Archive for October, 2014

Bikes everywhere!

As cities around New Zealand are working hard to create safer cycle ways to encourage a more frequent use of bikes, a national project has also recently been completed: a cycle road network along which to safely discover the beauty of New Zealand’s country-, mountain- and beach side. At Sidetracks we have now added a cycle tour around the South Island to accommodate our push bike addicts from overseas and thought that pedal friends here in New Zealand might also be interested in finding out what cycling in Germany is like.

bike and basketEuropean bike culture

Central Europe has a long-standing tradition of using your push bike on a daily basis. I can vividly remember carefully placing my Sprudelkasten (deposit refund crate, like Tui used to do it) into the back basket and shouldering my back pack while having a shopping bag hanging off each handle bar to do my weekly shop! Not to mention putting on the wet weather gear to get ready for my ride to work. One winter it was so cold that I had small icicles hanging from my beaver hat!paar auf rad (2)

Bike first

And even though a car is the preferred option in bad weather, common practice is using the bike first. And it is easy: for example a dedicated cycle path running parallel, but separate, to the railway line through allotments and along private gardens. There is nothing quite like getting the body pumped full of fresh air and energy by a leisurely trip. Occasionally one would have to cross a road, but not until one is in the centre of town. And in most town centres there are dedicated cycle lanes to guide one safely through traffic. fahrrad garageOnce at your destination it used to be a worry where and how to park your trusty Pedalo but clever business people and communities have established parking houses, in some cases even with service stations with dedicated bike mechanics! No more worrying if at the end of a hard day at work you will find your bike in its old parking spot. And that is just the daily side of it.

Leisure time

In Germany, just as in New Zealand, you will find the absolute cycle enthusiasts, who consider spending long hours in the saddle a perfect way to spend a weekend. But, within this group you will find a bigger range of fitness levels: from leisurely ambling along natural pathways or artificial walkways to competitive racing over mountains. There’s even a website called QuaelDich (“torture yourself”) for those who want to really challenge themselves. But for the more relaxed type each community has notice boards, online nowadays, where you can find easy and picturesque tours safely taking you through country and city alike.girl-14301_640

Saddle up with Sidetracks

Inspired by our recent addition for our New Zealand program we’re looking forward to bringing Germany on Wheels to our friends from down under. Keep your eyes peeled for more updates or contact us directly!

Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

Read Full Post »