8 am in the morning….!
I was headed to Landau for university coursework, already on the train. In Germany, I have to get up around 5 am to get things done quickly. After stepping off the train with my bicycle, I checked the location on Google Maps. I was looking for a vineyard to find different species of butterflies for my Applied Ecology coursework. Although spotting a butterfly is relatively easy, capturing a satisfactory picture is challenging. I also had to take photos of other plant species in the vineyard. In fact, I captured some moments where other animals, like bees; were active.
I had all the necessary equipment in my backpack and began cycling from Landau central station to the vineyard.
Yes! I was almost there; I could see the vineyard on both sides of the road, but there was no way to get there from the road!
After cycling for over 30 minutes, I found myself lost at that time with no stop signs or signals. I was nervous due to the fast-moving trucks and cars passing me. I slowed my bicycle speed and wondered, what can I do?
A lady helped me ..!
Suddenly a red sports car slowed down beside my cycle and a lady told me in clear German accent, “ Please step on the grass and walk from there down to the vineyard. It is forbidden to ride a bicycle on the Autobahn. Take care!“
I replied ‚thank you‘ to the lady with a polite smile though I was shocked …
"It is forbidden to ride a bicycle on the Autobahn"
So, this is the Autobahn?
I was surprised to find myself on the Autobahn while following Google Maps bike route in Germany.
Meanwhile, I stopped my bicycle on the roadside grass and took it to the vineyard. Finally, I was in the vineyard. I spent some time there capturing pictures of butterflies, bees, plants … etc. Soon after I finished my task, I recorded some of the views while riding back to the university.
I should have paid more attention to road signs and not entered on the Autobahn. The following might help you if you are new to Germany and a cyclist.
Good to know if you are a cyclist ...
- Always pay attention to signals and signs on the board.
- Ride your bicycle only on the cycling lane, do not ride in the pedestrian area.
- Make sure to give a hand signal before taking any turns.
- You should have front and back lights. It would be best to use it even in cloudy weather or when it rains.