Germany and Tyres

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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clouchi
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:46 pm

by clouchi

Do you have to ride on cycle paths in germany? I was recently told off by a policeman for riding on the road when there was an asphalt bike lane running parallel to the road. This was in the countryside. I don't mind riding on them as they are good quality, but some involve crossing sandy paths etc, and maybe crossing the road to get to them. There is also the bumping on and off curbs to consider. I also do ot like riding through villages on pavements at training speed.

So do I have to ride on every available cycle path?

And so do I have to factor in this when choosing my next tires?

by Weenie


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drjones96
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by drjones96

There aren't too many bike lanes here in FTW and when I see them available it's a great joy to be able to ride them. I don't have to deal with riding on the same lane as high speed traffic. So I don't really understand your problem I guess.

About the tires (or tyres):

I sometimes ride some seriously mangled roads (even gravel) on a set of 23mm GP3000's and have been fortunate enough to not have had more than a couple of flats in the past 2-2 1/2 years. I don't see the problem but then I haven't ridden your specific area you're refering to.

Kasparz
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by Kasparz

If you're riding at 30-40km/h, then bike lanes aren't good idea. Old ladies, small kids with bikes, you know, they're more dangerous than trucks on road.

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jay cee
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by jay cee

For me it depends on what day it is. If it's a weekend, I dont bother with cycle paths, to many old grannies and grandads and little kids riding all over the place.
I've never been told off by a policeman for riding on the road. All though a few car drivers have yelled at me for riding on the roads and not the paths...

I agree, some of the paths are like pebbles to ride on, and not perfect for your training, unless you're training for Paris - Roubaix of course.
J EURO

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LJ
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by LJ

Its the junctions at roads that present problems as well. Riding along on the main road wouldnt require you to stop, however in the bike lane you would. Hit a town and the junctions are all over the place.

I was particulary shocked at the abuse from lorry and car drivers when I rode on the main carriageways in Germany.

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drjones96
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by drjones96

I guess slow riders could be irritating. Sometimes I see runners in the bike paths around here and that bugs me. Especially when they are running toward me instead of in the same direction. It's silly. Here in the US they tell kids and people to run/ride their bikes in the opposing direction to traffic. But all bike laws state that we must ride with the flow of traffic.

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jay cee
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by jay cee

LJ wrote:
I was particulary shocked at the abuse from lorry and car drivers when I rode on the main carriageways in Germany.


i thrive on it... :wink:
J EURO

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martin
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by martin

To answer the question fully, bike paths in germany are mandatory to use when they have one of these signs attached to them:

ImageImageImage

AND

it runs alongside a road (Strassenbegleitend) - meaning you are not required to follow it when it decides in midway it would rather lead to a different village.

Then there's the aspect of the "usability" of the bike path. Technically, a cyclist is not required zo use a bike path unfit to use. As this is subject to opinion, your's might vary from that of the policeman what bike path is usable and what isnt, so its up to the judges. (procedere as follows: Policeman tickets you, you appeal against it, matter goes to court). So far, accepted reasons for not using one have been glass splinters, snow, sudden ending in the middle of nowhere, no way of getting on it in the first place, and parked cars. The fact that you would have to ride at a very reduced speed due to bad condition of the lane is typically *not* a valid reason.

Unfortunately, no exception for racers in training exists. LJ is right, it has been proven by official counting that as a cyclist you have a better chance to be involved in an accident when you use them, between 3 and 9 times. (the police authorities draw the consequences out of that and stopped taking count).

On the positive side, most policemen will just send you on the lane and will not ticket you - but remember they could.
Also, don't be surprised when the typical german motorist tries to show you how dangerous it is what you're doing by putting you in more danger, like overtaking you very narrowly, or honking the horn wildly. If the first happens, notificate the fella to the authorities as this fulfills the crime of " endangering the traffic", which has hefty fines to it up to 1 year in jail.
If the latter happens, don't give the guy the finger, but act as if he was a dear lost friend and wave friendly. Not only is that cheaper, but also it annoys them no end :)

Despite all that, cycling in germany, as in all countries with a very dense population, can be very safe and fun, if you know which roads to use and which not to :)


Tire choice: Standard racing tires do it for most of us. No reason to yank out the knobby 32mm tires... this is neither Afghanistan, nor the cobbles of Ahrenberg...
Last edited by martin on Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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clouchi
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:46 pm

by clouchi

I have had some nice rides in Germany. It is just a bit of a struggle to get used to the cycling rules there.

But as for cobbles, have to ridden in the old East? :D

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strobbekoen
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by strobbekoen

The problem with bike paths is that they are always made to fit around the roads the cars use as most of them were built long after the roads. This usually means a) lower quality road surface b) you often have to cross roads c) need 4 pair of eyes at roundabouts d) ridiculously unnatural curves that bring you to a grinding halt.

HisRoyalThighness
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by HisRoyalThighness

I always prefer using bike lanes when they are available. Beats being overtaken by cars all the time, and I don't mind old ladies either. The fact that most motorists are annoyed by cyclists who don't use them when available plays a role too...I try to avoid cars altogether when possible.

by Weenie


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