Tag Archives: travel bikes

Riding into the Monday morning sun as our beautiful  spring weather continues. This photo captured this bikers riding across Iowa on RAGBRAI 2017.

Bike Pic June 11, riding into the Monday morning sun

Riding into the Monday morning sun as our beautiful  spring weather continues. This photo captured this bikers riding across Iowa on RAGBRAI 2017.

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of the many HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Monday Morning Sun’ Pic of the Day  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year ahead!

Riding into the Monday morning sun as our beautiful  spring weather continues. This photo captured this biker chick and dude riding across Iowa on RAGBRAI 2017. 

Bike Pic June 4, riding into the Monday morning sun

Riding into the Monday morning sun as our beautiful  spring weather continues. This photo captured this biker chick and dude riding across Iowa on RAGBRAI 2017.

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of the many HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Monday Morning Sun’ Pic of the Day  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year ahead!

Riding into the morning sun as our spring weather, feels more like June temperatures. Today's photo was taken on RAGBRAi and shows a biker chick and dude having a great time along the route. What a fun way to see Iowa!

Bike Pic May 17, riding across Iowa in the morning sun

Riding into the morning sun as our spring weather, feels more like June temperatures. Today’s photo was taken on RAGBRAi and shows a biker chick and dude having a great time along the route. What a fun way to see Iowa!

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Morning Sun’ Pic of the Day  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year ahead!

Steve taking a minute to enjoy the town of Stein Am Rhine on our way to Germany

Exploring the route from Zurich to Germany on two wheels

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

While I wouldn’t qualify my riding history as anything worth bragging about, I have ridden through some spectacular places. One ride I enjoyed was biking through Switzerland, then into Germany on my way to Eurobike. You see, once a year all the biggest bike nerds from around the world descend on the small town of Fredricshaffen Germany to see the newest and shiniest bike goods released that year.

The plan for riding into Germany

About three weeks before we were scheduled to take off for the show, my friend and co-worker Steve brought up the idea of riding the 80 miles from Zurich (where we were landing) into Langanargen Germany where we were staying. Out loud I immediately said “Yes”, but in my head, there were doubts.

I know, why would I have doubts of riding from Zurich through Switzerland’s wine country, along the Rhine, across Lake Constance and through some of Germany’s most beautiful countryside? Please understand, I didn’t have doubts about the ride itself. My doubts came from doing the ride with Steve. He is one of my favorite people and I have ridden with him frequently. On those adventures I have learned a few things that made the idea of a leisurely scenic ride seem impossible. While Steve is one of the nicest people I know, I’m convinced that in a past life he must have committed some horrible crimes and tries to punish himself every time he rides. So, I’m thinking its going to be a big job for me to keep this casual.

An un-scenic start to what would be a beautiful ride

Our flight departed Philadelphia at 7 p.m. and landed in Zurich at 6 a.m. I didn’t sleep well on the plane and realized that I would be riding a whole day on two hours of bad sleep. Steve and I busied ourselves building our travel bikes in the airport baggage claim. We gave the balance of our bags to co-workers who were driving into Germany, then set off into a beautifully sunny August day.

Leaving Zurich airport was an un-scenic start to what would end up being beautiful ride. Strangely, the bike lanes around the airport didn’t seem to go anywhere, but “around” the airport. So after circling a few times we decided to ride up to what looked like a highway off ramp. Fast forward through a few minutes of urban riding, we climbed out of Zurich, into farmlands and the town of Bülach. This town was founded in 1384 and offers many historic and architectural beautiful buildings around the reformed Church of Saint Laurentius and the Sigristenkeller gallery. Shockingly, even though Bülach was less than seven miles from the airport, it is remarkably rural.

Looking down on Zurich from the hills above Bülach

Our loose ride plan was to head north until we hit the Rhine, then follow the river east to Lake Constance and then take the ferry into Germany. Both Switzerland and Germany have well established bike routes to guide us through wine country and onto our eventual destination of Langenargen.

Our route from Zurich, across Lake Constance, and into Germany

Steve’s legs take over his brain

Remember Steve and my doubts when planning this trip? From the start there was no relaxing, or enjoying the sights. Steve, as I expected, went full throttle. As I mentioned before this riding trait of Steve’s was going to be a detriment to my enjoyment riding through Switzerland and Germany. Don’t worry, I had a plan. Every time Steve entered into his personal pain cave, I would stop to change tire pressure, take a picture, check the map or do whatever it took to slow him down.

