E-Bikes / electric bikes are bang on trend in the Black Forest, with region-wide offers
Get a taste of the mountain air without the exhaustion- discover the beautiful, elevated Black Forest landscape and even feel the wind behind your back when cycling up hills E-Biking is the new experience in the Black Forest. The E-Biker travels silently, almost floating, and, above all, in an environmentally friendly way.
Electric bicycles and Pedelecs are bang on trend. Over 200,000 electric bikes were bought in 2010 and the tendency is growing.
Numerous companies and energy providers are convinced that these new bikes belong to the auxiliary motors of the future. There are no limits to the amount of fun that can be had, as electric bikes can also be used just like normal bicycles. The cyclist can select how much support the motor should provide, all at the touch of a button. If you pedal hard, the motor conserves its energy. Thus, the cyclist and the bike work in 'tandem'. Modern electric bikes can now cover distances of between 40 and 60 km. The actual battery capacity is shown on the handlebar display. A Pedelec motor can provide speeds of up to 25 km/h- meaning that a driving licence is not required.
E-Bike locations & tours
Some locations and regions such as the Upper Black Forest, the southern Black Forest Bergwelt, the Freudenstadt region, the Enztal or the Kaiserstuhl offer an extensive E-Bike service. They include hire stations, special maps with tried and tested suggested tour routes, battery exchanging facilities and charging stations. Maps containing this information, such as the map of the Bad Herrenalb Tour or the Breitnau Tour, can be downloaded for free from the Internet. From May this year, you can plan your tour online, interactive and free of charge (www.3-loewen-takt.de). Some offers include guided tours or a bring and collect service to your accommodation.
As child transporters can be attached to the E-Bikes, the bike tour is a special Black Forest experience for children too. The tours lead cyclists through the picturesque landscape to viewpoints, such as of the Belchen or the Feldberg. The towns along the way feature further tourist attractions, such as the Dorotheenhütte in Wolfach or the 'Finstergrund' mining museum near Wieden.
Don't worry if you don't have your own E-Bike you don't have to miss out on this new Black Forest experience: Numerous hosts provide their guests with E-Bikes, and several local areas feature stations or guesthouses that hire out bikes at a cost of between 16 and 30 euro per day.
Here is a selection of facilities at different locations:
E-Bike hire in Bad Bellingen
Electric bike hire in Bad Bellingen is starting just in time for the beginning of the spring season, with the hire of the so-called E-Bikes from the Movelo company. 30 of these bikes, with the 'Flyer' brand, have been purchased by the Bade- und Kurverwaltung Bad Bellingen. There are two different model sizes available, each with a low entry, and they can be hired out from the spa hotel or from participating VIP hotels from 10 euro for three hours or 16 euro for the whole day. Additional services include charging and exchanging the batteries.
In order to make it easier to choose your route, a brochure featuring the most important information and suggested tours has been produced. This is available, together with a range of cycle route maps, from the service centre at the Balinea Thermen, by phoning +49 (0) 7635 808 220 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, themed guided tours starting and ending at the Hotel Schwarzwälder Hof in Bad Bellingen are available. For registration and further information, please contact the service centre at the Balinea Thermen. The hire point at the Balinea Thermen spa hotel is open from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 6 pm.
A new season of E-Biking in the Enztal
Although the Sommerbergbahn (funicular railway) in Bad Wildbad is currently being refurbished, there is an E-Bike hire station in the funicular railway station. There are currently 14 so-called Pedelecs available, and this number will be increased to 20 in the future. It is also the meeting point for the Enztal E-Bike tours. Here E-Bikes can be hired for 9 euro for four hours, or for 16 euro per day. The bikes can be reserved by calling 07081/384 851.
In order to make it easier to choose your route, a special flyer featuring the most important information and suggested tours has been produced. It is available from the Bad Wildbad tourist office (tel. 07081/10285). All tours are based on the battery life of the bikes and incorporate charging stations and local eateries. www.bad-wildbad.de.
E-Biking in the southern Black Forest
A network of 900 km of special E-Bike routes with bike hire, battery changing stations and tourist attractions stretches across the southern Black Forest. There are 98 E-Bikes in use, as well as 35 hire and battery changing stations, an additional 12 battery changing stations and over 100 tourist attractions. The entire network incorporates Freiburg i. Breisgau, Müllheim, Todtmoos, Löffingen, St. Peter and the entire southern Black Forest. The network has recently been extended to include St. Blasier Land and the town of Lörrach. The network incorporates a number of tourist attractions, such as the 'Belchen', Finstergrund mining museum in Wieden, Titisee Lake and the Feldberg Mountain.
The hire and battery charging stations are situated in the tourist information offices, bike shops, hotels and restaurants, in order to guarantee operation, including on Sundays and bank holidays. The network has been planned on the presumption that each battery charge is sufficient to reach the next charging/exchange station with half of the charge.
Further information is available from www.ebike-schwarzwald.de, www.elektrofahrrad-schwarzwald.de, www.bergwelt-suedschwarzwald.de.
