How much will it cost? We do not know. There is a video of the garment in use on http://bit.ly/bikesuitpress.
The one thing we are not taken with are the partial feet covers as these tend to get holed when the rider puts his feet on the ground. It would be better if you could use the garment for walking in the rain.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Value for Money Cycle Tourists' Hotel in Passau on the Danube Cycle Route

By chance we found and stopped in the Rotel Inn in Passau recently. It's on the Danube Cycle Route. We can recommend it. The beds are 2.50m wide as are the rooms. The rooms are not ensuite but the facilities are across the corridor.  Fifty Euros for a double room or 30 Euros for a single plus six Euros each for breakfast. The hotel is clean, comfortable and the breakfast is value for money. It is five minutes from the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station). There is WLAN/WIFI if you ask for it at the desk.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Cycle touring. Booking accommodation in advance.



We decided on a recent week long tour following the Inn Valley Route to book all our accommodation in advance. Some of our nights were spent in youth hostels. In our experience it is very difficult to find a double room with or without shower in a youth hostel just by turning up at the door.

We also used booking.com to book accommodation on several nights. This site avoids problems with landlords who would normally bar touring cyclists because they only wish to stop for one night. Single night book bookings are accepted. I presume the other websites offering booking are similar.

The great advantage is that the room is booked and guaranteed. There is no need to flog yourself into a heart attack to get to the hotel by 18:00, say, in case the owner decides you are not coming.

There are a few problems however with these systems:
  • These websites do not always have all the accommodation in a city, town or village on their books. This means if you don't find a hotel on one site it pays to check one of the other booking sites.
  • Check exactly where the hotel or guest house is. We just booked ourselves into a hotel about 200m (about 650') above and 3km away from the cycle route. It was a long walk pushing a heavily laden touring bike.
  • Another snag is that these organisations fill your email in box with offers afterwards.
  • In our experience there do not appear to be many B&Bs on these websites' lists. There are however special websites offering B&Bs. Feed B&B and the name of the country or the area you are interested in into your favourite search engine.
  • Make sure you know how to get to the accommodation. Use one of the map apps to download the exact position. 


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Aldi's cycling gear: The vest

They are superb and keep one warm once the temperature falls.

"Cycling the River Rhine from Basel to the North Sea"

The book is finally there,  on Smashwords.com or on your local Amazon site. The book costs US$8.99.

Blog Archive