Saturday, September 28, 2013

Grocery Deliveries by Bike in Vienna

I was pleased to see that the Merkur supermarket on the Hoher Markt in Vienna offers deliveries by bicycle in the centre and inner suburbs of Vienna. The company uses a pedal-powered Bullit cargo bike. The original plan was to use an e-bike, but the lads doing the deliveries on the basic Bullit found it was up to the job without pedelec assistance.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The best longer cycling routes in Germany and Austria? ADFC Quality Routes

The ADFC is, as regular readers of this blog know,  the German cycling club interested in touring and cycle paths rather than the sporting aspects. The Germans are, of course, great classifiers and the ADFC is no exception. It grades cycle routes into 3 classes using the following criteria. This service is not free, the trail organisations pay most of the costs of the assessments. The weighting for the overall rating is shown after each criterium in brackets.
  • Rideabilty: width, current barriers, bollards, steps, hazards (15%)
  • Surface: material, number and distance of sections where it is necessary to push the bicycle, transverse grooves, pot holes (15%)
     Surface is important....

    because this can be the result.
  • Signposting: type, signposts showing the wrong direction, missing lettering, illegible writing, signposting contrary to the Road Traffic Acts (15%)
    Information overload, but who cares?
  • Route: noise, smells, dust, detours, altitude, monotony (5%)
  • Density of motor vehicle traffic: car-free - heavy, dangerous crossings (20%)
  • Tourist infrastructure: accommodation structure, campsites, catering, Bed + Bike accommodation, tourist information office, information boards, bike parking, bicycle box, playgrounds, bad weather shelters, picnic areas, (15%) 
  • Access route to public transport: Frequency of bike carrying long-distance trains with bicycles, Frequency of bike carrying regional public transport with bicycles, bike buses (5%)
    Ferries can also be useful!
  • Marketing: Existing maps and information, website (10%)
In addition the route should have a clear name and/or be well known. This probably means that the “Black Pudding Route” would not be accepted whereas the “Gelsenkirchen Black Pudding Route” would be. On the other hand the Romantic Road would be allowed because the route name has been used since WWII. These rules does not always seem to be taken too seriously.
The nonappearance of routes like the Rhine, a particular favourite of ours does not mean that it cannot meet the standards required. There is probably another more mundane reason for this. The ADFC charges over €800 to check 50km of route, which is cheap in view of what the club delivers. The advice given in their reports can be used as way of improving the routes. The costs to have a longer route checked are quite prohibitive especially in these days of belt tightening by public authorities. The Rhine Cycle Route, for example is 1230km long.
The Five Star Routes
  • River Main (Germany) 600km from Bischofsgrün (Source of the White Main) E of Bayreuth or Creußen (Source of the Red Main) S of Bayreuth – Mainz, confluence with the Rhine).
  • Lake Neusiedler See (Austria, Hungary) SE of Vienna 121.5km, circular
The Four Star Routes
  • Albtäler 187km SE of Stuttgart on the Swabian Alp, circular
  • BahnRadweg Hessen (Railway Cycle Route Hesse) 245km on former railway lines in Middle Hesse ENE of Frankfurt am Main
  • Bischofstour (Bishop's Tour) Havelberg to Wittstock 108km NE of Berlin
  • DahmeRadweg Berlin S to the source of the River Dahme near Kolpen 123km
  • Deutsche Fußballroute NRW (German Football Route North Rhine Westphalia) 800km Aaachen to Münster
  • EmsRadweg (River Ems Cycle Route) 375km from Hövelhof to Emden
  • Fulda-Radweg (River Fulda Cycle Route) Gersfeld to Bad Karlshafen 260km
