Rotterdam to Basel

becka

Regular
Hello, really pleased to of found this site....

I'm planning a cycling trip with my son this summer and wonder peoples opinions about cycling Rotterdam to Basel along the Rhine towing a trailer with a 4 year old and tent....is it a very challenging route even without a trailer or would you recommend it?

Also, if you have any other suggestions for routes through Europe i'd be really pleased to hear them

I hope to spend some time cycling and camping before getting a train to Croatia.

Many thanks!
 

jay clock

Massive member
Location
Hampshire UK
What a great idea. Much of that sounds flat as anything and theoretically easy, but assuming you are going alone (i.e. no other adult) the weight of your son and baggage will be substantial. My biggest worry would be that any obstacles/gates/chicanes would quickly get extremely tiresome.

But I am guessing, so a Germany specialist would be better!
 
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becka

Regular
Hi jay, thanks so much for your reply and that link is really helpful it is a great site.
Glad to hear it's mostly flat! I am going alone and agree it's going to be challenging manhandling the trailer but i figure that will be the case most places, i'll be in no hurry though so there'll be plenty of room for hissy fits ;) :banghead:
Plus it's along a river so it'll be easy to cool off!!
Thanks again
 

jay clock

Massive member
Location
Hampshire UK
when I say mostly flat, that is a guess. There may well be sections where the river does not have a path and you have to divert over a hill. But rivers by their nature tend to run on a shallow gradient

Have a look at Crazy Guy on a Bike - superb site for touring
 

Mr Carr

Active Member
Go for it.

Last year I cycled from Zeebrugge to Zurich. This was my crazy guy blog

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doc_id=14341&v=49

Some tips

1) South of Strasbourg if you follow the Rhine you rarely see the river because of embankments. Its better to follow the canal du Rhone au Rhine which is West of the Rhine. (Good surface / flat/ no cars)

2) On the way back I cycled from Mainz in Germany to the Dutch border for about 160 miles all along the Rhine. Again good surface and no traffic for most of the way,.

3) There is nothing wrong with getter the train for part of the journey. Trains are cheaper than the UK and take bikes.

4) This series of books are excellent, However there are expensive and quite heavy for touring. PS There are in written in German

http://www.stanfords.co.uk/ProductDetail.aspx?p=9783850004497

Good Luck
 

Saskia

Well-Known Member
I cycled from Kehl (on the German side, across the river from Strasbourg) to Basel in 1994 and from Karlsruhe to Mainz in the spring of 2013. It is mostly flat although in places it can get very steep as soon as you go east of the river. I don't remember barriers and the like - I think you're okay on that score. Agree with Mr Carr that you see little of the Rhine south of Strasbourg due to the flood control system. I would be concerned that it might be boring for the child in the trailer. How many hours do you plan on cycling each day? How many days do you plan to take? Another concern is that it may be quite industrial around Cologne, Düsseldorf and Dortmund. And I'm not sure you can just cool off in the river. Granted, I wasn't traveling at times of the year when I would have wanted to, but I think you may have to pedal a few miles to find a beach. Conclusion: I'm not sure I'd do it with a child.
 
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becka

Regular
Thanks for your messages.
Sounds like finding some alternate cycle routes along the way will be a good idea.
I'm not going to be in any hurry or massively intent on anything more than giving it a go and enjoying what we find along the way. Planning to stop for a few days in some places and envisage only a few hours broken cycling a day.
Will definitely look into avoiding those industrial areas saskia.

Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience.
 

bikeman66

Senior Member
Location
Isle of Wight
Hi jay, thanks so much for your reply and that link is really helpful it is a great site.
Glad to hear it's mostly flat! I am going alone and agree it's going to be challenging manhandling the trailer but i figure that will be the case most places, i'll be in no hurry though so there'll be plenty of room for hissy fits ;) :banghead:
Plus it's along a river so it'll be easy to cool off!!
Thanks again
Fantastic idea for an extended tour Becka, I hope it all goes well. You certainly won't want to be trying to cool off in the Rhine though..............it's a very fast running river! Be good if you could post updates of your planning over the coming weeks.
 
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becka

Regular
Fantastic idea for an extended tour Becka, I hope it all goes well. You certainly won't want to be trying to cool off in the Rhine though..............it's a very fast running river! Be good if you could post updates of your planning over the coming weeks.
Hi, I guess it depends on the level of frustration ...a big fast flowing river might seem ideal! ;)
I will post again as I build up a route.
Thanks
 

bikeman66

Senior Member
Location
Isle of Wight
Thanks for your messages.
Sounds like finding some alternate cycle routes along the way will be a good idea.
I'm not going to be in any hurry or massively intent on anything more than giving it a go and enjoying what we find along the way. Planning to stop for a few days in some places and envisage only a few hours broken cycling a day.
Will definitely look into avoiding those industrial areas saskia.

Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience.
I admire your apparent "can do" attitude, and it seems like this is almost a make it up as you go tour, which should turn out to be a fantastic experience. Well done!
 

J1780

Well-Known Member
Well done excellent idea!!!
What type bike will you be taking? and what trailer for your son? I've got a 3 and 4 year old and something like this really appeals to my wife and I. I would be very interested in any links etc you could post on this type of trip. I've done a bit of touring in Ireland with my two terrors but never long distance by bike only!!! Avoiding big main roads is the challenge for me and others with very young kids I suppose.
 

Ridelegalforfun

New Member
Location
Fleet or London
It seems a long time since I rode with a friend for a month from Hook of Holland to Copenhagen and back to the UK ferry at Esbjerg in 1994. Our experience of Netherlands, Deutsch and Danske routes and trains were all good and we certainly encountered none of the cycling obstacles British riders are familiar with.

All power to anyone planning to tow their 4 year old over such a long distance; you're better placed than anyone else to judge both of your readiness for the challenge.

Priority for cyclists over motorists stunned us, as did double decker trains with entire carriages of cycle racks, compared to being social pariah on UK railways with our kitted out bikes and the disjointed cycle routes (drain lanes) that persist to this day in most British cities.

Come back and tell us how it went when you're back from (or arrive in) Croatia!
 

redfalo

known as Olaf in real life
Location
Brexit Boomtown
It should not be too demanding. I've ridden the first bit - from Hoek van Holland to my partent's place in the Ruhr valley in Germany - several times, and have to say it's absolutely lovely. Here's my last route: http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=sizhsbwdrrsphjjf East of Rotterdam, it's worth going through Kinderdijk, which its impressive windmills (the linked track takes another route, because I have seen it before, was in a kind of a hurry and wanted to avoid the ferry).

Riding down the Rhine was my first long bike ride in 1990, which was lovely too.

As an alternative to campning, have a look at the Dutch B&B, which can be very nice. Along the route I can recommend these to places:

In Geldermalsen: https://www.bedandbreakfast.nl/bed-and-breakfast/geldermalsen/bottesteyn/7979/

In Nijmegen: https://www.bedandbreakfast.nl/bed-and-breakfast/nijmegen/pluweel/7789/
 
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