The past two weeks in Germany have flown by and currently, we’re just a stone’s throw away from the Austrian border. Although we’ve been in Germany for such a short time we felt very welcome and met already so many wonderful people. Many times when we asked someone if we could stay with our tent on their property, they invited us to sleep inside and join them for a warm cup of coffee or even a meal! They were mostly surprised we were cycling in this cold weather, interested in hearing about our cycling journey and traveling plans. It was great to learn more about the culture, daily activities and to enjoy nature. We had beautiful conversations and it was nice to share our different ways of living.
The German Cycling Network
By the day we are getting stronger and stronger and our legs are feeling better after a day of cycling. The distances of cycling are also increasing and we’re cycling around 90 kilometers per day with an outlier of 152,8 kilometers! Currently, we’ve cycled almost 1100 kilometers throughout Germany and we have used a lot of roads connected to the ‘’German Cycling Network (German: Radnetz Deutschland)’’. It is the national cycling route network of Germany and there are currently 12 long-distance cycling routes, called D-Routes (the "D" stands for "Deutschland’" i.e. Germany) crisscrossing the German nation and these were established mainly to promote bicycle tourism. Besides the Cycling Network, there are also thousands other small routes which you can follow, for these it is best to check what the region you are going to cycle in has to offer.
Websites which we used:
D-Routes with GPS-Tracks www.radnetz-deutschland.de
Route planner for Southern Germany: www.bayerninfo.de
See our Route & Stats page for more information about our cycled routes.
The dogs are doing great and are really getting used to the routine of cycling in the daytime (with rest stops) and resting in the night. The first few days Liska was on guard every night, growling on to new sounds she heard. But now she’s used to it, found peace and sleeps throughout the night. As usual, we had no problems with Huub sleeping since it’s his main activity. We notice the dogs are much happier and they adapt themselves very quickly to the daily changing surroundings.
So far, other dogs did not cause any problem. It’s funny to see that dogs we meet while cycling and are following us, don’t understand the dogtrailer. They can smell there is something inside but, they can’t see Huub or Liska. So when they start to bark at the trailer and Liska barks back they look really surprised and walk of confused very quickly. Although we haven’t met any stray dogs on the road yet, we hope they will react the same. There is no attention from them to us as cyclist and our dogs are safe inside the trailer.
It is very nice to see that the dogs are accepted with open arms by the many different hosts we had. In the beginning it was also new for us and we were nervous on how the dogs reacted to the different hosts. But Liska became best friends with Grandpa Storch (we stayed with this family for two nights) and they both didn’t want to leave at Bodie’s house (hosts with a very sweet Border Collie, we met through “WarmShowers”). From a flat in the city to a farm with a big guard dog, the dogs adapted very good.
Traveling by E-bike
As this is the first cycling trip where we use E-bikes, this was also new to us. After the first two weeks, we can say that the E-bikes are holding their ground. The batteries are doing very good in the extreme temperatures we’ve had. The Giant Explorer of Gijs with the dog trailer attached is obviously using more battery than the Liv Amiti of Annebeth. But even with the trailer attached, lots of climbing and temperatures of -10 Celsius, we could cycle between 80-120 km per battery.
In Germany, we didn’t experience any problems with charging the batteries, everywhere we stayed we could easily charge them. It is very nice to know that along the Cycling Network there are many charging stations and guesthouses, where you can charge your battery. In the 12 days that we’ve cycled, we only used the extra battery 3 times, mainly because of the climbing and therefore needed the Power-mode to climb up the hill with the heavy dog trailer.
The next months we are going to track our daily battery-usage to create a good overview of what it is like to travel with E-bikes.
A new adventure!
After two weeks of cycling it still feels like being on a holiday, it feels unreal that our dream has become reality. The freedom feels great and we are currently living by the day and don’t worry about tomorrow.
With the Alps in sight and being only a stone’s throw away from the Austrian border, there is a new adventure ahead of us. We could only say that Germany is an amazing country. The people are friendly, open and warm welcoming. The food is very tasteful, there are many cycling paths and the nature is stunning!