Cycle routes and cycling paths around Munich

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If you like it a bit rougher, try the mountain-bike trails along the river Isar. I think you can actually ride all the way from Munich to the Alps, but your legs might be dead afterwards... :D

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Riding from the Alps to Munich would be the obvious answer for those less fit, as the route is naturally downhill!

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I've been cycling around Munich (mostly between Sendlinger Tor and Harlaching) and Radl Routing worked great to guide me along the river through a nice little forest with a creek/canal rather than ride on the main streets.

 

One thing I find odd in Munich though is the bike paths on the sidewalks. I usually try to plan my route to be traveling in the same direction as the car traffic. Sometimes people need to go in the opposite direction of the traffic and that's fine with me. The path is big enough for two bikes to pass so I simply do like in a car and move to the right and make space. But every time I do this the oncoming cyclist who is going against the car traffic also moves to my right (so his/her left) which I find odd and not to mention stupid. Is there some kind of Bavarian rule to pretend like you are in the UK and drive on the opposite side when approaching another cyclist?

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If I'm going the wrong way on a bike path and I get a bike coming towards me going the right way, I just get off the bike path, out of the rightful owner's way so to speak, and onto the sidewalk to let the rightful biker pass at full speed, because bikers going the wrong way on a one-way bike path piss me the hell off and in case I run into me, I want to be out of the way. :) I'm going superslow anyway in that situation and at senior citizen walking speed while on the sidewalk. Which means yeah, I'm moving to your right. Is that what you mean?

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Keep in mind that if you are going the wrong way along a cycle path (in the opposite direction to traffic), and have an accident, your insurance will be null and void, and you will be found to be at fault, so the other guy's insurance doesn't pay out either. I know, because my husband was doing just that once, and a car pulled out of a petrol station forecourt, sending him flying over the bonnet of the car and damaging his bike. Because my husband was coming from the wrong direction, the car driver couldn't be expected to see him, and therefore when the police arrived, they made it clear that the best thing to do would be for each party to pay for their own damage, as my husband stood no chace of getting a cent off the car driver

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Mind also that there are legal two-way bike paths and they are all marked as such. If it's not labeled as two-way, it's not.

 

A friend of mine had the exact same accident kathie's husband had and was also found to be at fault.

 

See also this discussion of another accident where the biker was at fault:

 

Bicycle and Car accident

Injured cyclist receives notice of hearing?

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Yeah OK I understand that there is liability with other vehicles, especially cars but then you should just stay off the path altogether. If you are going to ride the wrong way then just stay on it and keep to the left, otherwise don't bother almost *causing* an accident by suddenly swinging over to the right in the path of the oncoming cyclist! I have never seen people do this in other parts of Germany where I have ridden that's what I find so odd. :huh:

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If they're swinging right, I assume they're treating it as they would a two lane cycle path, or indeed a road, and riding on the right.

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I am also interested in cycling around Munich. I tried using Google Maps and Open Cycle Maps. I get different cycle route options. Google Maps gives me more routes while Open Cycle Maps only highlights certain paths as bike friendly.

 

Has anyone tried using the cycle paths suggested by Google Maps?

 

I am using Google Maps to store my route plans, but if the routes suggested by Google are incorrect, then I will need to create them manually in my custom maps.

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It's best to work out your own route on the ground depending on your preferences. Personally I hate traffic lights, so a route that avoids them is for me more important than a slow, crappy bike lane on the pavement.

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Yeah ive tried to use google maps as a navigation tool when on the bike, the biggest issue was lack of GSM coverage, as the google map app doesnt seem to preload each turn. After you take a turn, the app seems to want to talk to mothership again over gsm network, and find out the next turn. When you are in the ass end of nowhere with no gsm coverage this is a disaster. I spent maybe 1.5 hours doing a 30-45 min cycle at the weekend because of a lack of gsm on the phone. In the end I sometimes had to double back, or take a chance on a direction, sometimes right sometimes it was wrong.

 

I think the answer to which tool to use will change on each cycle, as each cycle has different challenges to overcome. A cycle over 100k, I would take streets as in marked "ST1234" type roads in order to get from small town to small town. Over 100k you are most likely on a street bike and looking to do distance on a street bike or racer type bike. A cycle maybe 50-70k I would take bike routes, like along the isar, which wouldnd be as suitable for street bikes. Anything shorter I would take a mountain bike for more offroad trail type cycles, and a better workout using a heavier less suitable bike for the shorter distance.

 

Anyone else also find that certain cycle trails along the isar are sooo badly signposted. Take for instance going to wolfratshausen and the signposts at grunwalderbrucke. At each side of the bridge they point back over the other side of the bridge. You go a bit further on, in both directions, they go missing. WTF.

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I would like to second your sentiments using Google Maps for cycling navigation. I did not use it in Munich, however. A friend decided to be my cycling tour, so I did not use navigation. However, I used Google Maps in a wooded area near Stuttgart recently, and I had to make multiple stops just to find out which path to take. It didn't help when it directed me to turn right and the right turn had a fork on the road, for example. Luckily, I have an offline map with the Open Cycle Maps. Also next time, I think I would take a paper map as a backup because in some areas the sun was too bright to see properly on my phone screen.

 

I am also not comfortable with riding on a busy road. I prefer bike trails or smaller roads with very little traffic. So far I have used multiple sources to map my routes. I like using a combination of VVS cycle planner, Garmin Adventures on Base Camp, Google Maps, Google Earth, and Open Cycle Maps. I either get my routes through Adventures, VVS cycle planner, or simply asking Google to generate a route. I then compare it to Open Cycle Maps and some more Google Satellite or Street view to see if the routes are good. I then overlay my route to Google Earth and see what the elevation profile is. It would be nice if I had just one simple tool to do all this.

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I almost exclusively use Google's walking directions for cycling in and around the city, since the official cycling routes are so limited that they often don't include normal bike paths not designated as cycling routes, or sections of road, etc. In any case, I'd never use any of this as gospel. It's just a way to quickly visualize a potential route-- from which I use the map itself and make my own way using any combination of paths as I see suitable.

 

This is primarily for routes in the 5-100km range around here (most recently to Landshut, which is, admittedly, a straight shot).

 

Google maps automatically caches maps for offline use, and can be instructed to explicitly download a section of map for offline use. Forget the directions, and just use it like a map that happens to give you the benefit of a live GPS update on your location no matter whether you have access to the data-network. Hell, I've done the same thing in Indonesia, Mongolia, and plenty of other countries on foot and bike.

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