Why Cycling in Germany is “Für Alle”
Cycling in Germany – A Lifestyle Choice for Many Germans.
In Germany, cycling is the main form of transportation for many people. Come rain or shine, day or night, from business suits to everyday clothes, to long dresses or skinny jeans and all manner of footwear (even bare feet) many Germans choose to cycle – and that means everywhere .
From the Earliest Age
Children in Germany become acquainted with bikes at a very young age. Practically before they can walk, toddlers can be seen scooting around on pedal-free wooden bike-like constructions known literally as a “run wheel” in German. Cycling and traffic rules continue to be encouraged throughout their earliest education.
Stay in (and out of) Lane
There is a vast number of dedicated cycle lanes in German cities, for which many German cyclists take the cycling laws/etiquette very seriously. If you are a pedestrian, walk in a cycle path at your peril – you run the risk of being bombarded with the noise of bells or getting yelled at.
Münster in north-western Germany was recently named the country’s most bike-friendly city, according to a poll of over 100,000 cyclists by German Cycling Club ADFC. Karlsruhe and Freiburg came in second and third, respectively.
Germany is strewn with an extensive network of cycling paths. They lead bikers into woods (like the Bavarian Forest), urban jungles (like the cycling “Autobahn” across the Ruhr region), and through wine region delights, like the Mosel Valley.
Sunday = Cycling
When the first rays of spring sun make their grand appearance, flocks of bike riders take to their local paths. If you look carefully, you might spot a small phenomenon: An abundance of elderly couples with matching cycling shirts and his-and-her bicycles. The sight is enough to make anyone fall in love again.
Cycling in Germany is a serious business, especially when it comes to deciding what to wear. Many German cyclists make a point of, and spare no expense in, “looking the part”.
Cycling in Germany is a legitimate means of transportation, and it is perfectly acceptable to utilize a small motor to get you from A to B, particularly if your daily commute involves a few hills.
Carry on Cycling
In Germany, it is permitted to bring your bike on trams and trains (with a special ticket). Space though on public transport can be limited, so many Germans choose to use foldable bikes – they take up less space and keep fellow passengers happy.