How to travel by bike

Even if the trip by bike is one of the most flexible ways of travelling, a little preparation is still necessary for the big tour. So much in advance: You don’t have to have taken part in the Tour de France to explore Europe by bike.

The bike

Of course, your bike is your most important companion on a bike tour. It doesn’t always have to be a professional bike, even on longer tours lasting a few days. There are many well-developed cycle paths in Germany and its neighboring countries. The gradients are also mostly manageable and can often be easily mastered with your home city or trekking bike.

It is important that the bike is roadworthy. So that lighting, brakes and gears work perfectly. Especially before longer tours, it is advisable to have everything checked again in a bicycle workshop. Completely new bikes should also be broken in extensively before you go on a big tour.

If the tour is going to last several weeks, a touring bike is a good idea. These bikes are designed to carry a lot of luggage and withstand high loads. But they often cost several thousand euros. However, such bikes can also be hired.

Anyone who, like almost half of all cycle tourists, is on the road with electric support should consider charging options on the way. If the engine fails, an e-bike can be so heavy that the daily workload is no longer manageable. The bikes can often be charged at bicycle shops or cafés. If in doubt, a spare battery is advisable.

Tour planning

In the digital age, the guided cycle tourism of the past. A good 90 percent of all cycle tours are planned on your own these days. With apps like komoot – a kind of social network for cycling and hiking routes – this is also child’s play.

Beschilderung am Weserradweg: Gerade Anfänger verlassen sich am besten auf die Beschilderung am Radeweg.

Signposting on the Weser Cycle Path: Beginners in particular are best advised to rely on the signposting on the cycle path. (Source: imagebroker/imago-images-pictures)

Long-distance cycle paths are particularly suitable for travelling . They are off the busy roads and are usually well signposted. The Elbe Cycle Route, the Weser Cycle Route and the Baltic Coast Cycle Route are among the most popular cycle routes in Germany. Austria is now the most popular destination for Germans abroad.

Divide the tour into daily stages. It is important not to overdo it on the routes, after all a bike tour should also offer relaxation. But don’t underestimate yourself either. Even for inexperienced drivers kilometers and more per day are quite realistic. In any case, listen to the signals your body is giving you.

Overnight stays

At this point opinions differ. Some want to be as close to nature as possible and ideally spend the night under the open sky. The others like it more comfortable and stay in hotels or guesthouses.

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