Tag Archives: leisure cycling lake constance

Customer Story: Lake Constance

Exploring three countries, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, our cycling holiday around Lake Constance is a great trip with a lot of character and our guides will be sure to help you discover some of the fantastic beauty of the region and support you along the way. Our Customer Competition winner, Lynn Harris, has experienced herself how amazing our guides are and what are the benefits of riding in the group! Here’s her story…

“An average of 50 km a day?  I can do that,” I told my husband.  “And it’s rated a 1-2, that’s my speed – easy/gentle.”  So I called the Skedaddle office and booked us onto the Lake Constance supported holiday.  Then the questions and doubts started in my mind.  I am a fair-weather cyclist riding on mostly flat roads.  What if it rained?  What if I had problems with the hills?  What if I was the slowest person?

Well, I needn’t have worried.  Our guide, Suzanne, assured us that it was quite all right to walk up a hill, and that there were trains and boats that could shorten any day’s ride.  Skedaddle came through with sunshine and no wind for the week.  What more could you ask for?

Off we started on our first day’s ride.  The riding was easy and we stopped at a waterfront café for cake and another one for lunch.  Not too bad!  Then came the afternoon.  Definitely hillier and there were some that I had to walk up.  But not to worry, Suzanne sometimes walked up too, to provide company.  And the others waited at the top for the walkers to catch up.

Switzerland and Germany have quite a convoluted border on the way out to Rhine Falls.  We crossed between the two countries five times in less than twenty kilometers.  For us North Americans, it was strange to cross the border without stopping at Customs and showing our passports.  In fact, often all we saw was a just a marker at the side of the road.

Each day’s ride was a little different, passing cornfields or apple orchards and vineyards, forests or fields, towns and countryside.  And each day’s ride ended at a well-appointed, local hotel with comfortable beds, good showers, and good food.

We were amazed at the number of cyclists we saw each day – both locals out on daily business and those out touring, and the amount of cycling infrastructure – well-signed cycling paths/lanes, and bicycle parking areas at train stations, city centres, and hotels.  So much more advanced than at home.

Since this was a leisure tour, we had time to stop to enjoy the views along the way and to explore some of the sights – old city centres, harbours, museums, and more.  Some of us went up the cable car at Pfander.  Two of our group even took their bikes and rode back down.  And there were always stops for lunches and breaks at outdoor cafés.

Suzanne ably led us to each day’s destination and dealt with any problems that arose.   Everyone in our group had interesting stories to share, especially of their previous cycling experiences.  Although this route could easily be done self-guided, it was so much more enjoyable to be with the group.’

Feeling inspired? Join us on our supported Lake Constance tour, where our guides will help you to discover beautiful lakeside pedalling around one of Europe’s largest lakes. Or choose a self-guided version of the route and explore the region at your own pace!

E-asy Rider

Many of our trips now have electric bikes (e-bikes) available as a hire bike option and are making some tours more accessible. Whilst very popular throughout Europe, the UK and its cyclists are slowly catching-up (no pun intended).

Why Choose An e-bike? If you feel a certain tour is a little beyond your current level of fitness or just fancy taking it a little bit more leisurely they are perfect. They’ll also make light work of any occasional ‘cheeky climbs’ along the way and will allow you to take on longer rides too.

I’m A Technophobe – How Do They Work? An e-bike is like a normal bike but has a small integrated motor to help you along. The e-bikes we tend to use are pedal-assisted models on which a sensor detects when you are pedalling and activates the motor (at full power or whatever level you have chosen) whenever you are cycling.

Do They Make Much Difference? Most of the bikes come with several different settings so the motor will only kick-in when you really need it. On the highest setting you will get a boost as soon as your pedalling starts to slow down or if you turn it down it will only kick-in when you really start to struggle. The motor can of course be totally turned off so you can get as much or as little help as you need.

How Do I Recharge My Batteries? Batteries usually take between 3 to 5 hours to fully recharge and cost just a few pence to do so. This can be done in your hotel room overnight or if you think you might need a little more ‘juice’ during the day, then you might want to plug in whilst stopping for lunch or a snack at a café along the way.

How Far Can I Go? You’ll be able to go between 30 to 50 Kms (20 to 30 Miles) if the route is relatively flat with some mellow pedalling. Of course if the route has a few hills along the way or if you’re using the motor all the time this will be a little less. Needless to say our routes will take this into account.

Aren’t They Really Heavy? It’s swings and rounda- bouts. In general e-bikes weigh around 10 Kilos more than your normal bike, but the extra weight is offset by the assistance you’ll get from the motor and we promise you’ll not need to lug them up ten flights of stairs to store them at night!

Will I Get A Speeding Ticket? e-bikes have a restricted speed limit and will stop assisting you when you reach 25km/h (15.5 mph). Of course this doesn’t apply if pedalling or freewheeling so you can whizz downhill as fast as you like. Can The Kids Have an e Bike? By law anyone over 14 years old can ride an e-bike and join in the fun.

Which Holidays Are e-Vailable? We’ve popped an E on the Leisure Ride Guide next to those holidays where e-bikes are available. But on many others we can arrange them, so if you fancy the look of a trip and like the idea of doing it by e-bike them let us know and we’ll do our best to make it work for you.

Call us if you fancy giving them a whirr? For a full list of all our e-bike holidays click here