On L.F. (top left):
- White top, skinny belt, leggings: H&M
- Black flats – Aldo
- Sunglasses – Ray Ban
On A (top center):
- Blue top – Gap
- Necklace – Powell’s Home and Garden
- Black cardi – H&M
- Leggings – Gap
- Sandals – Chaco
On me (top right):
- Green top – ON, thrifted in Portland
- Pendant – Anthropologie
- Tweed shorts – thrifted in Munich
- Footless tights – Target
- Flats – Palladium
- Sunglasses – H&M
On L.M. (second photo, left):
- Top – Tianello
- Pants – Gander Mountain
- Flats – Rogue
- Bracelet – Original by Monica Hansmeyer
- Hat – small shop in Munich
Last week, some friends of mine came into town and we did what anyone with any fondness for cycling and the outdoors should do: we rented bikes and explored the city of Munich on two wheels.
Munich is an extremely bike friendly city. There are so. many. bikes. everywhere. And locals ride all year round; through rain or snow, in business suits and heels, and on everything from road bikes to cruisers to the odd tandem, and with no shortage of kid-purposed bike attachments. Reason #348 why I love this city.
I borrowed my friend L’s husband’s bike (we’re the two with the mountain bikes), and my friend A. and her mom L. rented two cruisers from Radius Tours and Bike Rental. They were pleasantly surprised in how great of a shape their rentals were and how comfortable to ride all day long. We conveniently picked them up right at the central train station, from where we were within a short ride to all the main attractions we had planned. Their bikes were reasonably priced and A. received a 10% student discount with her student ID. With bikes, sunglasses, and snacks in check, we were off for our adventure…
We started with the city center and slowly made our way down Maximillianstrasse to the Isar river. Maximillianstrasse boasts some of Munich’s most high-end boutiques and hotels, with names like Vuitton, Versace, and Chanel sprinkling the store front windows. From the Isar, we made our way to the English Garden, where we took several breaks to enjoy the various sights (the ‘Chinesischer Turm‘, beer gardens, etc), while cycling amid the crowds of tourists, commuters, runners, and many many dogs.
We navigated by simply plotting a course along a map and checking ever so often to see if we were still around the parts of town we were hoping to see. This type of ride-and-go approach works best if you have the whole day with nothing else to do but enjoy the sights and each other’s company.
For a more structured approach, Munich offers a variety of guided bike tours. The one that’s come most recommended to me is Mike’s Bike Tours. The tours are in English and highlight some of Munich’s most spectacular sights, providing some historical facts and information at a leisurely riding pace.
Munich also offers a variety of street-side rental opportunities, with bikes conveniently parked all around town, ready to be rented and ridden. All you have to do is call the number on the side of the bike, provide payment information to obtain the bike lock code, and ride off. Here are a cluster of such ready-to-rent bikes by the university, provided by Next Bike Rental…
Our bike ride day was one of our favorite days during my friends’ visit. It offered the perfect way to see the city and to cover much more ground than we would have by walking. It also gave us the flexibility to chart our own course and stop where we wanted, without being confined by public transport schedules or stops. And since Munich is a city already inundated by bikes, we really just had to hop on and follow the cycling masses. Drivers are more than used to cyclists, unlocked bikes are parked everywhere, and paths are clearly marked with bike signs. I would definitely recommend Munich as a place to be explored by bike.
I would love to hear from you about places you have visited and enjoyed on two wheels. What are some of the bike friendly cities and towns you would recommend? What are the most unlikely places you’ve explored by bike? And what tips and suggestions do you have for cycle chic tourism? As always, your insights are greatly appreciated! Happy cycling, S.
Post Script: Just after writing up this post, I learned of Dottie and Trisha’s Lets Go Ride a Bike Summer Games. Just think Olympics meet Cycle Chic meet Activism and there you have it in a nutshell. There must have been some kind of serendipity at play, because their event could not have come at a better time. I’m submitting this group ride for my participation in the first event, ‘Social Cycling’, and look forward to competing in events two (‘Learning Experiences’) and three (‘New Territory’) as well. Fellow cycle enthusiasts, make sure to check out Lets Go Ride a Bike for full event details and your chance to win a Batavus BuB!