Brompton on tour: Berlin and Brandenburg by bike and train
Meet Juliane aka Radelmädchen – author, blogger and co-founder of the 'The Women All Ride' collective. She was nice enough to tell us what travelling by Brompton means to her, what advantages a folding bike has at times when she has to hop on the train, and where to find the best bike rides in Berlin and Brandenburg.
My small, compact service bike has been with me for over 5 years now. And I still love it! The best thing about this bike is probably the fact that I can take it with me anywhere, anytime. No matter if it's in the supermarket, in a hotel, or on the train, my Brompton rarely ever leaves my side.
Every train journey has gotten so much easier thanks to my folding bike. I'll cycle to the station, fold it on the platform, get on the train, put the bike in the luggage area or behind my seat, travel across the country, get off the train when I arrive, unfold my bike and take off – now that's what you call modern mobility, and it means you can be very independent too. I've been making the most of those very advantages in the last years. And going far beyond the city at that.
On tour with a Brompton
I've already been on some longer tours with Ljómi, my Brompton. For example, we were on the Rhine cycle path together and did part of the Berlin Wall Trail as well. Last summer, not only did I take it with me on the train when I went on holiday to Slovenia, but I was also riding it all the time on bike tours at home, in Berlin and Brandenburg.
To Brandenburg by bike and by train
In fact, I'd like to show you one of said tours on here... you can find this one as well as 20 others in my book "Radvergnügen in & um Berlin" ("Cycling fun in and around Berlin") as well. I scouted a lot of these routes on my bike, so they're all Brompton approved! All the starting points are right by a station too, very well connected to public transport. So no need for a car. This is where all the advantages of a Brompton really come into play:
- spontaneous travel, no need to know onto which trains you're allowed to take your bike or where the cycle carriage is
- even if a train is full to bursting, there's usually space for a compact, folded package
- no extra bike reservation required (neither for local nor long-distance travel)
ArchitekTour: Natural splendour – Potsdam's little baroque castles & cherry blossoms
There's a lot to see and do on this day trip – it's enchanting pretty much all year round. Around 32 kilometres in length, the tour features splendid baroque architecture, elaborately designed gardens and leafy forests as well as a seasonal festival and waterside riding.
Length: approx. 32 kilometres
Elevation: approx. 120 metres
Duration: approx. 3 hours
Type of tour: round trip
Architectural highlights, relaxed cycle paths and lots of water. It's easy to get from Berlin to Potsdam by regional train or on the S-Bahn. The route starts and ends at Potsdam's main train station. In addition to the numerous sightseeing stops on offer, you'll also have plenty of opportunities to relax out in nature, eat good food, and even take a quick dip while you're on this tour.
In Potsdam, the route will take you (on bike paths) past the cream of the local architecture – Old Market Square, Film Museum, Brandenburg Gate. Make sure you visit Sanssouci Park and the imposing New Palace as well. Following the hustle and bustle of the city and the many architectural highlights, it's time for a relaxing ride on a bike path between the fields (pleasant cycling on a Brompton too).
Worth a look every season
Once you've crossed the Havel river near the regional railway station, you'll reach Werder/Havel. Finally, some water! Don't miss out on seeing the historic old town on the island and the windmill either. You'll find several charming little cafés there too, where you can take a break and grab a bite to eat. In May, the region hosts the famous Baumblütenfest ("Tree Blossom Festival"), a large folk festival which is a celebration of fruit farming in the area and which attracts many visitors.
From here, the route runs along the water for most of the way. There's a small ferry on the island of Wentorf which will take you across the water to Caputh. The tour then leads past Caputh House with its beautiful park, and continues through the forest on an asphalt cycle path. If you want, you can check out the bathing beach or nearby Forsthaus Templin with its own brewery before reaching Potsdam again, where the tour ends at the main station.