Cycling in Germany
I thnk some are compulsory some are advisory
However given the good standard of the cycleways why would you want to ride on the road.
Just ahd a google and found this
If there is a bicycle path, you must use it and not ride on the street or road with traffic.
You don’t actually have to use them, in fact if you are travelling over 15km/h (or could be 20) you should use the road. On a mountain bike or trekking bike I would prefer to be on the paths, but they can get a bit rough for a road bike in places. Round here they are all pretty decent though.
Where in Germany are you?Posted 7 years ago
MSP – Munich. Do you have your information on good authority? I’m more worried about the reactions of other drivers than I am about the local filth, tbh.
I’m planning to commute to work which is 16 miles of open country roads mostly. It’s flat, I’m on the road bike and looking to do it as fast as possible so I don’t really fancy the cyclepaths.Posted 7 years agobrattySubscriber
About 3 years ago i was flagged down by a copper near berlin and grilled as to why I was on the road when a cycle path had just begun next to me. I stood there going ‘I’m British, i had no idea!’. This worked, but i have recently read that you don’t have to use them on a bike. i got the feeling that most germans were under the impression that you had to use them, but apparently this was wrong.
I can’t remember where i read it though.Posted 7 years agoguattangMember
I commute into Munich and started with the same opinion as you … but after a few years found I have got into the habit of using the cycle paths. It’s just easier on a daily basis.
I wouldn’t worry too much about the Polizei – from my experience the worst you’ll get is a ticket for a fixed cost fine. But, yes, you will definitely piss off some drivers if you are on the road where there is also a cycle way.Posted 7 years agoandytherocketeerSubscriber
I always assumed it was compulsory to use path, but that’s probably because of sites like the one TJ linked, and word of mouth. Don’t mind being proven wrong in this case. Path adjacent to road is often more convenient anyway (like bike traffic light go green first). Plus us foreigners can always feign ignorance as a last resort, although I’ve never needed to. Bell helps. Even in the forest. Wakes up the dozy sunday afternoon walkers and nordic walkers with ipods taking up the entire width of the R8 bike path 😉Posted 7 years agosouldrummerMember
Had loads of flak from German drivers when we were on the roads several years back. The cycle lanes were rubbish – either went nowhere near where we wanted, so we ended up riding much further than we needed, or stopped almost as soon as we got on them. Also most were totally unsuitable for road bikes with high pressure tyres. vehicles.Posted 7 years agonilleMember
The law regarding cycle paths in Germany changed in 1997. Since then the use of cycle paths is not compulsary except for paths signed with road signs Z227, Z240 or Z241:
Hope this helps.Posted 7 years ago
souldrummer – Member
Had loads of flak from German drivers when we were on the roads several years back. The cycle lanes were rubbish – either went nowhere near where we wanted, so we ended up riding much further than we needed, or stopped almost as soon as we got on them. Also most were totally unsuitable for road bikes with high pressure tyres. vehicles.
Sounds like you were confusing cycle paths with agricultural tracks.
I find that German drivers are generally more aware of cyclists than their British counterparts, probably because quite a large chunk of the German population actually cycles in one form or another. Unfortunately just as many tools who deliberately try to be as intimidating and dangerous as they can be as in the UK (they all seem to drive the same German made cars in both countries).
You can use this website to plan routes on cyclepaths in Bavaria.
Around they can become fireroad type paths out in the countryside, I imagine it will be the same down there.Posted 7 years ago
Sweet, thanks for the quality info. I am pretty used to holding my own on a bike of course, so I’ll see how it goes. The urban cycleways look terrible around my house, still covered in snow apart from a narrow bit where all the peds walk, but out in the countryside they look ok so I might use them there anyway. The roads on the way to work look a bit on the narrow side.Posted 7 years agohoraMember
Those craaazy-Germans 😆Posted 7 years ago
Oh and as an aside, if the police are having a word with you about your cycling, as long as they are holding their hat or have it tucked under their arm they are being friendly and you still have a chance to talk your way out of whatever misdemeanour’s you have committed.Posted 7 years ago
However if they put their hat on during the conversation, then its getting official and they are considering shooting you, so best to just shut up, nod in agreement and accept a ticket at that point.
Yeah my commute is from the very edge of Munich (Haar) along country roads mostly to Erding which is why I am considering the road rather than the paths – although they are there most of the way it seems.
Elbows – absolutely. Where’s good? Only got the road bike with me currently, although I am planning on going back for an Alpine grade MTB at some point when the snow melts 🙂
When searching for this I did find a fair few articles discussing a (government I think) study that seriously criticised cycleways in Germany and elsewhere, citing a 7 fold increase in accidents for cycleway users compared to road users. The study strongly recommended cycle traffic belonged on the roads. So far, the only cyclists I’ve seen have been bumbling along on the cycle paths utterly carefree, at night without lights or helmet and wearing mostly black. So not surprising there are accidents.Posted 7 years ago
Update: Having Googled this to death with the help of your posts, it transpires that the blue signs indicating mandatory cyclepath usage were only supposed to be deployed in exceptional circumstances by councils when there was some particularly dangerous junction. It IS still compulsory to use cycle lanes where the signs indicate but the landmark ruling to which Elbows refers says that councils must not just spray the signs everywhere to keep cyclists off the roads completely, which they had been doing. So lots of signs are being taken down.
Result.Posted 7 years agowinstonpushbikeMember
I’ve posted examples of german bike path surfaces on bikesberlin.com
Please join Bikes Berlin if you’re interested in cycling in Germany.Posted 6 years ago
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