Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Question about Rhine Cycle Route

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Question about Rhine Cycle Route

Old 05-29-17, 07:13 AM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Question about Rhine Cycle Route

Hello all, I am new to the forums

I am planning to cycle along the (whole) Rhine river next year. As I have never been on a long biking trip, I started planning now so I have more time to prepare. The route I plan to take is the so-called Rhine Cycle Route / EuroVelo15 route, which is from Andermatt in the Alps to Hoek van Holland in Holland! I plan to make it a month-long vacation so I can enjoy the towns and scenery on the way, aiming at around 60 - 90 km per day.

During the initial planning phase, I found that there are two ways to cover the route: from the source of the river to the sea (the default route according to EuroVelo), and from the sea to the source. Both have the pros and cons:
  • I believe I can only do the trip in May and June. If I start in Switzerland, the snow may not have melted by the end of May, and I may have to skip a beautiful section.
  • People say that the sea breeze in Holland would be a hindrance, so it may be better to start at Holland.
  • But, if I start at Holland, the feeling may be weird. I would watch the river shrink gradually and climb over its waterfalls, instead of riding downstream and seeing the river expand and branch off. Feels a bit unnatural.
  • A little bit worried about doing the first section in reverse if I start in Holland, i.e. I have to climb up around 1000 m over the Alpine pass.
  • Since I have been to Switzerland before, it may be better to finish at Hoek van Holland, so I can use any remaining backup time to explore Holland instead of a country I have been to.

Please help me by giving some advice as to what you think about this thank you very much!

P.S. Posted in this forum section since I found several other threads about this route was posted in Touring.
DLee is offline  
Old 05-29-17, 07:53 AM
  #2  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,355 Times in 862 Posts
Probably a lot has changed when I rode along the levee road on the east bank of the Rhine, north from Basel towards Freiburg..

in 1988.. I had started in Bern, after taking the train to get to the CH capital.

I am a map lover..




...
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-29-17, 08:37 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Stadjer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Groningen
Posts: 1,308

Bikes: Gazelle rod brakes, Batavus compact, Peugeot hybrid

Mentioned: 85 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5970 Post(s)
Liked 954 Times in 728 Posts
Originally Posted by DLee
  • A little bit worried about doing the first section in reverse if I start in Holland, i.e. I have to climb up around 1000 m over the Alpine pass.
Not just that pass, if you're going from Holland to Switzerland it would be an uphill route instead of a downhill route. With an altitude difference from 3500m(?) to 8m below sealevel that would be a no-brainer for me personally, but I don't like to sweat.

Going downhill might save you the energy to take a detour around the Ruhr-area, which is a large and densily populated heavy industry area, and the urbanized 100 km west from Hoek van Holland isn't the most pretty either.
Stadjer is offline  
Old 05-29-17, 08:53 AM
  #4  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: NB, NL
Posts: 265

Bikes: 90's Trek 800 Sport, setup for Fully Loaded Touring

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 155 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 32 Posts
Well, I'm not long back from almost that trip. I arrived in Switzerland April 26 and there was no way to get to Andermatt - still snowed in!
So I started in Bern, did a lap of the Bodensee/Lake Constance and then followed the river north. At the far end of the lake, I met a local who lived 15 minutes away in the direction of the Rhine and they had a foot of snow the day before!

So, yes, starting in Switzerland may pose some problems. If your heart is set on it then plan for it. Worst case scenario, you don't get to start at the very source. (By the way, to get to the actual source you have to get off your bike and hike a good 3-4 hours....and back!)

On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with starting from Holland. Sea wind? It will blow you as you start your journey :-) The river is big enough and wide enough for so long that you won't see it getting smaller for a long, long time!
But, yeah, you will have some climbing to do at the end! (Or catch a train - they are all set up to take bikes).

A couple of thoughts.....
There are at least 3 routes through Holland, 2 of which (I think) are technically not the Rhine!
From the Dutch border to Cologne there is a fair amount of heavy industry which means diversions from the River. Also the signs are pretty hard to follow here!
From Cologne to Mainz is just beautiful! Simply beautiful! Pretty much all along the bank of the river. But this will be busy at that time of the year.
South of Mainz both sides take you away from the river.
South of Strasbourg is well away from the river and again lots of industry.
Lake Constance is beautiful.
Beyond that, I didn't get to travel.

