Cycling in Munich.

by on May 27, 2008

  

We arrived in Munich on Thursday (the 22nd of May).  Another beautiful city and seemingly less formal (conservative?) than Vienna.  Keeping up with Slice on der Drahtesel (the wired donkey) is easier because Munich is flat.  Vienna is seemingly flat but  has lots of subtle inclines and at times I was quite exasperated that I could not keep up with him. Now I know why.

But cycling in Munich is harrowing.  I thought the streets of Vienna were rather well bike-populated but it is a far far more serious mode of transportation here in Munich.  You can never find a place to park your bike…I mean…not on a  free bike rack or street sign or tree.  Bikes are laying everywhere!

The peak hour traffic on the cycle paths is worse than the car traffic on the road.  And the paths are narrower.  There is no room whatsoever for meandering so for effsake keep to the right! (so people can overtake you).  We got spoiled in Vienna where the cycle paths are jumbo-jet wide and…generally…two way on both sides of the street.   DO NOT under any circumstances go the wrong way in Munich.

Yesterday we were…I am certain…going the wrong way. We should have been on the other side of the street.  Slice says “Jaein” (sounds like “yine” and means “yes and no”).  It was peak-hour traffic and two people…different instances…came straight at us.  One man did not say anything. He just hunkered down bore straight at us (with a now-I’ve-got-you smirk on his face).  And we were appropriately cycling in single file.  It’s not like we were totally breaking the rules and riding two abreast!  I watched in horror as I thought he was going to hit Slice and then me. 

And when you come to an intersection…at peak hour…it is a nightmare.  Hordes of pedestrians and cyclists converge and if the traffic doesn’t keep moving the cylcists get very aggressive. The car traffic, on the other hand, is generally very polite and considerate of the bike traffic…fear of bike rage no doubt.

  

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

rmwyatt May 28, 2008 at 12:07 am

Scary biking. I know it’s not funny but I can see you trying to be sane and stay safe.

marjorie coggeshall May 28, 2008 at 2:53 am

Sounds as though you two like living on the edge? so to speak, having fun bicycling in Munich Eh?

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