Disclaimer: The story contains opinions and web links that are not necessarily endorsed by The Citizen.
Story and photos by Wendy Payne
Contributing Writer for MilitaryinGermany.com
Stuttgart is a biking town and cycling is a major form of transportation to and from work, as well as riding for enjoyment. With the warm weather, cyclists are popping up all over, hopping off and on the S-Bahn, riding in the woods, or just taking a short trip to the market. Cycling is a healthy and scenic opportunity to see Stuttgart in a whole new way.
Cycling to Work
You may even know a friend or two who bike to work or post. I interviewed my good friend Tom and asked him these questions about his weekly cycling commute.
How often do you bike commute to work? Twice per week, when I do not have duty obligations before 7:30 a.m.
Do you use an app for directions, and if so, which one? No app, but I use Google Maps Aerial View to find trails and avoid heavy traffic areas.
What kind of bike would you recommend for someone interested in bike commuting? I came with a full suspension mountain bike which did work, but the commuter bikes and road bikes passing me got old in a hurry. I replaced it with a hard tail (front shocks only) that has a handlebar mounted front shock lockout, which makes it very confident to switch the front shock. After riding through the winter and finding the many trails, I would recommend a hard tail. It handles most conditions and is much faster than the full suspension mountain bike.
What are some safety precautions you take before or while commuting? I suggest a good helmet that allows room for a hat when temps drop, plenty of reflective gear, gloves (summer and winter), Gortex shoe covers, and a sturdy front light with high output.
Do you have favorite routes? I vary my route to Panzer, but I really enjoy the tank trail from Panzer to Patch. It has no traffic with plenty of other outdoor enthusiasts and the occasional deer.
Any other advice or helpful hints you would like to share? Explore potential commuter routes on the weekend when you have more time or on the bike ride home. I try to avoid taking the same route every week and time my rides home to increase the work-out value.
Cycling trails and helpful websites
Cycling trails in Baden-Württem-berg are some of the easiest to follow with signage at almost every turn. I absolutely love using Tourism in Germany or Cycling in Germany because I can plan scenic routes for my family. I also use the VVS Radfahren Planner App but only for time and general location information. A couple of other good sites to use are www.bikemap.net/en and www.mapmyride.com. There is also a Facebook page for the American Stuttgart Cycling Community as well. This is a closed group, but you may ask to join. If I need a GPS while cycling, I use Google Maps App. When using it, just make sure you change the mode to cycling. Also, check your settings when planning your route, for traffic patterns, etc.
German laws regarding cycling are straight forward and similar to those in the states. A super helpful site for safety laws is www.bicyclegermany.com.
Author’s Profile: Wendy Payne is a military spouse and lives with her family in Stuttgart, Germany. She is a freelance writer, blogger and photographer. She also enjoys gardening, hiking, yoga and sharing Europe with people.