Cycling in Germany

Home Forum Bike Forum Cycling in Germany

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Cycling in Germany
  • Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Are you allowed to cycle on the roads when there’s a cycleway present?

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    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.

    http://bicyclegermany.com/german_laws.htm

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    However given the good standard of the cycleways

    I can take some photos if you like. I’m actually here looking at them with my own eyes, you see. If they looked like I wanted to ride on them then I wouldn’t be asking on here would I?

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    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?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    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.

    Premier Icon bratty
    Subscriber

    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.

    guattang
    Member

    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.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    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 πŸ˜‰

    b r
    Member

    You have taken over your English (or Welsh πŸ™‚ plated car haven’t you?

    Also means you can ignore a few more laws πŸ˜‰

    And get out on the kerb-side when stopping.

    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.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    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.

    http://www.bayerninfo.de/vib/bike/;jsessionid=7731E7ABA28DE70253C51BB8F9A797F5

    Around they can become fireroad type paths out in the countryside, I imagine it will be the same down there.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    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.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    So let me get this straight. If there’s a round blue cycling sign, I MUST use the cyclepath. Otherwise I can use the road.

    So is there a sign for optional cycle paths?

    What about the 15km/h rule (or not) MSP talks about?

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    OK I appear to be wrong about the 15kmh thing, someone mentioned that to me when I first moved over here, but just checking up I can find no reference to it, so best to ignore my ill informed ramblings on that point.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    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.
    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.

    Elbows
    Member

    Molgrips, they actually updated the law end Nov to say that it is not compulsory to ride on the cycle paths. I’m in Augsburg if you want to meet up for a spin.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Lol@msp πŸ™‚

    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 πŸ™‚

    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.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    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.

    I’ve posted examples of german bike path surfaces on bikesberlin.com

    Those surfaces: http://www.bikesberlin.com/discussion/42/german-rural-bike-path-surfaces-in-photos

    Please join Bikes Berlin if you’re interested in cycling in Germany.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Nice πŸ™‚

    Will check out that page later.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)

The topic ‘Cycling in Germany’ is closed to new replies.