Master the peaks of the Black Forest on an E-Bike in the Upper Black Forest
Anyone wanting to 'master' the summit by bike doesn't have to over-exert themselves in the Upper Black Forest: A gentle pressure on the pedals is all that is required to cause the E-Bike to surge up the hill with the help of the motor. Battery-supported bikes can be hired, and batteries exchanged free of charge, from 17 hire and 10 battery changing stations. Guided half or full-day E-Bike tours will be available each day from 28th May to 8th October (29/49 euro). Depending on the type of E-Bike, it costs 22 or 30 euro to hire a bike for the first day, and then 15 or 20 euro per day for subsequent days. Guests with the Hochschwarzwald Card can hire an E-Bike for free for three hours. Fixed rates can be booked by calling 07652 1206-8502. An interactive map is available on www.hochschwarzwald.de to help you plan your route.
The Kaiserstuhl and Europa Park region are mobilising
The E-Bike season is also under way in the Kaiserstuhl, Tuniberg and Europa Park regions. The wide-ranging offer, from E-Bike hire to booking a guided tour, has been designed to give all non-cyclists the desire to discover and enjoy the southern Black Forest regions by electric bike. A total of 29 hire stations and 7 additional battery changing stations are now ready and waiting for cyclists. Besides the Europa Park region, movelo are acting as bike hirers, the Sporthochschule in Cologne as a partner for environmentally friendly offers, the Kaiserstuhl-Tuniberg-Tourismus e.V. for tourist support, and the ENBW as a sponsor.
The hire fee for electric bicycles is 20+1 euro per day. The 1 euro is donated to conservation projects, which will make the landscape around the Kaiserstuhl and Tuniberg mountains even more beautiful for cyclists. The E-Bike partners in the region have between two and six bikes available. An overview of the hire and battery stations, as well as a suggested tour around the Kaiserstuhl is available from the 'Leichter treten durch E-Power' (Pedal lighter with E-Power) brochure published by movelo. It is available from almost all tourist offices at the Kaiserstuhl and in Freiburg, www.endingen.de, www.breisach.de, www.naturgarten-kaiserstuhl.de, www.freiburg.de, www.kaiserstuhl.cc
Guided E-Bike tours with the Original Schwarzwald AG
Guided E-Bike tours are being offered in Freiburg and the surrounding region for the very first time. After an introduction to using electric bicycles, the day tours begin in the cycling city of Freiburg, where the electrically operated bikes are also enjoying increasing popularity. An experienced bike guide accompanies participants on the cycle tour, which either goes to the Markgräflerland, to the Kaiserstuhl or to the Upper Black Forest. The cycle tours are ideal for cyclists for whom the mountains are normally too steep, but who like to spend their time in and amongst nature in a more comfortable way.
On Saturday 14th May 2011 there is a tour to the Kaiserstuhl Mountain, and on 23rd July 2011 to the Upper Black Forest. All E-Bike tours begin at 10 am in Freiburg, and cost from 69 euro per person. Transport with a Vesper is included in all tours. Registration, information and further dates from the Original Schwarzwald AG. Tel: 0 76 34/56 9 56 26, www.original-schwarzwald.de.
E-Bike charging station network
More and more hire stations have been set up in response to the increasing demand, and have also incorporated charging stations. Charging the battery is child's play: The batteries can be charged free of charge in over 170 facilities between the Rhine to the west and the eastern Black Forest border. The special charging station network maps for E-Bikers and the Schwarzwald app for the iPhone navigate cyclists to their next charging station. The stations are available for Panasonic and Bosch batteries. As the service is often provided by restaurants and eateries, the cyclist can pass the time by eating lunch or visiting thermal baths, for example in Bad Bellingen.
The Freudenstadt region in the northern Black Forest is an E-Bike paradise
E-Bikes can be hired from 21 stations in the Freudenstadt region, for example from the Baiersbronn tourist office, from the Rent-e-Bike company in Freudenstadt, from Fahrrad Gaiser in Mitteltal and from several hotels in the area. Around 550 km tourist cycle paths are signposted and 75 charging stations are ready for use. An overview of the most important cycle paths and all charging and hire stations is available from the Landratsamt (District Office) and from all tourist information offices. Please contact Monika Krämer for more information from the Landratsamt Freudenstadt: Tel. 07441 920-1905.
For information about hire and charging stations, as well as extensive E-Bike offers, visit http://www.teinachtal.de/index.php?id=89, www.baiersbronn.de/text/114/de/fahrrad-und-mtb-und-e-bike.html,
Central-northern Black Forest nature reserve: www.naturparkschwarzwald.de
Southern Black Forest nature reserve: www.naturpark-suedschwarzwald.de
More information, maps and flyers: Schwarzwald Tourismus GmbH, Heinrich-von-Stephan-Str. 8b, D-79100 Freiburg, Tel.+49 761.89646-93, www.emotion-schwarzwald.info.