Sunday, March 02, 2014

Preview SPEZI Special Bicycle Show Germersheim 2014

It is SPEZI time again on 26 and 27 April 2014. SPEZI, the Special Bike Show held in the Stadthalle, (City Hall) Gemersheim, Rhineland Palatinate, Germany is the worlds biggest folder, trike, recumbent, velomobile, tandem exhibition.There will be about 100 exhibitors from twelve countries and 10,000 visitors from over 20 countries are expected. Admittedly most of these are German, but in addition there are six US, four Czech and eight Dutch companies exhibiting. There are lectures in German or English on Saturday and Sunday in the basement of Hall 3. The opening times are between 10.00 and 18.00. Admission: 9.50 € (adults),  7.50 € (reduced), 19.00 € (family). The admission price includes an exhibition catalogue.

We live about 50km away from Germersheim. It is an easy one and a half hour journey by train and Brompton. We have often been over the years. The photographs we have taken show the development of exhibition. Originally it was in two halls. There was space in 2003 to show off one's own bike on the paved area in front of the Stadthalle riding round and round in circles:

This space is now used for the outdoor exhibition, where some even more unusual bikes are to be seen: 
A mobile beer stand based on a pedelec trike. Unfortunately in spite of the heat the beer was not for sale.

A sail bike?

One solution to the problem of taking a child with you and making sure that they work.

In 2003 the stands were often just a collection of bikes put together:
A Danish cargo bike.
It was great fun, albeit slightly chaotic, but very enthusiastic. This spirit still lives on even though the stands are more professional theses days:
You can still talk to design and construction staff with the object you wish to talk about in front of you. Makes life a lot easier. There are two test areas where you can practise on a range of bikes and trikes. You'll need your passport and an entry ticket to gain admission to the test area. In addition you will need patience. Bike/trike testing is a very popular activity.

Getting there by bike, trike or quad cycle.

Dead easy! The Rhine cycle route (Vélo Rhin) on the left bank of the river leads directly to Germersheim: northwards from Karlsruhe / Wörth / France and southwards from Speyer / Ludwigshafen. (This is covered in our new Rhine Two cycling guide 8.99€ from Amazon and Smashwords. It is due out shortly.) You don't have to take a Brompton, but it is amazing to see so many of them gathered together.

Public Transport

There are excellent bike carrying rail links (S-Bahn) from Bruchsal, Karlsruhe, Speyer, Ludwigshafen, Mannheim and Heidelberg. The railway station is quarter of an hours walk away from the Stadthalle. The route is signposted or you download a town plan from the SPEZI website ( Normally you can hitch a lift on a seven or eight person tandem trike, but you are expected to pedal.

Getting to Germersheim.

You can take high speed trains from London via Paris or Brussels to Mannheim or Karlsruhe or if you must you can fly to Frankfurt, Hahn, Stuttgart or Karlsruhe-Baden-Baden airports.


Although it might be difficult to find accommodation in Germersheim itself, there should be no problem finding somewhere to stop in Speyer, Karlsruhe and Heidelberg. Contact the Tourist Office in Germersheim ( The southern part of the Palatinate (Südpfalz) is great place for touring by bicycle or tricycle with many kilometres of signposted cycle routes, vineyards and quaint little villages. Germersheim was fortified in the 19th century to protect Germany's borders against the French. The fortifications were partly demolished under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles in the 1920s, but there are still a number of interesting buildings in the town.

Eating at SPEZI

Unlike the major exhibitions like the Frankfurt Book Fair, where you pay an arm and a leg for your cup of coffee etc., you can leave the halls here to go and eat in the town. There is no need however, there is an excellent restaurant (by Hall 2) and a snack bar (in the basement) in the Stadthalle.

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