  • Ilmtal-Radweg (Ilm Valley Cycle Route) 125km, Allzunah am Rennsteig  to Großheringen/Kaatschen-Weichau
  • Kyll-Radweg (Kyll Cycle Route) 130km from Kronenburger See, Dahlem (Bhf.), Losheimer Graben to Trier
  • Lahntal Radweg (Lahn Valley Cycle Route) 244km Netphen (Source of River Lahn) – Lahnstein (Rhine confluence)
  • Märkische Schlössertour (Chateau in the Oder Valley Route) 180km Circular Route SE of Berlin
  • Oderbruchbahn Radweg (Oder Railway Route) 133km from Fürstenwalde through Müncheberg, Seelow to Wriezen, E of Berlin
  • Oder-Neiße-Radweg (Oder Neisse Cycle Route) 628km from Nová Ves near Jablonec (Czech Republic) to Ahlbeck
  • Oder Spree Tour 250km SE of Berlin
  • RegnitzRadweg (River Regnitz Cycleway) 85 Kilometer (Valley), 75 Kilometer (Canal) Nürnberg – Bamberg/Bischber
  • Rhönradweg (Rhön Cycle Route) From Bad Salzungen to Hammelburg, 180km
  • Radrouten Historische Stadtkerne - Route 2... (Cycleway through historic towns and cities) NE of Berlin
  • Ruhrtalradweg (Ruhr Valley Cycle Route) 230km, Winterberg – Duisburg (Confluence with the Rhine)
  • Saar-Radweg (Saar Valley Cycleway) 98 Kilometer, Sarreguemines (Frankreich) through Saarbrücken to Konz (Confluence with the Moselle)
  • Spreeradweg (River Spree Cyclepath) 410 Kilometer, Eibau – Berlin
  • Südschwarzwald-Radweg (Southern Black Forest Cycle Route) 240 Kilometer (+ 69 Kilometer variations) circular route. See this blog 2 March 2013.
  • Tour Brandenburg A cycle tour around the province of Brandenberg. 1111km, Circular Start, for example, in Potsdam, Berlin or Cottbus.
  • Tour de Fries (Friesland Tour) Circular tour from Wilhelmshafen 287km
  • Von Main zu Rhön (From the River Main to the Rhön) 263km Circular
  • Danube Cycle Route 629km Passau to Vienna
  • Drauradweg (Cycle route along River Drau) (Austria) 366km from Toblach/Dobaccio (Italy) to Marburg.
  • Murradweg (Cycle Route in the Mürr Valley) S of Salzburg to Croatia 457km
  • Tauernradweg (Tauern Cycle Route) The route follows the Salzach und Saalach Rivers from Krimml to Passau. 308km
  • Traisental-Radweg (Traisen Valley Cycle Route) Traismauer (Donau) to Mariazell. 111km
Three Star Routes
  • Alte Salzstraße (Old Salt Road) Lübeck to Luneburg 116km
  • D-Route 3 / Europaradweg R1 (D Route 3/European Cycle Route 1) 960km, Vreden – Küstrin-Kietz across Germany from W to E or E to W
  • Fürst-Pückler-Weg (Fürst-Pückler-Cycle Route) 500km, circular route SE of Berlin through the Lausitz
  • Grünroute (Green Route) 358km, Düren – Hasselt (Belgium)
  • Gurkenradweg (Gherkin Cycle Route) 260km through the Spreewald
  • Kohle-Wind & Wasser-Tour (Coal, Wind and Water Tour) 250km circular route SE of Berlin through the Lausitz
  • Die Niederlausitzer Bergbautour (Lower Lausitz Mining Tour) >500km circular around Cottbus
  • Radweg Berlin-Kopenhagen (The Berlin Copenhagen Cycle Route) 648km total, 260km in Denmark
  • Radrouten Historische Stadtkerne - Route 1... (Cycleway through historic towns and cities No. 1) N of Berlin
  • Romantic Road from Würzburg to Füssen
  • Saarland-Radweg (Saarland Cycleway) 362km, Circular route around Saarland
  • Seenland Route 184km in the Lausitz SE of Dresden
  • Der Uckermärkische Radrundweg (Uckermark Route) circular 260km ENE Berlin almost on the Polish border

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Where do I find a bike on a city bicycle hire system

Finding where there are bikes to be picked up on a city bike system with many stations can be difficult. Fortunately someone has written an iPhone App to help you. The good news is it is free. It shows where which stations have how many bikes and if you tell the system which are your nearest or most used stations the phone will automatically display the information when you get close to favourite stations. The app can be used perhaps but not worldwide but in over 80 cities in Europe, in the USA and Canada. Check out for more information.