If cycling along a riverbank is your thing, consider also the Danube. That is all along the river.

Enjoy!
HobbesOnTour is offline  
Old 05-29-17, 09:07 AM
  #5  
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,152

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3203 Post(s)
Liked 596 Times in 329 Posts
Just heading to bed now, but this is where I talk about the half of that trip that Rowan and I did in 2012 ...
Charlene Barach (Machka) - 2012 Round the World Tour

(Scroll down ... I don't know what's become of my banner)
Machka is offline  
Old 05-29-17, 11:32 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Stadjer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Groningen
Posts: 1,308

Bikes: Gazelle rod brakes, Batavus compact, Peugeot hybrid

Mentioned: 85 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5970 Post(s)
Liked 954 Times in 728 Posts
Originally Posted by HobbesOnTour
There are at least 3 routes through Holland, 2 of which (I think) are technically not the Rhine!
Basically The Netherlands is the Rhine estuary, less than 5km after the border it starts splitting up. First in the Nether Rhine, the Waal and the IJssel, but after that it gets really complicated with the Merwedes (the lower Merwede, the upper Merwede and the new Merwede) and the Lek, the Meuse joining in, there's the Old Rhine, the New Rhine, the Leidse Rhine, Curved Rhine and of course canals to connect a few of them. So if you're cycling next to streaming water between the German border and the North Sea, it's highely likely a substantial part of that water has come a long way from Switzerland. There just not much a big wide Rhine left after Arnhem.
Stadjer is offline  
Old 05-29-17, 03:43 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
jefnvk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Metro Detroit/AA
Posts: 8,207

Bikes: 2016 Novara Mazama

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3640 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 51 Posts
North Sea breeze isn't horrible. Stiff, and omnipresent, but countered by relatively flat, easy riding. I wouldn't let the last couple days it may affect you really decide the direction of your trip.
jefnvk is offline  
Old 05-31-17, 07:36 AM
  #8  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the advice! Starting from Holland doesn't sound so bad now. Still a bit concerned about doing the first section (which should be a down-slope route from the Alps) in reverse - I did some calculations, the average slope for the extra ascent is 1.6% over 50 km on the route. Any more advice concerned cycling in this area (i.e. Chur to Oberalp) would be appreciated!
DLee is offline  
Old 05-31-17, 08:46 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,487
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1182 Post(s)
Liked 831 Times in 434 Posts
My wife and I rode most of the Rhine Route as part of our route on a 2011 tour, and as part of another tour we did the section from Mainz to Cologne again. The second time through that section was just as nice or better as the first trip; it was raining the first time We headed into The Netherlands at Nijmegen, and then took a circuitous route to Amsterdam. Going through the Rotterdam area did not seem very appealing.

I would suggest the west side of the Rhine. It seemed to be less industrialized than the eastern route. We were riding through Switzerland and connected with the Rhine route in Waldshut. Germany.

1.6% over 50 k is not very bad for climbing, about 870 m. However, there are likely to be some short steep pitches

Last edited by Doug64; 05-31-17 at 12:09 PM.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 05-31-17, 12:04 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,487
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1182 Post(s)
Liked 831 Times in 434 Posts
Originally Posted by HobbesOnTour
.

If cycling along a riverbank is your thing, consider also the Danube. That is all along the river.

Enjoy!
The Main River Route starting near the Czech Republic/ German border to Mainz is also a really nice route. It ties in nicely with the Rhine.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 05-31-17, 12:16 PM
  #11  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,355 Times in 862 Posts
There is a canal on the Main which lets ships transit to the Danube, from the Rhine,
so you can go from the atlantic at Rotterdam, to the Black sea via the Danube Delta

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhine%...93Danube_Canal

Offering the possibility to ride one way and take a Cruise boat back.. in some luxury.






