Friday, July 28, 2017


Recently I have come across three examples of bikes that in my opinion are not fit for purpose as touring and commuter bikes: two hire bikes used by a pair of US Americans in Scotland; a bike offered as a prize in competition to celebrate 200 years of the bicycle and "The bicycle of the week" in a British Sunday newspaper. I checked the bicycles of the week feature and realised that over 90% of the bicycles shown were without mudguards although they were intended to be used for commuting and/or touring. I am sorry to tell you this but in Britain it rains a lot, not as much as is popularly thought, but one can normally reckon with wet roads from time to time even in summer. Your tyres will then spray mucky water at you and your bike. If you are a fair weather commuter or tourist, or even just use your bike as a fitness machine then a bike without mudguards does give you a sportier image, but if you are going to use your bike as a means of transport then think seriously about mudguards.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Booking a touring holiday in Franconia, for example or in the far east of Germany

Where do you start planning a cycling  holiday in Germany? You can, of course, fly to say Friedrichshafen and then follow the Rhine to the Dutch border finding your finding your overnight accommodation as you drift downstream. This is not a problem if you are in a small group and you start to look for your acommodation at around 4pm.
If you would like to get off the beaten track or you are worried about your lack of German, then check out the offers such as:
Those shown on on the River Main between Bamberg and Aschaffenburg. This self-guided pre-booked trip costs 519€ pp for 8 nights with breakfast. Contrary to what "The Guardian" writes restaurant meals in Germany are less than in the UK.
The Fürst-Pückler Weg - 500km through Eastern Germany. This self-guided pre-booked trip costs 659€ pp for 10 nights with breakfast. 
The Spreewaldradweg - 420km through Eastern Germany. This self-guided pre-booked trip costs 399€ for 6 nights with breakfast.You end up on the edge of Berlin and could then spend a day or two there and follow the route round the wall, the former border with the DDR. The website is and it is in English.

Friday, July 14, 2017

MTB Trans-Odenwald Tour

Follow in the footsteps of Wagner's heroes like "Siegfried - The Killer of Dragons" on a mountain bike rather than a horse. How do carry your sword? We are not mountain bikers, preferring to use map reading and thinking to avoid hills. This trip is on offer by one of the bike shops in Lorsch, south of Frankfurt am Main. It should be possible to fly out on an early morning flight to Frankfurt International and followed by a train to Lorsch to reach there in time to join the group. You will experience the Odenwald, one of the German middle sized mountainous or hilly areas. From Lorsch in the Rhine Valley, you cross the Odenwald almost to the Bavarian border and back across the Neckar to Lorsch. The bike shop organises the hotels, baggage transport, the sag waggon and offers technical support. The ice cream shops in Lorsch are something else. After your ice you can catch an evening flight back to Britain to go into work on Monday morning.
The requirements:The trip is only really suitable for fit, technically competent mountain bikers, but you can cheat by using a MTB e-bike. The trip is four consecutive days with a total of about 230 km and 4,000 m. Bike hire is also a possibility.If you are interested drop the organisers an email under info(at)odenwaldbike(dot)de.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Radweg Deutsche Einheit - German Reunification Cycle Trail

The Radweg Deutsche Einheit - German Reunification Cycle Trail was initiated in 2015 by the German Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Alexander Dobrindt. It runs from the previous capital, Bonn, the "Bundeshauptdorf" - "Federal Village" as it was known, to the present capital Berlin. It is designed to show how reunification was achieved and what has happened in the 25 years since. Unlike most German cycle routes which are planned by a province, sometime acting together with another province, this was the work of the federal government. It is about 1100km long and offering some climbing as it does not follow a river like many of the major German cycle routes. Perhaps because of this plans are in place to install e-bike charging points at the stopping points near the 100 or so highlights en route. These stopping points "Radstätte" offer information, free WLAN, charging points not only for for  e-bikes and mobiles, digital information vis touch pads, bike racks and, in some cases, baggage lockers. Much more information can be found under, in German only unfortunately.

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