Before you pass judgement of my passive aggressive strategy, realize that I have had conversation with Steve about this ride being a slow one and to Steve’s credit he agreed. What I know from a history of riding with him is that he may agree to one pace. But his legs will invariably pick another pace, intense. So, I hoped that my plan would work to get this ride down to a conversational relaxing speed. Happily, it only took about 15 minutes of stops, pauses and sidetracks to get Steve’s legs into my way of thinking.

Steve’s leg are starting to get the idea. Here he is surveying an empty field while I pretend to adjust tire pressure.

Zurich’s wine country

As we snaked our way down country roads through the vineyards and small towns of Switzerland we crossed many small tributary waterways. These canals are used as irrigation for the vibrant fields this countryside is known for. Our first major crossing, across the river Thur came in the town of Andelfingen. This is the main town between Schaffhausen and Winterthur in the heart of Zurich’s wine country. It boasts cultivated fields, timber framed houses and walking/cycling paths.

Andelfingen is where grapes for Zurich’s sparkling vin du pays ripen in the autumn and is also the home of the Andelfingen castle, a well-kept park open to the public during the day throughout the year. Seeing as we were on our bikes and had to make it into Germany before dark, we did not stop to enjoy the sights here. In retrospect, I would recommend taking more than one day for this ride so you can stop and enjoy the unique personalities of each town.

Emerald landscapes abound in Andelfingen.

Lunch under the shadow of a castle

At the point where Lake Constance again becomes the Rhine River, you will find the little town of Stein am Rhein. It is famous for its well-preserved Old Town feel featuring painted facades and half-timbered houses. It’s also where Steve and I chose to stop for lunch

Stein Am Rhein

Stein am Rhein is a lively and very charming small town. Among the sights are the Monastery of St. Georgen (one of the best-preserved Medieval monastery complexes), the Lindwurm Museum (depicting 19th century bourgeois) and overlooking everything is the Hohenklingen Castle. The castle here was built high above the town in 1225 and recently renovated.

Germany

Stein Am Rhein in the shadow of the Hohenklingen castle

Steve and I walked through the center of town with our bikes in tow. We found a courtyard surrounded by fresca painted buildings and filled with restaurants and outdoor seating. We picked a quaint little place that had old wood paneling and benches as our eatery of choice (great carpentry typically means good food after all). For me, the meal and the company were great. I enjoyed a few local brews and a plate of barely cooked beef that could only be described as meat candy.  Armed with bellies full of meat and hefeweizen, Steve an I set off east along the Rhine.

Our old world surroundings at lunch.

The Untersee and ferry trip

As the Rhine empties into Lake Constance, the first large body of water is called Untersee (or Lower Lake Constance). To our left are miles of beautiful waterway and to the right we passed hop farms, villages and port towns that make up the Hochrhein.  Again, with more time I would have loved to stay and explore, but we were on a schedule. Pedaling along, we ambled along the shore for an hour until we entered the more metropolitan area of Constance and Altstadt. In Altstadt we went north, crossed the Rhine River into Staad then boarded the ferry for the last lag into Germany.

A panoramic picture of the bike path and view along the Untersee.

While traveling by bike is convenient, I must say, getting onto the ferry by bike was a real treat. Our fee for the ferry was far less than that of an automobile. We were also the first ones off the ferry and into Meersburg, Germany. Here we were waved through the border checkpoint at 20 mph and got to zoom past miles of waiting cars.

Into Germany and out of my mind

Of the entire ride, Meersburg is by far the most beautiful scenery. Maybe it was the fact that the sun came out in full force or me being rested from the 45 minute ferry ride. Whatever the reason, the ancient town of Meersburg was breathtaking. The town is built on the steep banks of Lake Constance and was originally a vineyard. It’s heritage as a fortress is apparent in the architecture as well as the walled bike route that snakes along the shore of the lake.

Germant

Meersburg as seen from the ferry

Once Steve and I left Meersburg my body began to shut down. I wish I could give you a rousing account of the great bike paths and warm forests we passed as we rode through Friedrichshafen and into Langenargen, but to be honest, I was operating in survival mode and not really taking in my surroundings. Maybe it was the heavy lunch, lack of sleep or the miles we rode, but moving became very difficult. As I have said before, this is a ride best done over several days rather than all at once. As a result of riding it in one day, I was now suffering through every additional mile we pedaled.  We finally arrived in Langenargen in the early evening. Happily, I checked into my room, took a quick showers and made it to dinner with the rest of the group.

