Members’ Forum: is cycling on German streets all it’s cracked up to be?

Members’ Forum: is cycling on German streets all it’s cracked up to be?
Photo: DPA
While some people rave about how pleasant it is to cycle in Germany, what with the abundance of bike lanes everywhere, is it really all that? What are the areas you think can be improved? And have you ever committed a rookie cyclist’s mistake? Members are encouraged to log in and share their experience in the comments section below.

With the arrival of spring, sunny skies and warm temperatures across the country, the number of people travelling by bike has noticeably increased.

As such, we’ve taken a look at the ten key rules and tips you need to know in order to stay safe as a cyclist on the streets of the Bundesrepublik.

The Local’s Shelley Pascual has been commuting by bike in various German cities for years. She says she still notices lots of other cyclists not adhering to the “right before left” rule.  

When Shelley moved to Braunschweig, Lower Saxony in 2012, the first faux paus she committed as a biker was cycling on the sidewalk. At the time, she didn’t know that this is not allowed unless you are a child under the age of ten.

She was alerted to the fact that she was breaking the rules by a fellow resident, who angrily berated her for biking where she wasn’t supposed to be.

Bike lanes in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Jörg Luyken made a rather more dangerous mistake on his first pedalled adventure through a German city. Delighted by Munich’s clearly marked cycle lanes he sped down to the city centre on a mountain bike he had borrowed from a friend.

Only later did the penny drop as to why so many people had been shaking their fists at him: he was cycling on the wrong side of the road.

Have you ever been scolded from other road users for your actions? Or do you think pedestrians in Germany are too hard on cyclists?

Share your stories and tips with other members and leave a comment below.

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Member comments

  1. I’m used to following the rules when cycling but in many areas of Berlin the ridiculous cobbled streets mean it really makes sense to cycle on the pavement.

  2. Here in, you guessed it, Weimar everyone seems to cycle on the pavement. I’ve never seen anyone pulled over for it.

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