Friday, May 25, 2018

Human powered trike hire in continental Europe

Although you can hire bicycles and even e-bikes in most European cities and towns, very few shops or organisations offer trikes for hire. We have looked at the rental market for trikes and there are not many companies offering trikes for a one or two week period. Some shops really only offer trikes for hire as a way of letting the customer try a various models for a few hours to help in deciding which trike to buy. We will not list these organisations, just the ones we think offer a week's hire. We do not recommend any of these companies nor does omission from this list inply any criticism. The majority of the websites are in a foreign language. If you don't read this language use a translation app to convert the text into something that is similar to english. In any case it is not possible to pick up a trike in one shop and drop it off somewhere else, so you will need to plan a circular route. BTW if you wish to put the trike on a train, make sure it is a foldable trike, because continental railways will not carry unfolded trikes. If you try to smuggle the trike onto a train, Murphy's Law means you will meet a jobsworth who will throw you off the train at the next station. AZUB, HPVelotechnik and ICE offer foldable trikes. If you wish to hire a trike and do not speak the local language write to the company of your choice in simple English to reserve your trike/s.

The following companies offer trike rental for more than one day.

Locations 
If your European geography is not up to much, use Apple or Google mapping apps to find the locations.

GERMANY 

LLR Lausitzer Liegerad GmbH, Frank Budich, Dorfstraße 18,  01968 Senftenberg / Niemtsch, Tel: +49 (0)160 350 2949, Email: info @ lausitzer-liegeradverleih . de (Leave out blanks), Website: http://www.lausitzer-liegeradverleih.de (in German), Brands: ICE, KMX, We have no information about prices. The Lausitz lies between Dresden and Cottbus near the German - Polish border with good access to the River Spree, the Oder - Neise cycle route and extensive landscaped lakes formed from opencast mining sites. 

Ostsee3rad, Olaf Reinike, Lindenweg 41, 23974 Alt Farpen, Tel: 0151 50589799, Website: https://ostsee3rad.de (In German), Email: info @ ostsee3rad.de (Leave the blanks out!), Cost: 25-50€/day, 125-250€/week, 70-100€/additional week, Brands: Anthrotech, Hase, ICE, KMX,  
Pick up and drop off of the trikes from a railway station:
ostsee3rad will deliver trikes to the mainline station in Wismar and pick them up at the end of your tour. This service is free of charge for a rental period of at least five days. The company can also transport your luggage to your hotel. Price on application.
One way trips: 
The company is prepared to pick up trikes and their riders either after a day trip or a longer several day tour along the coast. Costs on application. 


mietrad.de, Schillerstraße 43 - 45, 27472 Cuxhaven, Tel.: 04721/554100, Website: https://www.cuxhaven-mietrad.de/, Email: info @ mietrad.de (Leave the blanks out!), Cost 20€/day. Discount for multiday hire, Brand: Hase

Tetrion Spezialräder, D-46537 Dinslaken, Tel: +49(0)2064-472566, Website: http://www.tetrion.de (in German), E-mail: tetrion @ tetrion . de (Leave the blanks out!), Brands: Flux, Flevobike, Hase, HP Velotechnik, KMX, ICE, AnthroTech, Traix, No information about prices.

TRAIX CYCLES, Dortmunder Str. 1, D-48155 Münster, T: +49 (0)251.20891037, Fax: +49 251.20891039, http://www.traix.de (In German and English, but there is no mention of trike hire in the english version, E-mail: info @ traix.de (Leave the blanks out!)  Cost: 12-85€/day, 60-425€/week, Brands: Hase, HP Velotechnik, ICE, KMX. With 4500km of cycle ways, nine major cycle routes and some of the cyclist friendliest towns and cities in Germany the Münsterland is one of the best places to cycle in the country.

