Kaiserslautern is a secret (and sometimes not-so-secret) biking mecca. Located on the edge of the Palatinate Forest, the largest contiguous forest area in Germany, the surrounding area offers a varied landscape that is ideal for cyclists. Disappear into the forest, and you can find mountains in the south and hills, valleys and rivers like the Lauter or Nahe in the north. Or, follow the old imperial road along flat ground until you reach Saarbrücken or Saargemünd.
Before you go, here are four tips to make sure your trip is as good as it can be.
1. Plan your route.
A great way to plan and select bike tours is by using Komoot (available at www.komoot.com). Komoot is available in many languages, including English, and has an app for smartphones. Tours can be filtered by type (bike tour, MTB, road bike and E Bike), route length/time and difficulty(easy, medium, difficult).
Even special “Gravel routes” like https://www.komoot.com/collection/1158490/en are possible. With a little search, something can be found for every requirement. Please note: this service is commercial and not fully free.
Another option is completely free and can be found at https://www.tourenplaner-rheinland-pfalz.de/. This site is also available in English.
2. Find a local gem.
Two popular cycling destinations in the area are Humbergturm/Bremer Hof in Kaiserslautern and the Ludwigturm (4 km south of the Johanneskreuz).
The Mountainbikepark Pfälzer Wald is also a great choice. It consists of two bike parks: Trippstadt (https://www.bikepark-trippstadt.de/) and Dahn. Unfortunately, both are closed at the moment due to COVID-19, but keep on eye on them when things start to open again.
There is also a single-trail Parcours in Hochspeyer with approximately 20 routes, at least 25% of which are single-trail. More about these tours can be found at https://www.mountainbikepark-pfaelzerwald.de/touren.html. The single trail course in Hochspeyer is currently open.
You can find information about trails, rental bikes, bike workshops and much more at www.singletrail.cc.
3. Check brakes and tires every time.
Before each ride, check the brakes and the air pressure in the tires. The correct air pressure can almost always be found in small print on the side of the tire. If you are unsure, you can usually find a suitable bike store where you can have this briefly checked by a specialist. Often this service is free for regular customers or done quickly for little money. Due to COVID-19, however, you should call before a visit to a bike store and clarify when a visit is possible.
4. Maintain your bike regularly.
Make sure that, at least once a year, you ensure that everything on your bicycle is checked and adjusted. A regularly maintained bike with well adjusted gears, brakes and the correct air pressure increases the driving pleasure and reduces the risk of failure. If the bike still needs an unplanned workshop visit, there are some smaller and larger bike stores in the Kaiserslautern area that are sure to help. Expect longer waiting times during peak riding season between March and October.
Once you’ve covered these bases, head outside and have some fun. See you out there!
Editor’s note: information for this story was provided by Pfalz Bikes in Trippstadt, Germany. (https://pfalz-bikes.de)