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Cycling abroad

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Joe24, 20 Jul 2007.

  1. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    Hi
    I'm going to be travelling round europe with my family soon, and my bike can come along (got some room left in the caravan), so are there any strange rules over there. The places i'm going to are Holland, Germany, Berlin France and Prague. I've never been on my bike other then England.
    Are there any good websites with any information on?

    And before someone says it, the use the other side of the road :tongue:



    Joe
     
  2. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    Hi Joe
    You want the rules applicable to cyclists for four countries:?:tongue::eek:
    Just take care, be a litle more cautious than you would be at home and all will be well.
    It can be embarrassing for us Brit cyclists to find ourselves being given equal or indeed higher staus on the road than motor vehicles, but you get used to it.:?:
    Enjoy yourself.:biggrin:
     
  3. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    I don't think any of those places have cycling laws that are going to catch you out. You do need to read the regs for taking your bike on the underground in Berlin, although they are no way near as draconian as London. Using the trains and underground does allow you to explore some of the far flung bits of the city, plus Potsdam etc very easily.

    Enjoy it.
     
  4. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    I thought it was going to be near enough the same rules asover here.
    If there are any cycle paths do i have to use them?
    Thanks for the advice snorri and Tim.
    I'm taking it that the rules are about the same as over here.

    Thanks for the help,


    Joe
     
  5. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Man-Machine

    Location:
    Stevenage
    I believe that you're expected to use cycle paths in Germany if they exist. I don't know if it's a legal requirement.
    Holland - cycle paths everywhere and they're good ones too. No legal requirement.
    France - not a legal requirement but they're not too widespread. If you're near Lake Annecey there's a fantastic one along the lake and down towards Albertville. Used to be a railway line. Bars every few K and a tunnel to ride through:biggrin:.
    Prague - no idea.
    Hope this helps.
     
  6. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    Actually, I think some cycle paths in Holland are mandatory. If a passing motorist gives you a gentle hoot, the chances are you should be on the cycle path and not on the road at that point.
    There is lots of advice on here
    http://goamsterdam.about.com/od/gettingaroundamsterdam/a/top10bikesafety.htm
    Check out the links as well. Read up about the 'uitgezonderd' sign, it can shorten your journey sometimes.:tongue:
     
  7. chris42

    chris42 New Member

    Location:
    Deal, Kent
    In Italy I have found that the driving may be mental but they treat cyclests with great respect and are very carful around them.
    I have mainly cycled in the country of the south of Italy but have never had a single problem with a car driver I 5 years of summer riding there. :tongue:

    Have a great time
     
  8. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    Sounds interesting. I'll keep an eye out for those.
    The website it helpful, its got some good tips on. Point 4 made me smile.
    On point 8 it mentions something on bikes that immobilises the back wheel, does anyone know what it is?
    So i'll need to ride on cycle paths in Germany and probably when i'm in Amsterdam.

    It'll be nice to see how they change to the ones in England.

    Cheers all,


    Joe
     
  9. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Man-Machine

    Location:
    Stevenage
    It's a back wheel lock bolted onto the bike. It puts a bar though the spokes, and they live near the back brake. Most Dutch bikes have them, but I've not seen them over here much.
     
  10. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Location:
    Penarth, Wales
    Apart from the rules etc. the one thing to remember and force yourself to do is looking left and right at all junctions and road crossings, you'll be suprised how often you are caught out by cars coming from the 'wrong way'!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  11. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Location:
    Limoges or York
    In France the roads can have little traffic on them. If you stop on a quiet road, maybe to map read there may be no traffic to remind you which side to re-start on! Don't be absent minded and get it wrong.

    Also, occasionally there are jucntions without indications of priority. Watch out for traffic from the right as they will expect you to give way to them.
     
  12. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Most of my French experience has been rural, so I can't give much advice about city streets. Out on the road you're most likely to meet roadies, often serious ones in small pelotons. They will stay on fast main roads but, if speed isn't an issue for you, there's nothing to stop you taking to the small rural roads which you will have more or less to yourself. At least that's my experience. On the main roads, the cars will come up fast, they will overtake fast (roadies tend to stay well over to the right, and are more willing to single up than in UK), but drivers will show respect and give you the space you need.

    What often catches me out is a left-turn off a busy main road into a side road. Can be a bit unnerving if you forget your orientation! Since I'm mainly used to glancing behind only over the right shoulder, I end up in a wobble if I try over the left! So I prefer to continue to glance over the right shoulder - I feel safer and can see perfectly adequately that way.
     
  13. Pete

    Pete Guest

    This may be the case in some laid-back towns, but on the open road, from what I've seen, almost all junctions have give way (cédez) signs on them and the old 'priorité à droite' rule is pretty well obsolete. At least, that has been my experience.
     
  14. Tony

    Tony New Member

    Location:
    Surrey
    It's still the case in quite a few larger ones, such as bits of Nice. Remember in Holland, unless marked otherwise, traffic entering a roundabout has priority.
     
  15. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Yes the 'priorité à droite' rule is less common in France, but as it gets rarer, it also become more dangerous as it's easy to forget about it.

    Certainly Nice and other towns along the Cote d'Azur are still keen on it. I thought all the motorists in Canne were on a mision to get me as I rode west along the seafont: At every junction some little car shot out of a side road straight at me. Then I twigged. Priorité à droite lives.