VELOCITY Stahlroß Fahrradladen GmbH, Belderberg 18, 53111 Bonn, Tel.: (0)228 / 981366-0, Website: www.velo-city.de (in German), E-Mail: miet-me@velo-city.de Cost: 30€/day, 60€/weekend, 120€/week, Brands: Hase, HPVelotechnik. Hire period limited to one week, which if my calculations are correct, is enough time to cycle the ca. 400km from Bonn to Aachen via the Rhine and Ahr Valleys and the Vennbahn followed by a trip back across country to Bonn, as long as your leg muscles are up to the mark.

VMW VeloMobilWerk, Sebastian Kittlitz, Dorfstr. 36, 85435 Erding Tel.: +49 (0)8122-558860, Fax: +49 (0)8122-558861,  
Radhaus Erding, Sebastian Kittlitz, Landshuter Str. 39, 85435 Erding, Tel.: +49(0)8122-9660064 
Website: http://velomobilwerk.de/ (in German),  E-Mail: info @ velomobilwerk.de, (Leave the blanks out!), Erding lies north of Munich. The area offers extensive cycle routes. VMW offers KMX and Sinner trikes with and without electrical assistance for 30 Euros a day.


Zweirad HeinsBeckersbergstrasse 78, 24558 Henstedt Ulzburg, Tel: +49 (0)4193 / 758423, Website: www.zweirad-heins.de (in German), E-mail: info @ zweirad-heins . de (Leave the blanks out!), Cost: No information, Brands: Hase


NETHERLANDS

Advanced Cycle Engineering, Weurden 60,  Winterswijk 7101 NL,  Tel.: +31 543530905, Website: www.ace-shop.com (in English, Dutch, German), info @ ace-shop.com (Leave the blanks out!), Cost: Trike 40€ / day, E-Trike 61€ / day, Discount for multiday hire, Brands: Hase, HPVelo, ICE, Winterswijk is just over Dutch-German border on Rhine Plain west of Münster, Germany. With 4500km of cycle ways, nine major cycle routes and some of the cyclist friendliest towns and cities in Germany the Münsterland is one of the best places to cycle in the country.


Maia Dordrecht, Stevensweg 79a, Dordrecht, 3319AJ, Tel.:  +31 78 616 6302, Website: www.maialigfiets.nl (in Dutch), E-mail: info @ maialigfiets.nl (Leave the blanks out!), Cost: 39.50 - 69.50€ / day Discount for multiday hire, Brands: AZUB, Hase, HPVelo, Dordrecht is near Rotterdam. 

Maia Leiden, Energieweg 67, Zoeterwoude, 2382ND,  Tel.: +31 71 203 7999, Website: www.maialigfiets.nl (in Dutch), E-mail: leiden @ maialigfiets.nl (Leave the blanks out!), Cost: 39.50 - 69.50€ / day Discount for multiday hire, Brands: AZUB, Hase, HPVelo, Leiden is between The Hague and Amsterdam

FRANCE

Roulcouché, 32 bis-34 rue de la gare, 775 80  Guerárd,  Tel.: +33 (0)164047332, Website: www.roulcouche.com, E-mail: info @ roulcouche .com (Leave the blanks out!), Cost: First day 40-50€, Following days 20-30€, Brands: AZUB, Hase, Guerárd is 45km east of Paris. 



Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Bett und Bike in English soon

We went to SPEZI in Germersheim am Rhein over the weekend and complained to the volunteers on the ADFC stand that the recently published new app and the online database was only available in German. The Bett und Bike representative on the stand assured me that an English version will be published this month. The onlinedatabase is available under www.bettundbike.de.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bike Hire in the Moselle Valley

Schaltwerk in Cochem on the Moselle offers a wide range of reasonably priced hire bikes.

Schaltwerk
Ravenestraße 18-20
56812 COCHEM
T: +49(0)2671 60 35 00
info@schaltwerk-bikes.de
www.schaltwerk-bikes.de (In German, use a translation app)

Friday, April 20, 2018

Gimme a chance, will you?