....
fietsbob is offline  
Old 06-06-17, 09:03 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: New York and Florida
Posts: 250

Bikes: Surly LHT, Trek 2100, Trek 7000 (1995 or so) Trek 7000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Regarding the Rhine Route. I rode from Heidelberg, DE to Chur last year. That portion of the tour was flat until I passed Basel, then I rode to Konstanz and eventually made it to Chur, where I stopped riding and returned to Heidelberg by train. People I met in Chur told me that the road from Chur to Andermatt gets progressively steeper, and of course right after that you have a mountain pass of some standing.

A few days after returning to Heidelberg, I took my motorcycle to Chur and then rode into Andermatt on the Rhine Route and on over the pass. I doubt I could have made that part of the trip on a loaded touring bike, but I am not very good at any climbing at all.

If you can leave later in the year (July) I would recommend riding from Andermatt back to Holland.

Frankly, most of the Rhine Route through Germany was pretty plain, not the scenic wonderland that is Switzerland.
lhendrick is offline  
Old 06-11-17, 10:17 PM
  #13  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for sharing your experience lhendrick.
Can you comment on the difficult of the section from Chur up to Disentis? I know that the Oberalp pass will be difficult, and have backup plans to take the train in case it gets too steep.
DLee is offline  
Old 06-18-17, 06:37 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: New York and Florida
Posts: 250

Bikes: Surly LHT, Trek 2100, Trek 7000 (1995 or so) Trek 7000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
DLee, sorry, but I turned back at Chur and returned to Heidelberg. I did ride my motorcycle from Chur to Andermatt. I'm glad I had a motor!
lhendrick is offline  
Old 06-19-17, 02:23 PM
  #15  
Full Member
 
geoffs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sydney
Posts: 322

Bikes: Co-Motion Mocha Co-pilot, Habanero custom commuter, Seven Axiom SL, Seven Axiom SLX, Blom Track

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 79 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
We're doing the eurovelo route 15 at the moment and we are in Koblenz today heading towards Rotterdam. We started in Andermatt on June4 and the weather was cold and wet. We were very glad we had disc brakes on the way down Oberalpass. Scenery was great but as we're staying in Hotels and not camping Switzerland is ridiculously expensive. When we crossed into Germany food and accommodation were less than half the cost. It was nice to see but we won't be going back there in a hurry. Drivers were aggressive and each day we had at least one close pass when the route ended up on the road.
The route is generally well signposted although we have had some issues getting out of the larger towns like Basel and Mannheim. Drivers are much better in Germany. Everyone has been extremely courteous. We're going all the way to Rotterdam as there's lots to see there. We will still have a week to go before being back in Amsterdam so we're going to do a bit of wandering through Belgium. If you need more specific info just ask.
geoffs is offline  
Old 06-19-17, 02:30 PM
  #16  
Full Member
 
geoffs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sydney
Posts: 322

Bikes: Co-Motion Mocha Co-pilot, Habanero custom commuter, Seven Axiom SL, Seven Axiom SLX, Blom Track

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 79 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
https://www.relive.cc/view/1022407012

https://www.relive.cc/view/1044092160
geoffs is offline  
Old 06-21-17, 03:18 PM
  #17  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi,
Last year we my wife and me cycled from Chur (Switzerland) to Strasbourg with our two kids (3,5 and 6) along the Rhine. We made around 500 km in 20 days. For this summer (August) we are planning to continue cycling the same river for the same distance, but we are wondering where to start.
  • One possibility is from Strasbourg ahead, by I’ve heard is a bit boring between Strasbourg and Karlsruhe.
  • The second possibility is to start around Koblenz and finisht in the sea (Netherland), but maybe is too long. And maybe no much camp sites in Netherland
  • The third possibility is to cycle from Mainz to Duisburg (about 300 km). We found there are camp sites and swmming pool every 15-20 km.
We would like suggestion and experiences about which part of the all route are nice or very nice, boring, busy,….etc. Do you know if there are any funfair in any of the cities we will pass through.


What is your experience geoffs and advice geoffs?



