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The bicyclegermany web site is, like its author Tim Burleigh, very funny and contains a lot of useful information. The English is of course like Tim, American, but we can't all be perfect. (Sorry Tim!) The British cycletourer site is well organised, well written and is an excellent introduction into continental cycling. In fact if I had found these sites before we started our web site, I suspect we wouldn't have bothered to set this site up.

I have recently read one of George Farnsworth's excellent eMail archives about cycle touring in Europe. I picked up George's site on Sheldon Brown's web site. If you start to look into cycling on the web you find his, Sheldon's, name every other line. It is not the prettiest of sites but it's full of useful information and good links. Sheldon died recently but his web site can still be read. I picked up the Sheldon Brown web site on the Eurobikers site. To quote its motto: "This site is not made for browsers. It is done for cyclists". Not a bad one actually. This is a good place to start looking for information about cycling, bikes and touring. So there you are! If your boss does not believe your partner's story that you are sick and in your bed when you want to road test the new Rohlhoff hub gear, then go into work and log into one of the above.

Having had a run in with skin cancer some years ago, I prefer long sleeved shirts or jerseys for cycling even in the middle of summer. If you want a long sleeved summer cycling shirt check out Ground Effect in New Zealand. Their gear is excellent.

Omnimap.com in Burlington, North Carolina now carries full stocks of all our books. This makes it much easier and cheaper for our North American customers to buy our books.

Russell Guy guy@omnimap.com

Omnimap.com www.omnimap.com/catalog/cycling/bergstrasse.htm

International Map Specialists Tel.: 800-742-2677 (USA only)

P.O. Box 2096 Tel.: 336-227-8300 (International)

1004 South Mebane St. Fax: 336-227-3748

Burlington, NC 27216-2096 USA

Bike Hire We get lots of questions about bike hire. In areas like Lake Constance it is easy. The following is selection of bike hire places around the lake. Elsewhere in Germany it is not easy to find a bike hire centre. We would suggest you contact the local ADFC (one of the German national cyclist organisations) via their national homepage and ask their advice. This is what we do if you write to us. The tourist offices in the big cities don't seem to have any idea about the needs of touring cyclists in respect of bicycle hire. You could check our blog: http://www.europeancycling.blogspot.com/ where we write about bike hire from time to time. One of these days we will put the addresses on this web site, but we do like to go cycling as well.

Switzerland: The bigger Swiss railway stations hire out city, touring and mountain bikes with free helmets and children's seats for about 20 Euro per day Details from: Rent a Bike AG, Parkstrasse 15, CH-4106 Therwill, Tel: +41 61 726 92 10, Fax: +41 61 726 92 11, E-mail: Info@rentabike.ch, Homepage: www.rent-a-bike.ch/ (in German or French)

Egner-2Rad-Center GmbH, Bahnhofsplatz 6, CH 9322 Egnach, T: +41 (0) 71 4700506, F: +41 (0) 71 4700507 offers tandems for 26 Euro/day (132 Euro a week). We have hired from here and wobbled alarmingly initially, but ended up being capable but very careful tandemeers. However the stoker (Mrs. F) found the lack of vision very frightening so I doubt that we will be doing it again, until one or the other of us suffers from knee problems. The large almost traffic-free space outside for the initial wobbly phase is excellent. Once you gain confidence you can burn up and down the Bodenseeradweg.

Apropos of nothing at all if you want to rent a bike in Geneva, Switzerland try Genev' Roule. Be warned however reasonably enough in the middle of one of the biggest French speaking cities in Switzerland, they don't speak much English.

Austria Radsport Kloster, on the promenade in Bregenz to the north of the main railway station in Bregenz Austria. T: +43 (0)650 5413000 Address for bookings: Radsport Kloster, Hodsteigstr 3, A 6858 Schwarzach, 21 gear trekking bikes between 6 and 11 Euro/ day depending on the length of the hire period. Trailers available. Open from 08:00 to 21:00 depending on the weather every day from May to September.

Germany:

Zweirad Schmid, Ernst-Lehmann-Str 12, D 88045 Friedrichshafen, T: +49(0)7541 21870, F: 24880

Kultur-Rädle (Fahrradstation am Hauptbahnhof-bicycle centre in the main railway station), Bahnhofsplatz 29, D 78462 Konstanz, T:  +49(0)7531 27310, F: +49(0)7531 916326

Unger’s Fahrradverleih, Inselgraben 14, D 88131 Lindau, T: +49(0)8382 943688, Mountain bikes and 21 gear trekking bikes 8 Euro a day, Tandems cost 11 Euro a day. Children’s bikes, seats and trailers available. Reductions in daily hire rate for periods of more than a week. Open Mo-Fr 09:00-13:00, 15:00-18:00, Sa, Su and public holidays: 09:00-13:00

Station Fahrradvermietung, im Hauptbahnhof, D 88131 Lindau, (inside the railway station), 21-gear trekking bikes 9 Euro a day. The daily rate drops each additional day down to 5 or 6 Euro. Trailers and children's’ bikes available. Reductions in daily hire rate for periods of more than a week. Hirers travelling to Lindau by rail get a reduction of 80 cents/day. Panniers can also be hired for 5-10 Euro a day. Open Mo-Fr 09:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 18:00, Sa 09:30 to 13:00, Su and public holidays 09:00 to 12:00. Sunday/public holiday opening is dependent on the weather.

Spezialradverleih Martin Hampel, Friedrichstr 8, D 78315 Radolfszell, T:  +49(0)7732 979732, F:  +49(0)7732 979732, info@spezialradverleih.de, www.spezialradverleih.de, offers all sorts of bicycles including our beloved Bromptons, tandems, recumbents, trailers, dog trailers, children-adult tandems etc. at quite reasonable prices. This could be your chance to try out that slightly odd bike that you have always wondered about buying, under realistic conditions.

Unger’s Fahrradverleih, Halbinselstr 49, D 88142 Wasserburg, T: +49(0)8382 888496, Mountain bikes and trekking bikes 8 Euro a day, Tandems cost 11 Euro a day. Childrens’ bikes, seats and trailers available. Reductions in daily hire rate for periods of more than a week. Open Mo-Fr 09:00-13:00, 15:00-18:00, Sa, Su and public holidays: 09:00-13:00

Trike rental in the NW of Germany. Drop a mail to info@hasebikes.com

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