Cycling on the left

My own feelings are that cyclists prefer to cycle on the left. I am however wondering whether this is true, having seen the London Triathlon this afternoon when the whole cycling route was laid out so that the cycling was on the right. Was this a disadvantage for cyclists for the countries of the world where one cycles on the sensible side of the road?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bike Hire in Freiburg (Black Forest)

At the moment the only shops we can find are:

Radhaus GmbH 
Harry Bieker, Bea Galgoczy 
Münchhofstr. 4 
79106 Freiburg 
Tel. 0761-280832 
UStID DE 142111755 
Amtsgericht Freiburg HRB 4216
Opening Hours : 
Mo-Fr 9.00 to 13.30 und 15.00 to 18.30 
Sa 10.00 to 16.00

Freiburg Bikes
Fernando Schüber
Kandelblickstr. 10
79108 Freiburg
Tel: 07665-9471021

Blog post modified on 11. September 2013

Vienna as a cycling city

Earlier in the year we wrote: "We are hoping to spend some time in Vienna this summer and intend to hire bikes for a few days". We have just returned from Vienna and we must be honest: We failed to fulfil our intention of hiring a velocipede or two to make the odd trip out into the woods and fields around the city. The friends we met there are not cyclists and so we decided that we would shelve our cycling plans in the interests of harmony. However we made some enquiries and kept our eyes open.
The city has 1200km of cycleways, 30 000 bike park racks and over 100 City Bike pickup points. Obviously Vienna is not yet a cyclists' city like Amsterdam or Copenhagen, but it is well on its way. Without being unpatriotic it is farther down this road or cyclepath than London for example. However the city is not as flat as the two forerunners mentioned above.
There is an excellent cycle map available free of charge from the tourist office, which is much better than the general city plan also given out by this organisation. There is a navigation app for cyclists which can be downloaded from the city's cyclist website: (in German, of course). The website also offers a route planner, a list of events and hints for cycling in the city.
Public transport in the city is so good that I think if I l lived in Vienna I would be using this a good deal rather than cycling.
If you are visiting Vienna in the next few weeks, it is worth nipping into the MAK to see an exhibition of classic bicycles called "Tour du Monde". You need to be quick though it closes on 6 October 2013.
Neil discussing cycle routes in the city centre with two touring cyclists.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bike transport by bus in Germany

As we have written before the German Government recently liberalised the long distance bus market and there has been an almost textbook increase in the number of services. The ADAC, the German motor club, and Deutsche Post are offering a joint service from 1 October onwards. The first route will be from Munich to Cologne, via Stuttgart and Mannheim, or Nuremberg and Frankfurt and Bonn. Tickets for the whole route from Munich to Cologne cost from €28. The free luggage allowance is a piece of hand luggage and a hold bag. Extra luggage including bicycles cost €10 per item. The buses take longer than the train, are cheaper and offer free WLAN.

Future services (from 1 November ) are
  • Bremen - Hamburg - Berlin
  • Cologne - Dortmund - Hannover - Berlin 
  • Berlin - Dresden - Leipzig 
  • Frankfurt - Würzburg - Nuremberg - Munich
There is more information on (in German).

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Movelo App

movelo is the largest European provider of electric bicycles in tourist regions with 2,500 electric bikes, 400 rental stations in 40 regions in Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain ... There is more information on, in German but translations are available.
In addition, there is a new movelo app for the iPhone and google phones. This holiday guide  has all the answers during a tour with an electric bicycle in a movelo - region. The information displayed is always up to date and tailored directly to your location even outside of Germany and also works well in Austria and Italy. For example, you can find where to borrow movelo pedelecs or download information on the battery charging stations and/or replacement batteries. In addition, this app includes a route planner, so you can always easily plan your desired route and have the Itinerary in mind. Also the nearest  battery exchange station is displayed constantly.

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