Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Weird as it is the Germans often use words made up of bits of terms as abbreviations rather than the initial letters used in the Anglo-Saxon world. As an example “Flak” is the abbreviation for Fliegerabwehrkanone, i.e. aircraft defence cannon. Admittedly not quite as well known outside of cycling circles Spezi is the abbreviation for Spezialradmesse, i.e. special bicycle fair. This gives you the chance to check the latest developments in recumbents, recumbent tricycles, quad cycles, folding cycles, tandems, family cycles, velomobiles, transporters, electrical bikes, special needs bikes, adult kick scooters, child and load trailers, customized designs and accessories. You can expect to meet the European distributors for Bike Friday, Brompton and many more delectable pieces of pedal-powered hardware. This event has been held every year for 10 or so years in Gemersheim south of Heidelberg and north of Karlsruhe on the west bank of the Rhine. The event is well worth visiting and will be held this year 2006 on 29 and 30 April at the Stadthalle in the centre of the town. The nearest major airport is at Frankfurt am Main. There are good rail connections to Mannheim and then to Germesheim via Speyer. You could also fly to Hahn or Baden-Baden Airport with a discount airline from Britain. There is a bus connection from Hahn to Heidelberg via Ludwigshafen and Mannheim. You can catch a train from any of these cities to Germesheim via Speyer. There is a bus connection from Baden-Baden Airport to Karlsruhe where you can take a train to Germesheim.
Entrance fees are reasonable:
Adults 8.- €
Adults (reduced) 6.- €
Family Ticket 16.-€
Season Ticket 13,- €
The do is organised by:
Siebecke & Lange GbR
Marktstraße 22
D-76726 Germersheim
Tel +49 (72 74) 48 63
Fax +49 (72 74) 77 93 60

Monday, March 27, 2006


One of the questions we are often asked about cycling (bicycling for our American friends) is where would you recommend that we go cycling in Germany? This question is almost impossible to answer. Germany has 40 000 km of cycleways. There is good cycling to be found all over. The rather oddly named, well at least to our eyes, Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club (ADFC - General German Bicycle Club) has published an excellent map of the whole of the country showing all of the major cycling routes called ADFC-Entdeckerkarte. This is in German, but it’s a map and is available free-of-charge from ADFC stands at bicycle fairs etc. You can request a copy from the ADFC Bundesgeschäftsstelle, Postfach 10 77 47, D 28077 Bremen, Germany. As the ADFC is a voluntary society and dependent on the subscriptions paid by members such as my wife and I, it would be polite to enclose one or even two International Reply Coupon/s.
There is also a booklet available from the German National tourist Office entitled “Discovering Germany by Bike” which gives you some but not all of the routes shown on the map.
The Bavarian provincial government has produced a map of Bavaria with all of their cycle routes entitled: “Bayernetz für Radler”. You can order it from Ernst Vögel GmbH, Kalvarienbergstraße 22, D93491 Stamsried; Germany, eMail:
When you have decided where you want to cycle then you can buy the ADFC/BVA 1:150000 Radtourenkarte map/s from the CTC or Stanfords. These maps show the roads and cycle routes as a function of motor traffic density. The less traffic there is the brighter the colour on the map, so the quiet roads really stand out. They also show cycle routes in neighbouring countries, so that short trips across the border can be planned without having to buy new maps.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Football, cycling and life

If you are a supporter of the English football team, it is possible to watch each of the matches and cycle in the days after to the next stadium. Drop us a line if you want a route suggested. If however you have got a ticket or tickets for one of the southern match stadiums: Kaiserslauten, Stuttgart, Munich, Nuremberg or Frankfurt, then rather than looking for a hotel or campsite in one of these cities, then think about stopping in one of the towns or villages in the Tauber Valley. The tourist authorities will arrange transport for you to the match/es of your choice and you can watch the other matches on a large public display screens. In between you can enjoy good cycling, swimming, lots of history, decent ale and taste the local wines and as a peace move her indoors can pick up Christmas decorations in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. If you do go to Rothenburg odT then make sure that you stay until the evening to take part in the walk with the nightwatchman, if only to learn the fine art of emptying chamber pots!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Not that much to do with cycling but we have just spent 2 days in Munich. We stopped in the A&O Hotel/Hostel Bayerstrasse 75 near the Hauptbahnhof (Central Railway Station) which we can recommend. It was clean, quiet and the breakfast was excellent.
We had lunch in the Augustiner Grossgastaette in Neuhaeuserstrasse which is one of the other Munich beer halls. The food was good, the service quick, the customers local and the beer especially the Dunkel (dark beer) excellent. Personally I much prefer it to the Hofbrauhaus which is full of tourists trying to get smashed and unfortunately in many cases succeeding.
Obviously one can cycle in the city. There are a number of cycle routes which were well used in spite of the near freezing temperatures.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Pope's Cycle Route

The Germans were over the moon when Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as Pope Benedict. The "Bild Zeitung" the biggest German tabloid had a headline: "Wir sind Papst (We are Pope)". The Pope comes from a small town east of Munich. Of all the German provinces Bavaria is the one that is making the most efforts to increase its already extensive cycleway network, so it is not surprising that a group of local authorities east of Munich have joined together to set up a circular 224 km cycle route connecting the Pope's birthplace with various towns and villages with connections to Pope Benedict and previous Popes. Check out the route and more information than most of us would want on Obviously for devoted Roman Catholics it would be one of the holidays of a lifetime, but even non followers of Pope Benedict can find much of interest: the views into the Alps, Lake Chiemsee.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cycling in Europe

This blog will give our comments on the news of the day as it affects cyclists, especially touring cyclists and will try to answer the important questions, e.g.
"Do I have to be a Catholic to cycle the Benedict Cycle Way in Bavaria?" (No)
"I am going to watch the England-Paraguay match in June and I also have tickets for the match with Trinidad & Tobago. Can I cycle from Frankfurt to Nuremberg?" (Yes and we will discuss this in the next couple of days. How did you manage to get hold of the tickets?)

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