Experiencing nature with a (hand) bike

Glittering lakes, fresh forest air, bizarre rocks, those are a few of the companions on some of Germany’s hand bike trips. The initiative “easier travelling” introduces itself.

Germany is a country of bike travelling.  A network of excellent bike paths runs from the alps to the North Sea. Hand bikers profit from this wide range, too. The ground conditions and the elevation profile must fit and there must be no obstacles.  Unlike bike riders, hand bike riders can’t dismount and push for a distance. The initiative “easier travelling”, which unites the leading obstacle free tourism, introduces some of the best options for arm strength cyclists for this summer.

Fränkisches Seenland: Hand bike trips around the reservoirs

Reservoirs with beaches, sailing boats and bulrushes at the water’s edge accompany cyclists on their trip through the Fränkische Seenland, southwesterly of Nürnberg. A thirteen kilometre long hand bike trip on even, asphalted paths round the Altmühlsee in the Fränkischen Seenland leads to a world of birds: storks, shovelers, black headed gulls and over 200 other species are at home there. They can be observed especially well on the Vogelinsel (Bird Island), a 200 hectares, lagoon like nature reserve in the lake, with areas of bulrushes, brushwood and wetlands. It is easily reached via a detour. Hand bikes are allowed to be used on the island’s paths.  Cyclists must demount. The nine kilometre trip around the Kleinen Brombachsee is shorter. It can be well combined with a visit to the bathing peninsular Absberg, where beach wheelchairs available.  Rickshaw rides for two to four people are very popular with disabled people.  These can be rented at the Altmühlsee as well as at the Kleinen Brombachsee.

Lausitzer Seenland : Wide cycle paths around two lakes

The Lausitzer Seenland between Berlin and Dresden is always along the water’s edge.  Three hand bike courses take you through the landscape of water created by the flooding of the former brown coal open cast mining area. On the 18 kilometre round trip, which is car free, around the Senftenberger See there are continually free views of the water. The path is wide, mostly flat and is asphalted. After that a boat trip is recommended, starting at the obstacle free Senftenberger See harbour camp. The 37 kilometre trip around the Geiserswalder and Partwitzer See is a little more demanding.  On flat, asphalted paths past floating houses, viewpoints and locks. On your way you can regain your strength with specialities from the Lausitz and cool drinks at the obstacle free guest houses and a beach bar. Hand bikes and rollifets can be rented, for active trips, at the family park Grosskoschen at the Senftenberger See.

Ruppiner Seenland: A round trip along the Havel

North of Berlin, where there are no mountains and hardly any hills, a wide paradise for hand bikers opens up: the Ruppiner Seenland. Streams, lakes and canals stretch throughout the flat stretch of land. A well built network of cycle paths, with junction signs, make it a joy to cycle without awkward maps. Between Oranienburg and Liebenwalde there is a 42 kilometre long Holland round trip, going past the Havel, with wide meadows and quiet villages.  Sporty hand bikers can manage this trip in a day. Everyone else is advised to start in Liebenwalde with an overnight stop in Oranienburg.  Hotels offer obstacle free rooms. A stop in the small town is worth it anyway: the splendid baroque castle in Oranienburg, which is accessible to wheelchair users and which rents out wheelchairs, presents a masterly collection of works of art, including some by the Flemish Anthonis van Dyck. A tip for sporting enthusiasts is the event “active through the Ruppiner Seeland – obstacle free rambling, running and cycling” on September 15th in Stechlin in the Menz area. As well as contests and sporting challenges for wheelchair users, runners, Nordic walkers, ramblers and cyclists, the event offers integrative sport event adventure trips for everyone.

Rostock: a trip through the Rostocker Heide

Further north in Rostock, a fresh breeze joins the pleasant flat cycling paths. Cyclists enjoy the mixture of sea and forest air, between the Baltic Sea and the coastal forest. A 64 kilometre long hand bike trip from Rostock to Fischland passes through the middle of the Rostocker Heide, a nature reserve with beech and pine forests, wet moorland and sand. Ideal resting places on the way are Graal-Müritz and Dierhagen, where cosy cafés await visitors. If there’s enough time on the way back, then make a detour to Karl’s Erlebnishof in Rövershagen with sausage, chocolate and sweet factories as well as an ice cream parlour, waffle house and other restaurants. It is mostly obstacle free.

Sächsische Schweiz: from hilly to flat

The Sächsische Schweiz, in the southwest of Germany is the ideal destination for hand bikers who enjoy demanding, mountainous trips. However, also the enjoyment cyclists get what they want on the flat Elbe cycle path in this region. On the impressive stretch of landscape between Schmilka, on the Czech border, to Pirna, bizarre rocks and striking table mountains keep appearing on the left and right side of the river. However, a distance from the Elbe the hand bikers have to conquer the elevations. The view from the fairytale sandstone formations and down to the Elbtal reward the exertions. 50 kilometres of cycle paths are marked in the Sächsische Schweiz national park. However, many are not asphalted but are natural forest paths and are therefore only suitable for sporty hand bikers. The passionate hand bike Veit Riffer gives tips for trips and also offers guided tours for differing expectations.

You will find further ideas for an obstacle free holiday on: www.barrierefreie-reiseziele.de