During our bicycle tours in the Münsterland region, we have of course also dealt with tour planning. So far, we have always spontaneously driven from place to place, without paying attention to designated routes. This time, of course, we wanted to take a closer look at the well-developed cycling network in Münsterland and test out whether you can get to your desired destination even as an inexperienced bike tourist.
Planning a bike tour Münsterland: map or app?
Start and destination of the tours were fixed, also some intermediate points we had planned. Now it was time to plan the exact route. Yes, and then the question arises: Plan a bike tour Münsterland with the bike map or use the technology and plan with an app?
We first looked at the cycling map. Numerous cycling maps are offered for the Münsterland region. We had two maps available: Steinfurt district and Coesfeld district. Each map in the scale 1.50000, weatherproof, tear-resistant and huge when unfolded. At home and in the hotel it was really super, we could search for routes at our leisure and had a good overview of the area. If you use cycling maps when cycling, you have similar to the past when driving a car the problem of reading while driving. Unfold, look for the right place, wind tugs at the map, fold to right (the desired area is then hopefully visible above), … That is so at all mine…
There are numerous apps that want to relieve you of this problem. We tried in the evening in the hotel to operate some apps on the phone and enter a route. Our tip, it is better to start planning a little earlier, it was necessary to learn the functions of the apps and the operation on the phone was not always so easy (especially if you want to set route markers on a map). On our bike tour, we then needed reception if possible, so that we could also be routed. Well and a holder on the bike for the phone is of course also advantageous (was unfortunately missing on our rental bikes).
We didn’t really like it until we found the app that suited us (Komoot). We enter the route on the computer (which is always with us anyway), then have the map on the phone and can also use it offline.
On the way by bike in Münsterland
As soon as we arrived in Billerbeck, we noticed that there are signs for cyclists at all important junctions. We took a closer look:
How do I read the signs?
The BVA cycling maps and signs are coordinated with each other. Circular routes are indicated and each cycle route runs along the circular route boundaries. Each circular route is given a number.
Destination signs are located at roads, intersections, and interchanges. These are white with red lettering and indicate the long-distance destination and the short-distance destination with kilometer information.
Below the sign are small signs.
One sign contains two numbers. These mean that you are on the circular routes with the corresponding numbers. In our example the circular routes 31 and 50.
There are also small signs with pictograms. For example, a small green castle tower means that you are on a section of the 100 castles route. Other pictograms include a rider on a horse for the Peace Route or a green bicycle for the Hohe Mark Nature Park Route. There are 12 specially signposted routes in Münsterland.
In addition, you can also find small white-red signs. Here you can see a bicycle and an arrow, which shows the cyclist the way to the next crossing point.
We got along very well with this signage. Since our maps and cell phone were not always handy, we have often decided only on the basis of the signage, how our bike tour should continue. We didn’t even get lost in the process, and even on routes that we might not have otherwise assigned to a cycling route at first glance, we cycled very well from place to place with the signage. Planning a bike tour Münsterland is therefore easy even for beginners in bicycle tourism.
RadBahn Münsterland – a special route
The RadBahn Münsterland runs along a former railroad line from Coesfeld to Rheine.
In 1871, the Rheinische Eisenbahn Gesellschaft opened the Oberhausen-Quakenbrück line. The line was to be used as cost-effectively and competitively as possible for freight traffic, and so it was decided that the route should be as straight as possible. Although this prevented the connection of some villages, trains were also used for passenger traffic. In 1984, the number of passengers carried was so low that it was decided to discontinue passenger service. At the end of the 1990s, freight traffic also had to be discontinued.
Fortunately, railroad enthusiasts worked to ensure that traces of railroad history are still recognizable today. For example, old station buildings, signals and the hectometer stones have been preserved.
In 2007, the municipalities bought up the old unused railroad line and converted it into a bike path. The route from Rheine to Billerbeck-Lutum is about 40 kilometers long. Almost straight as a die, the 3-meter-wide route leads through the landscape without any major inclines and has almost become a small race track for cyclists.
Along the RadBahn the cyclist will find numerous resting places. Some of them are in small houses, very reminiscent of the railroad keepers’ cottages. Gastronomic establishments are indicated along the route, some are located in the old railroad stations. Here we also discovered recharging stations for the e-bikes.
We have experienced a bicycle tour from Billerbeck to Steinfurt on the RadBahn. The report on this will be published later and then linked here.