Taking the scenic route: Auto-free days in Germany
Every year, villages across Germany close sections of their roads and take part in auto-free days. Originally started as environmental incentives, car-free events provide participants an opportunity to bike, walk or skate through some of Germany’s backwoods and busy routes without the fear of being pushed off the road. This year, the doors of exploration will open again throughout the Mosel and Rhein Main regions. Auto-free events are non-competitive, but many cyclists aim to reach towns within a certain amount of time. Be aware of bicycle traffic, stay to one side of the road and keep a watchful eye on children. Although most of the trails are flat, you may get a little tired. If so, have a seat at one of the tables set up along the route or rest on the sidelines. Even if you do not need a break, pausing every once in a while is a great way to take in the scenery.
At participating villages, you will be greeted by a selection of refueling stations. Whether you are craving a bratwurst, a cheese sandwich or an ice-cold beer, a trip to one of the food tents is worth your while. During the events, local music groups provide entertainment. If you want to soak up some German culture, grab a helping of Pommes and venture into town. After you finish your snack, head back on the trails for more exploring!
Here are some upcoming auto-free events happening this season.
July 15, Kylltal Aktiv
Explore some of Germany’s backwoods during this ride from Lissingen Castle to the forest city of Wilsecker; open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Aug. 5, Autofreies Lautertal
Zip through Kaiserslautern’s B270 to Lauterecken; open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Aug. 26, Erlebnistag Deutsche Weinstrasse
Take Germany’s oldest wine tour, an 80-mile route from Bockenheim and Schweigen; open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sept. 9, Kinzigtal Total
Journey into the King’s Valley during this 49-mile trek from Hanau and Sterbfritz; open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For a closer look at biking opportunities in Germany, visit http://rheinradeln.de.
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