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

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