Deggendorf, and I would say Germany in general, turns out to be an excellent place to cycle around. Be it the roads, along rivers and lakes and canals, or even in the forests. Personally, it’s less about the fitness and more about the feeling of going against the wind and getting to places quicker whilst enjoying the ride along the way for me.
I got my cycle during my first days in Deggendorf. I was really lucky as a fellow student had a website for used bikes and I got one as soon as I could. I fell in love with my bike as soon as I saw it and it was the perfect height for me! I was so excited for all the adventures I will have with it!
The first challenge for me was to orient myself. Now, in India, we drive on the left side of the road (as opposed to the right side in Germany). I kept subconsciously riding on the left side of empty roads and I had to keep my right hand tight so that I remembered to ride on the right side. Took me a day to reorient myself and luckily I didn’t run into anyone while on the wrong side for the few seconds I was. Another challenge was the gear system. I never really rode a bike with gears (gears in vehicles is a different deal) so I had to research about it. I learnt that you should switch to lower gears while climbing a hill and higher gears when you want to speed up without having to wind yourself up. Nevertheless, I have used the same gear for a year :P
I think it was the second week after getting the bike. You know how overconfidence often catches up to you and you end up falling. Sometimes, literally. This is a good time to tell you guys to be careful while changing from the road to the bike lane on the footpath. Especially if the footpath is a bit higher than the road, there is a chance that your speed won’t take you higher and you end up trapping yourself between the road and the bike path like me. I was lucky to escape with scratches on my palm but it was a bizarre adventure.
One of the best things that Deggendorf offers for bikers is the sheer amount of bike routes in and around the town. Especially along the Donau, the route to Metten is super beautiful and serene. There is an ice-cream place in Metten which you should definitely try! There are also bike routes on the other side of the Donau in Fischerdorf and more. There are really nice routes to nearby lakes and towns and it is always a good exercise to do alone or an activity to do with friends. You will always find bike routes marked out in your favourite map app. In a better situation, there are usually short bike trips by the International Tutors to nearby places!
Biking is something that you can always do by yourself even during a pandemic. So, bike away!!!
Till next time,
Ajay is an Angewandte Informatik Masters Student (he recently learned the pronunciation) from India. He has been an ESN member ever since and keeps saying he is an Arsenal fan like it is a badge of honour. He loves to eat even though it doesn't seem like he does. He is a traveller who likes to experience new adventures.