Route planning

What better to do while lying in the bed with the flu than to plan the actual route?

It is a bit more challenging than just saying, well Crailsheim - Donauwörth  and then the Donau Radweg.

The main reason I can actually cycle home is that my girlfriend is taking a course in Langenargen for a week. However, since we don't have a car, it's impossible for her to get there in time for the start of her course on Sunday, so she must go there the previous day. So going there together for a Saturday seems like a great idea - if the route from there is still doable within the time constraints (I have 8 days to get to Budapest). Based on a quick google maps search it seemed so, so I went into the details (elevation is not such a big issue when driving a car, but for cycling with bad knees it certainly is).

Finding cycling routes in Germany online

Radweg is the keyword to search for. Finding routes today is much easier - there is so much available content blogged (trip reports, and more trip reports) and shared via fitness tracking sites(RunKeeper, EveryTrail, Endomondo). I have to say though that the route tracking sites are somewhat hard to use for long routes, so if I haven't found the 360 degree blog, I might not have been able to find their routes as one that might interest me. Also, until I knew the actual route's name, it was somewhat difficult to search for it :) The find the name of the route - was a great help there, and it has rough map sketches at the bottom, just above the ads. And google translate can make a world of a difference (though I was pleasantly surprised I didn't need it all the time - I must actually been learning some German, not just trying to!) And then there is naviki, which ties together user's uploaded tracks, creating an incredibly full coverage for German cycling routes. Or routes people cycle on :)

naviki is great, but has a few limitations (hey, it's beta!)

  • it doesn't know about "official" routes, so it will always give you the shortest route between two points - even if there is a mountain to cross, which could have been avoided by making a small detour. But you can provide intermediate points, just like with google maps to guide it to your desire
  • when you misspell or don't give the precise name for a town (e.g.: Wernstein vs. "Wernstein am Inn"), it hangs, and you have to reload the site, and start reentering *all* the data - previously entered location names are forgotten (and it doesn't trigger the browser's autocomplete feature)
  • you can only have 19 points specified (and sometimes less - no clue why)
But these are minor things. And putting up with these does totally worth it, because
  • it gives you the elevation profile
  • and you can download the whole route in many file formats (I prefer GPX)
I worked around the 19 point limitation by uploading the naviki exported files to Everytrail into a single trip (create the first one, then edit waypoints, +upload more gps file and it adds the points to the existing route).
So now I have a single view for my route options (included at the end of the post)

Route options

And of course, from Passau to Budapest it's the Dona Radweg.

So which path will I follow?

Don't know yet :)
I'm usually not the type to cycle uphill (bad knees), and thus I'm somewhat worried about the steep ascents in the Bodensee-Konigsee-Radweg on my first day, but since it's only two real steep one, in the worst case I can just walk up with the bike and plan for a real short first day (it's downhill almost all the way from there, so I should be able to push those lost kilometers into the following seven days). And I have never yet been above 1000 meters with a bike, and it's tempting. Though from the two valleys (Isar/Inn) I'll probably choose the Inn, since I won't have much time to do sightseeing, and cycling near big cities is usually not pretty and fun - great for training/commuting, but not for a trip.
360degree's path is shorter and has less of a killer ascent in the beginning, but I'm not sure if it goes on dedicated cycling roads or it's just together with the cars - some of the roads it goes along seem to be main roads from the map.

The actual map

Crailsheim/Langenargen to Passau route plan Screenshot of the routes planned See this map (and export as GPX) on EveryTrail!

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