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Bicycle Tours – Maps and Cycling Routes to Get Your Adventure Started

Does your trip begin when you sit on your bike and start pedaling, or does it begin during the hours spent studying maps and planning routes? For many cyclists, the answer is most definitely the latter. This page contains our large selection of cycle maps and route planners, as well as information on what makes a good cycle route map and what to look out for when making your purchase. Read more

In times when online content, route planners and bike computers reign supreme, good old paper bike books and media may seem a little outdated. But for many touring cyclists, they’ve remained an integral part of their adventures, and for good reason. This is particularly true when it comes to route planning: there’s no online portal or cycling navigation device that can show as much detailed information all at once as a paper map laid out across the floor. With a good cycling map, you can discover routes that you may not have otherwise known about and easily find trails that are specially tailored to cyclists. Cycling maps are an excellent means for finding the best ways to go on your tour and getting a feeling for what’s in store before you even set off on your adventure.

What Makes a Good Cycling Map?

In principle, bike route maps are similar to the standard maps used by walkers, but they have to meet some specific requirements that makes them more tailored to cyclists. To help you make your purchase, we’ve put together a list of the most important criteria and requirements that a cycling map should meet: 

  • Cycling maps should be tailored to cyclists’ needs. This means that cycle routes should be clearly marked.
  • Type of terrain and ground conditions should be indicated, as should altitude.
  • Very detailed cycling maps also show the percentage gradient for steep ascents, so you won’t be in for any nasty surprises.
  • It’s a real plus when maps also point out the sights to see en route.
  • They may also indicate rest stops, repair workshops and e-bike charging points, for example.
  • Cycling maps should be printed on weatherproof, tear-resistant paper – no one wants a map that they can no longer read as it’s been reduced to mush by the rain.
  • Some cycling map suppliers also offer GPS tracks with recommended tours and elevation profiles to download in addition to their paper maps. 

Bicycle Tours – What Kinds of Cycling Maps Are There?

Cycling maps come in different forms. At BIKE24, we offer standard maps as well as cycling maps which are specially tailored to cyclists’ needs. Many maps come with recommended routes, so all you have to do is hop on your bike and follow them. Cycling maps produced by the German cycling association ADFC are particularly popular choices, for example. What’s more, there are also special bicycle tour books containing route ideas and detailed tour descriptions. Many touring riders use illustrated bike books to get inspiration for their adventures. Below you can find a list we’ve put together a list of the most popular cycle routes in Germany, if you fancy taking a cycling trip to the homeland of BIKE24. Many of these routes are best represented on German bike route maps. 

The Most Popular Cycling Routes in Germany

  • Weser Cycle Route
  • Elbe Cycle Route
  • River Main Cycle Route
  • Baltic Coast Cycle Route
  • Ruhr Valley Cycle Route
  • Altmühl Valley Cycle Route
  • Danube Cycle Path
  • Rhine Cycle Route
  • Moselle Cycle Path
  • Five Rivers Cycle Path 

Source: ADFC Germany

What Accessories Do I Need to Go with My Cycling Map?

Already found the perfect cycling map for your adventure? At BIKE24, you can also find accessories which make it easier for you to use your map en route. These include classic map holders, for example, which enable you to easily mount your map on your touring bike. On long tours, in particular, using paper maps is preferred over GPS devices as there’s no need to worry about battery life. A good old compass is also a handy tool to take with you and a perfect accompaniment to your cycling map. A map measurer is also a practical addition: this is an analogue navigation tool with a pointer which allows you to measure the length of the route you have planned.