I managed to be fairly ill last year and was in hospital for three months. One of the side effects of my stay is that I am not sure if my sense of balance is good enough to ride a bike. I am thinking about buying a recumbent trike, but at the moment we try to walk 10 000 steps a day. This means we are in the local woods a lot. As a pedestrian I notice that although cyclists want motorists to pass them with a distance of 1.5m, the same does not seem to apply to them. We have been passed recently by speedy cyclists within 10cm and it's no joke, because I am not that stable. I can move sideways without warning. A request to my fellow cyclists: Do me a favour, play fair and warn us walkers that you there, slow down and give us room. Just say "hallo". It is all we need. We can't always hear you and we are likely to jump the wrong way.

Cyclist-friendly accommodation in Europe

This list is intended to help you find databases giving cyclist-friendly accommodation in Europe:

Germany the ADFC cycle club set up one of the first databases showing cyclist friendly accommodation: www.bettundbike.de in German only.

Austria - In 2013 the Radtouren cooperative project was started with the support of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Vienna. Information on cyclist-friendly Radhotels are available at https://www.radtouren.at/en/cycling-accommodation-providers/ in English and other languages.

The Czech Republic - based on Bett + Bike. Accommodation is accredited by tourist authorities and must meet certain minimum criteria http://www.cyklistevitani.cz/Uvod.aspx in Czech, English and German.



Denmark - https://www.visitdenmark.com/denmark/bedbike-0 

France - The https://www.francevelotourisme.com/contenus/preparation-et-conseils/accueil-velo/searchpoi_view website offers information about the Accueil Vélo (Welcome Bicycle) project. It is of course all in French.

Italy - Hotels and guesthouses can register on an internet list.Approximately 1000 houses are represented. The hotels and guesthouses describe themselves as cyclist-friendly. The accommodation is not checked and certified. http://www.albergabici.it/en/ in English.

Luxembourg - LVI the Luxembourg cycle club has certified "bed + bike accommodation”. It uses the same logo as the ADFC website and the same criteria. www.bedandbike.lu in French and German.

Montenegro - the first accommodation with the "Montenegro Bed & Bike" sign on the door was located along the national "Top Trails" in the north and the central region of the country. In addition to the well-known bed + bike standards, there are other services such as free jersey washing, luggage transport, booking of the next accommodation and other useful ideas. www.bedandbike.me I am tempted to go, but as the boss just said, “It’s a long way to go just to get your shirt washed.”.

Netherlands - Try https://www.hollandcyclingroutes.com/practical/cycle-friendly-places-and-lodging

Norway - Check http://www.cyclingnorway.no/en/cyclist-welcome/

Slovenia - There is cyclist-friendly accommodation: Hotels, B&Bs and campsites in Slovenia, but you will need to contact the National Tourist Organisation to find out more: www.slovenia.info

Switzerland - Cyclist-friendly accommodation can be found on www.veloland.ch. Hosts must meet certain minimum criteria, which are very similar to those of Bett + Bike

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bed and Bike Luxembourg

The Bed and Bike Luxembourg website now includes a list if cyclist friendly accommodation in eastern Belgium, so if you are planning to cycle the Vennbahn cycle route from Aachen to Troisvierges (Luxembourg) you can information on where to stop. The website is in French and German, so maybe Google Translator will need to be used, but this is better than the original ADFC German website which is now only available in German after some years being bilingual in German and English. Quite why this should be so I don't know. Some years ago we suggested a quick and dirty translation method which was turned down in favour of a bells and whistles luxury full translation, but this was probably too expensive to maintain.

Friday, April 06, 2018

The British railway system does it again and helps cyclists!

