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by Tatiana-san, 26 April 2015
On Easter we decided to go to Köln. Of course, by bikes) The plan was to ride from Koblenz to Köln along Rhein, then somehow from Köln to Aachen on the next day (I was lazy to prepare the route), and on the third day from Aachen to Liège via South Holland.

We (me and Kay) started from Koblenz around 12h. Somewhere near 13th kilometre Kay has lost his chain. Likely, he had another one to replace it) The broken chain went to trash, and we continued.

The bike path along Rhein is pretty good. It is well-signposted, the surface is also fine. But… that day there was a very strong wind from North! Exactly from our destination) All the way we had to pedal against wind, which was hard even for me, with a small backpack. No idea how Kay was riding all the way with a 25kg bike trailer attached to his LOOK… The lesson learnt; check the direction of the wind before you go!!!

On Sunday morning I continued to Aachen alone. Kay stayed in Köln with his family for the Easter. After a breakfast in the city centre, at 10 am I started the ride. Although I had some bike maps downloaded on my phone, I decided to follow signs on the road. And that was a big mistake. Bike paths, NRW style)

Who came up with idea to call this a “bike path”? For MTB it’s fine, but not for my thin tires!!! A good part of the route looked like this.

By 15h I arrived in Düren, a small town right in the middle between Köln and Aachen. After a quick lunch, I opened a map on my phone, and tried to plan the second part of the route. I still had some 50km to ride, and 5.5h of daylight. Should be fine. On the way to Düren I took a picture of a map with local bike paths. I decided to try again and rely on signposting – the path I needed was following the railway line to Aachen, so in the worst case I can always take a train.
This time I was luckier – asphalt was everywhere) At 19h I finally arrived in Aachen. I spent a nice evening riding in the old town. By the end of the day my bike computer showed me 100km. Time to sleep)

Day 3, 8:30 am. I left hostel and went to the old centre of Aachen. Yesterday I saw somewhere there a sign pointing towards Vaals, a Dutch village on the way to Belgium. I don’t know when exactly I crossed the German-Dutch border, but when I asked a local man in which country we are, he said “Holland”. Yay! Cycling paradise! The rest of the day will be a piece of cake)
What I love in Dutch cycling infrastructure – it’s built exactly where it’s needed. A bike path follows the road for cars, and at the same time it is completely separated from it. No loops, hills, zigzags etc.
By lunchtime I arrived in Maastricht, a Dutch town near the border between South Holland and Belgium. From there I continued towards Visé, and then to Liège, following the Maas (Meuse) river. This time I was better prepared for Belgian cycling infrastructure – I followed the navigator in my phone instead of signposting, which I tried only once and ended up climbing down a hill with my bike. This was the end of the bike path))

From Liège I took a train to the border between Belgium and Luxembourg. I could continue to Luxembourg city, but I strongly disagree with the idea to pay additional 8 euro just to cross the border + 10 euro more to cross the border with my bike. So, I got off the train in the last Belgian village Gouvy 1h before the sunset, and biked to Troisvierges (Luxembourg). It was a bit of racing with the sun at the end, but I managed to come to the train station when it wasn’t that dark yet. That was the end of my 3-day adventure.   

Sunday the 24th - Bike Info Luxembourg - Hostgator Coupon