Cycling Directions from the Frankfurt Airport

This is more or less a direct excerpt from David Alexander's e-mail to me regarding cycling out of Frankfurt Airport.
I found the detail very nice, and the directions were surprisingly easy to use.

If you arrive at Terminal 1, the exit is at ground level. You are facing the bus departure area, beyond that a hotel and autobahn. Turn right and travel east along the walk, marked with red stones, until you reach Terminal 2, or more correctly, the intersection below it. [between the terminals is a green BP gas station, where you can get air]. Air Canada arrives at Terminal 1.

If you arrive at Terminal 2 you just follow the exit road to the intersection below the terminal, where bike paths are coordinated. The map I sent you shows a traffic circle, which is incorrect. Apart from that, the map is clear, and I'll refer to it.

The path east & south from the airport is signed Zeppelinheim 3,4 km and Langener Waldsee 7,6 km. After its initial start on the south side of the ring road, it crosses to the north side [at about the H. in H.- Eckener Ring] and goes along the south side of the Autobahn. The ring road turns south, as part of Ellis Road. The bike path continues and turns south with the Autobahn exit. It continues south, but is now just outside the airport perimeter and between it and the #5 Autobahn. The path is paved and easy to follow. You can't miss the autobahn overpass [at "photo point cc"] - if you don't cross it, a short ride beyond will bring you to a couple of WWII planes, on display next to the US airbase.

Once across the overpass, the road is straight through the woods, past the Zeppelinheim S-bahn and down Flughaven Strasse. I note that the small map shows the bike path jumping a block north. This is presumably to take it down Zeppelinheim's main street, where one can get groceries and such. The little horn with a yellow background is a post office, which usually has phones and
phonecards, if you didn't bother at the airport.


General Points about cycle touring in Germany


Population density and variety are the most notable features; it's the opposite of Saskatchewan that way. Residential, farm, industrial, ecucational, liesure activities etc. are intermingled. In this variety, cycling is much more integrated into traffic than here - provision is usually made for bikes if you watch for it, and includes separate paths; painted or stone sections of street, sidewalks divided into bike & pedestrian lanes, pavement with bikes diagrams painted on, even separate bike traffic lights. Drivers are seldom hostile [one's granny probably cycles], are well trained and used to bikes.

Yow will usually be around other cyclists. My closest calls always involved other bikes, and were due to my revolving head or checking out my chain while driving.

The above mainly applies to cities. In small towns the paths are often unclear, and signs [the size of motorcycle licence plates] are often missing. The reason is, I think, that they are locally maintained and there are just too many ways to go from one place to another for locals to worry about. So, it's probably best not to place too much emphasis on staying on THE bike path. Just enjoy the town and pick up the way on the other side. The older parts of small towns are often very nicely preserved, including central zones banning cars. Stores often carry small, free maps.

One thing, a well-travelled road such as B3 will often be fairly hairy as it passes through a town. You may find your sidewalk/bike path narrowing rapidly to nothing as you approach the centre. But there are always side streets.

Rural areas which are flat, like the Rheingraben, cause some problems in relating the map to the terrain. I mentioned that there are usually a number of routes, so knowing your direction is a good idea. Having some measure of distance would also be nice - often roads have small signs which give distances. Other road signs can be confusing. Clues like railways, highways, canals & creeks abound, and people are only too ready to give advice.

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