One of us is a member of what we still call the CTC, the Cyclists' Touring Club, but is now called Cycling  UK. The name was changed because the management of the club decided that the British public could not understand what the purpose of the club was, even though the name had been good enough for over a hundred years through a recession and two world wars. End of rant! We receive the club's magazine every two months which we read and criticise extensively, but only between ourselves*.
A recent edition included a small brochure tucked into its pages about PlusBike, a cooperation between the British organisation, National Rail, the Enabling Innovation Team and the Bicycle Association of Great Britain. Information useful for cyclists is available under PlusBike on the National Rail website and as free of charge iOS and Android apps.
BikePlus offers information on:
  • Cycle facilities at stations, along with the number of cycle parking space.
  • Cycle-hire at stations or nearby with links directly to them.
  • Cycle carriage rules, including taking cycles on train specific to your rail journey.
  • Whether a cycle needs to be reserved to take on board. 

Whether the usual British lack of provision for cyclists and their bikes has been solved is not clear from the brochure, but at least you can easily find out whether there is space on the train you intend to take.

*Just as examples, we cannot understand the British fashion for bikes without mudguards (fenders) and luggage racks and stands: 
  • Unless you cycle regularly in Arizona or in southern Spain or only on sunny days, lack of mudguards mean that you could end up getting very wet and mucky on a summers day in Wigan. 
  • Lack of a luggage rack means carrying your gear in a rucksack (back pack). Welcome to the sweaty back syndrome unless of course you’re in Wigan on a typical summers day and even then the sun does shine there from time to time. 
  • Stopping for a break without a bike stand means fiddling about looking for convenient wall whereas with a bike stand you can stand the bike by the side of the road.

Monday, April 02, 2018

NOx pollution in German city centres. Is there a cure?


NOx pollution in city centres arising from Diesel powered vehicles is a major problem in Germany. The Federal Government is under pressure from environmental groups and from the EU to reduce levels of pollution in city streets. The government has chosen five communities to act as Lead Cities: Bonn, Essen, Herrenberg, Mannheim and Reutlingen. The original Federal proposal was that the five should just offer free public transport. This idea was rapidly rejected because the communities had insufficient vehicles and staff to meet the expected demand. The five towns and cities were then requested to suggest ways of reducing motorized traffic in centres. The cities delivered their proposals recently. If the suggestions convince the Federal Government, serious financial assistance will be forthcoming. None of the cities in this group wishes to only implement banning vehicles in the city centres.
Bonn called for exhaust gas clean up systems to be fitted to vehicles paid for by the motor manufacturers to reduce pollution. It has been suggested the introduction of a blue sticker to identify cleaner diesel-engined vehicles will enable the choice of vehicles that need to be banned from the city centre. The city intends to persuade more people to use public transport and cycle.  Public transport use will be encouraged by either a regional BahnCard 100 (a go anywhere ticket) for all public transport including long distance trains or a KlimaTicket (Climate Ticket) limited to public transport and regional trains costing €365 annually. These tickets will be matched by electrification of the Voreifelbahn into the Eifel Hills and a new S-Bahn (urban railway) between Bonn and Cologne. New cycleways including a high speed bicycle-Bahn will improve the cycling infrastructure.
Essen wants to increase the number of Park and Ride Stops and build new cycleways.
Herrenberg, a small town, in the Black Forest has suggested creating an app that displays real time traffic information, better bus services, a subsidized monthly season ticket for public transport and financial grants for the purchase of cargo bikes and e-bikes.
Mannheim is keeping its cards very close its chest, but is concentrating on improving its public transport system. There is also a move to build a depot in the harbour close to the city centre where packet services and local deliveries can be transferred to electrically powered vehicles.
Reutlingen is backing the blue sticker to decide which vehicles can enter the own when pollution levels are high. The town council has presented a number of other innovative ideas: Owners of Euro-4 Diesels who are prepared to give up their car for a year could receive an annual season ticket for the public transport system, vouchers for car sharing, vouchers for taxi trips and a Bahncard 50 which offers a 50% price reduction on on long distance rail trips. I think many people would be tempted to hand their car papers in for a year for an offer like that. The town council is also working on ways to make public transport more attractive.

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