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  1. #1
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    Family touring through Germany

    My family (husband, two children and me) is planning a five week cycle tour to Europe next year. Due to its cycling infrastructure and historic interest, we've decided to spend most, if not all, of our time in Germany. However, we do need route suggestions. The problem is that we want to go to Berlin, but we need to fly back to Canada directly out of Frankfurt. We also want to stick, as much as possible, to flattish routes that are cycle-path only, or at least on very low traffic roads. Given that background, my questions are:
    1. Can anyone suggest a route which meets our criteria and which goes from Berlin to Frankfurt? We estimate that 1500 km would be a reasonable distance for the entire trip.
    2. The two routes that we can see that would meet our criteria at this point would be (a) Berlin to Prague, Prague to Vienna, and Vienna to Frankfurt or (b) west from Berlin along the Euroroute 1 to hook up to the Rhine somewhere, then down the Rhine to Frankfurt. Does anyone have an estimate of the distance of these two routes? Or recommendations about which of these routes is preferable (or recommendations for other routes)?
    3. Another thought is that we could fly into Amsterdam, travel down the Rhine to some city in Germany on the northern Rhine, and then take a train to Berlin and back to whatever that city is (then continue down the Rhine towards Frankfurt again after our time in Berlin). I understand from my research that trains in Germany do have bicycle cars but we will be heavily laden (two adult bikes with an attached trailer on each, and two kids' bikes). Would a bike train-car be able to fit our bikes and trailers?
    Thanks so much for any and all advice you can provide.

  2. #2
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    Since I moved to Europe and started reading this forum, I've noticed that it doesn't get much traffic.

    I don't have much experience with cycling in Germany, but I am posting to suggest that you check out the travel diaries at the Crazy Guy on a Bike website, and look specifically for some of the 270 journals about touring in Germany (in whole or in part) that users have posted. In my experience, most of us Crazy Guy users are happy to respond to questions about the places we've toured if our journals don't specifically address what you want to know.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ijsbrand's Avatar
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    The Allgemeiner Deutsche Fahrrad-Club (ADFC) has lots of routes available, with GPS tracks and all. Their site is not very suited for people who don't understand German though.

  4. #4
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    Thank you both -- Brian, I do regularly read Crazy Guy on a Bike journals, but I hadn't actually considered contacting one of the users with specific questions -- good idea.
    Ijsbrand, I'll check out the ADFC site...and maybe start working on my German!

  5. #5
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    Oh, one more thing - the Romantische Straße (Romantic Road) looks like it would be fun. I haven't done it (was considering it this summer, but opted for the Netherlands instead). They have a good web page on the cycle route, with GPS tracks available by email.

  6. #6
    Senior Member djyak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
    Oh, one more thing - the Romantische Straße (Romantic Road) looks like it would be fun. I haven't done it (was considering it this summer, but opted for the Netherlands instead). They have a good web page on the cycle route, with GPS tracks available by email.
    That's one I'm looking at too, after I do the one around the Bodensee to try things out. Really looking forward to both, especially since I live in Stuttgart, not too far for me..

  7. #7
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    If you use google maps to pick your route, you can choose "walking" for most places in Germany and it'll put you on the bike paths. I live about an hour from Frankfurt and can tell you that going village to village here is pretty easy. Camping here is a little different than the US and Canada. And I'm not sure I'd go to Prague with my family on bicycles. I'd stick to Switzerland, Austria and Germany where they know, love, and respect cyclists. You can get on the train with your bicycles. Getting the trailers in will be a pain, but it's possible (especially if you're using BOB trailers.)

  8. #8
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Oh you'll find countless ideal, smooth, level, scenic, carfree paths along gorgeous rivers and through beautiful forests here in Germany. The following routes are highly recommended: Moselle, Tauber, Romantic Road, Danube, Fulda, Weser, Elba, Main... And the Bikeline map books by Esterbauer will provide you with all the maps and info you need. Most are in German, but the text is secondary to the unsurpassed maps and other info such as campground / hotels phone numbers and addresses.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorian View Post
    ...
    3. Another thought is that we could fly into Amsterdam, travel down the Rhine to some city in Germany on the northern Rhine, and then take a train to Berlin and back to whatever that city is (then continue down the Rhine towards Frankfurt again after our time in Berlin). ...
    If you go for the Dutch option, check the website of Vrienden op de Fiets. It is very interesting because of its correctly priced accomodation. Even in Germany, but mostly close to the border with the Netherlands, there are a lot of hosts.
    59 cycle tracks along towpaths of rivers and canals and on former railway tracks in Belgium, and along the border regions of France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg with Belgium>> http://www.bikely.com/listpaths/by/fietslogies

  11. #11
    Senior Member djyak's Avatar
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    The one thing I've learned about touring in Europe, especially Germany, is you don't have to cook your food at the campground if you don't want too. Most, if not all, have a restaraunt right on site. Nice and easy to take a break from the day over some biers!

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