German Bike Planning

Bike Culture

Germany has a real bike culture, which can be seen in a number of ways.

  1. Roads are designed with the bike included equally as one of
    1. Pedestrian
    2. Bike
    3. Slow lane for people leaving trams
    4. Powered traffic (cars, buses etc)
    5. Trams
  2. A vast network of local paths including bike traffic lights and other road furniture
  3. A large network of regional paths with good signage
  4. A good network of national bike paths and routes, again with great signage.


Path Surfaces

As you can see from the photos below, Germany has a fine range of bike surfaces. Of interest to us are the following concepts:

  1. German towns make their residential areas (and often the town centre too) pedestrian and cycle friendly by laying cobbles to slow down vehicles. This tends towards smooth cobbles and pavers but occasionally you will find the larger variable size type which can be tricky if wet.
  2. Watch out for tram lines. If you get your wheels caught when riding beside them you will fall over, but take care even when crossing them if they are wet because they become very slippery.
  3. Within towns the bike path may be indicated by signs but if not can be shown by
    1. smaller cobbles within a large cobble "pavement"
    2. red cobbles within a grey cobble "pavement"
    3. red tarmace within a grey cobble "pavement"
  4. Outside of towns with luck you get
    1. Blacktop (the bottom's friend)
    2. Continious concrete (pretty good)
    3. Closely joined concrete blocks (pretty good)
    4. L shaped and rectangular blocks (not bad)
    5. A concrete "net" normally laid for farm traffic (not good)
    6. Rough land (welcome to the world)

Planning Links

  • German Tourist Information (People tell me this is good but I find it a bit limited.)
  • German Bike Routes - This is the ADFC (automobile association) web site in German and if you use the Google translator it is pretty good for planning.
  • European Bike Routes (EuroVelo) - for the international bike routes.
  • Google is working on a beta version for bike paths as it has in the US. I recommend checking with their pedestrian beta programme at Google Maps Directions.

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