You know we love long distance bike touring but what about city biking? Well, it's probably one of the most interesting ways we know to explore a city too...
Euro City Biking
Europe is an incredible place to cycle tour. With an incredible range of cultures, climates, landscapes and languages in an area that's small enough that you can easily bike between them. We should know, we've ridden across it from Amsterdam to Venice, explored Scandanavia and The Baltics, practiced our French and Spanish on the Camino de Santiago and ridden along the Danube and into Eastern Europe.
Forget the countryside, bike the cities?
But while exploring the countryside by bike may seem obvious (well, to some), have you ever considered exploring the cities by bike? In the right city (with good cycling infrastructure) and with some confident, defensive cycling you can have as much fun getting around as you do seeing the sights.
We love exploring cities by bike; you see more, feel more and get more of a sense of the vibe and geography of a place and increasingly you don't even need your own bike. And lots of European cities have established cycle paths, routes or even companies that will guide you on bike tours. Check out this little tour we took in Berlin recently, one of four ways we explored Berlin. And which did we enjoy most? Definitely biking, despite the winter conditions. Click the image to see a video of biking in Berlin.
Biking in Berlin. Rent a bike or go on a bike tour.
You don't even need a bike
These days you don't even need your own bike for a city tour. Bike tour companies have their own fleets and an ever increasing number of cities have their own public bike hire transit systems, like the Boris bikes we checked out in London.
Schemes like this mean you don't need to bring your own bike, nor worry about it getting stolen, although in some cities you'll still have to worry about the traffic. With many schemes you can rent by the hour (some even give the first 30 minutes or more free), can pick up and drop off at different points (making one way journeys possible), and only get charged for the time you use (provided you dock the bike properly when you return it!) Many schemes have pickup and drop off points at major transport hubs, even airports which means that once your arrive you could do your whole city break by bike! You don't even need to look like a tourist when you can bike like a local!
Biking in London. Rent a Boris bike or explore by night. Lights included!
Casual visitors welcome
Many of the schemes are open to casual users and visitors, although they're not always easy or intuitive to understand or use, especially if you don't speak or read the local language. But don't be put off, the good people at Momondo have created this handy infographic guide to euro city public biking schemes in London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Nice, with lots of handy information on how to register, rates and even some local tips.
So read, study, make note and go explore a city by bike. You know it's good for you. And for the city too.
Infographic on Euro City Public Transit Biking Schemes
Developed, designed, and produced by Momondo
and first published by Rosetta Stone
So what are you waiting for?
Go on. Go explore a city on someone else's city bike. You know it makes sense.
Disclosure Note: This infographic was conceived of by Momondo and first published by Rosetta Stone. . The other ideas, experience, views and opinions expressed are, as ever, entirely our own.