Thanks in advance
asiermila is offline  
Old 06-23-17, 09:33 AM
  #18  
Full Member
 
geoffs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sydney
Posts: 322

Bikes: Co-Motion Mocha Co-pilot, Habanero custom commuter, Seven Axiom SL, Seven Axiom SLX, Blom Track

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 79 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Hi asiermila

From Koblenz we rode to Bad Hannof and there to Düsseldorf, Wesel and we are now in Nijmegen.
The ride to Bad Hannof was good and we stopped at Koln for a bit of a look around
https://www.relive.cc/view/1047330867 The ride into Düsseldorf was poorly signposted and it took us over an hour to do the last 10kms. Carl platz area is full of restaurants and it's a good spot to look around.
The ride from Düsseldorf to Wesel was painful with non existent signage and rundown suburbia that went on forever.
I would never ride this section again and would take the train instead. Duisburg seems to stretch on for about 40kms.
https://www.relive.cc/view/1048797024
Today's ride from Wesel to Nijmegen has been lovely. Back in the countryside, riding along the Rhein again and well signposted
Wasn't really watching for any funfairs but there are loads of ice cream shops to keep the kids happy:-)
The ride from Mainz to Koblenz is worth spending a few days doing if you have the time as there are so many things to see. We have never seen so many castles so close together. It's as if there was a buy one, get one free special with lots of my towers bigger than yours going on as well
Hope this helps
geoffs is offline  
Old 06-23-17, 10:23 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,487
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1182 Post(s)
Liked 831 Times in 434 Posts
Originally Posted by geoffs
Hi asiermila

From Koblenz we rode to Bad Hannof and there to Düsseldorf, Wesel and we are now in Nijmegen.
The ride to Bad Hannof was good and we stopped at Koln for a bit of a look around
https://www.relive.cc/view/1047330867 The ride into Düsseldorf was poorly signposted and it took us over an hour to do the last 10kms. Carl platz area is full of restaurants and it's a good spot to look around.
The ride from Düsseldorf to Wesel was painful with non existent signage and rundown suburbia that went on forever.
I would never ride this section again and would take the train instead. Duisburg seems to stretch on for about 40kms.
https://www.relive.cc/view/1048797024
Today's ride from Wesel to Nijmegen has been lovely. Back in the countryside, riding along the Rhein again and well signposted
Wasn't really watching for any funfairs but there are loads of ice cream shops to keep the kids happy:-)
The ride from Mainz to Koblenz is worth spending a few days doing if you have the time as there are so many things to see. We have never seen so many castles so close together. It's as if there was a buy one, get one free special with lots of my towers bigger than yours going on as well
Hope this helps
Check out the Velo Museum in Nijmegem.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 06-23-17, 03:24 PM
  #20  
Full Member
 
geoffs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sydney
Posts: 322

Bikes: Co-Motion Mocha Co-pilot, Habanero custom commuter, Seven Axiom SL, Seven Axiom SLX, Blom Track

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 79 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Will do. Thanks for the tip as we didn't know there was one here.
We spent ages looking at the Techno museum at Mannheim which is celebrating 200 years of cycling
geoffs is offline  
Old 06-23-17, 05:28 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,487
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1182 Post(s)
Liked 831 Times in 434 Posts
Originally Posted by geoffs
Will do. Thanks for the tip as we didn't know there was one here.
We spent ages looking at the Techno museum at Mannheim which is celebrating 200 years of cycling
We found it looking for a bike shop

I had a pretty funny incident there, and it made my day. My wife and I were still in our bike clothes as we toured through the museum. As I passed a pretty young woman she said in English, "you have really nice legs." When I said "thank you" she got all embarrassed and flustered. I thought my wife, who was just around the corner, was going to split a gut because she was laughing so hard. My wife still kids me about it, but also agrees

Last edited by Doug64; 06-23-17 at 08:51 PM.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 06-24-17, 01:15 AM
  #22  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Geoff, Thank you for you message. So, from your experience, I conclude we may should stop in Dusseldorf. How is cycling around Koln and Bonn? Easy, nice? How was the riding after Koblenz?

We may start before Mainz, probably in Speyer. We wonder what to do when we reach Koblenz, weather to follow the Rhine river or follow the Mossele river.

Thank you very much again.
asiermila is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
indyfabz
Touring
12
08-22-16 07:46 AM
bastian
Touring
18
06-06-13 10:48 AM
concentriq
Touring
4
02-26-13 06:11 PM
reed523
Northeast
46
06-19-11 06:34 PM
jscotkey
Touring
2
05-13-10 05:42 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.