Reflections on the ride

While at dinner, drinking a Dunkelweiss and enjoying my schnitzel, I reflected back on why this ride was so fun. The first thing I must say is that great company almost always makes a great ride. In this case, Steve and I rode at a similar speed and had great conversation throughout the trip. Additionally, we were both enjoying this route together because of our mutual even keeled demeanor. The great company riding together allowed us to stay positive even when we went slightly off course.

Another help was that I was able to send my luggage ahead and ride the route unfettered. Knowing that I had clean clothes waiting for me when I arrived was a large motivator over the last five miles.

Ultimately, I would recommend this route to anyone. The ride was predominantly flat and had ample opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery. Additionally, there are more than enough great towns to stop at and enjoy. In fact, this ride could easily be spread across a week, with mornings spent in the saddle and afternoons sightseeing on foot.

More on Switzerland

See Jen Reviews on the 100 Best things to do in Switzerland.

 

The big issue with traveling elsewhere to ride is finding the good trails, best routes or fun secret spots that only the locals know about. That's why I recommend you enter a bike race. Not for the race, but for the route.

Bike races are a great way to experience new trails and routes

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Winter is the time of year my thoughts drift to the beautiful surroundings of warmer climates. Having traveled with my bike a great deal, I can attest to the fact that riding new trails and roads will invigorate your riding. The big issue with traveling elsewhere to bike is finding the good trails, best routes or fun secret spots only the locals know about. That’s why I recommend you enter destination bike races. Not to try and win the race, but for the route.

bike race

Stage 1 of BC Bike Race’s 2018 route

How can you enter a bike race, but race?

Any competition is not a race if you don’t try hard enough. So ignore your placement in the race results, relax, and think about the event as a well organized ride instead. This mentality works best for long events. For that reason, road circuit races are out of the question, but there are loads of mountain bike, Gravel, and road events that fit the bill.

Why go to a bike race?

The best reason to register for a race but not actually treat it like a race is the convenience. As an example, If you want to schedule an awesome mountain bike vacation on some of the best trails in the world, going to the BC Bike Race would be a good option. By registering, you have access to lodging, food, bike support, rider support and above all else eight preset courses are offered through BC’s best terrain. While you pay for this convenience, the cost is similar to if you were to plan it yourself with a lot less headache. Also, cycling events are family friendly by design, so bring everyone along!

How do I pick

With all these new options available to you, how do you pick your event? My recommendation is to start with location. Pick some areas you want to visit and ride in. Next check local calendars and see if any events will match up. Finally, register for the event of your choice and plan your vacation!

What to expect

What you will experience at these events depends greatly on the type and size of the event. For the sake of this article I will break the event types up into the two most popular categories: mountain bike and gravel bike

Mountain bike races

Mountain bike races are usually really long (like the Circumburke trail challenge in the Kingdom Trails of Vermont or stage races like the Transylvania Epic in Pennsylvania). The long single day races are fun way to test yourself and achieve a one-day goal and are awesome if you have limited time to get away. If time is not as much of an issue, stage races are where it’s at! Stage races are shorter individual rides spread over a series of days. They usually expose you to many different sections of popular trail networks as well as have a great festival atmosphere.

bike races

There are few joys that compare to experiencing new trails.

Gravel bike races

The popularity of gravel rides has exploded in the past few years thanks to dedicated people putting on world class events all around the globe. Many of these races started humbly but have grown to mythic stature. Events like Kansas’ Dirty Kanza 200 might be a stretch for most with it’s 200 miles of tire-splitting flint rock. However, for those interested in the adventure of a gravel race with a bit more approachable distance can look at Iowa’s Colesburg Gravelpocalypse with routes as short as 20 miles. Whatever your distance, gravel races are an amazing option with events all around the country.

bike Races

Lovely new roads await on countess events around the world.

What to do when you go to “race”

When you sign up for a race, it’s best to come to the event with some fitness and realistic expectations. Plan to take your time and have fun. Most importantly, remember that there are some really fast people out there who are actually racing these events. For that reason wait at the start line when the event goes off. Allow all those looking to compete to get into the race course then head off for your ride. When riding, yield right of way easily to all passing cyclists as some competitive riders may have had to stop to repair mechanicals. Finally, the race is meant to be fun. Feel free to push yourself, but if a section appears to be above your skill level there is no shame in walking it. All in all, enjoy the ride, the atmosphere and allow others to do the same