Cycling in Münster

The other day I had the opportunity to visit Münster again, situated in Westphalia, north of Dortmund, and my old haunt from university days. Münster is known for its huge percentage of cycle related transport, according to different sources 35 or even 40 per cent of all trips are made by bike, making it one of Germany´s foremost cycling cities. Reasons for this are the absence of hills, and the town´s social structure with about one quarter of its inhabitants being university students.

Consequently you find parked bikes everywhere.


There´s old wrecks, sadly left to rot although they might still be saved, like this fifties Adler with its stylized Bauhaus eagle,



ubiquitous Dutch roadsters,

XMGazCornerwell-heeled moms´ bikes (Or maybe is she lucky enough to able to dispense with a car and to buy a decent bike instead?),


as well as fantastic handmade luxury bikes.


XMRohlhubYou find them parked along the newly opened and very grand Landesmuseum which houses artefacts from several centuries,

XMLandesmus2 XMLandesmusand on former car parking spaces.

XMParkBikeNeither is Münster´s heart, Prinzipalmarkt with its Lambertikirche, exempt.

XMLambertiBefore you rush to Münster expecting to wallow up to your hips in Renaissance buildings: All the town houses you see have been built in the fifties, to look similar to their predecessors destroyed in WWII, but to be much more habitable inside.

The bikes that happen not to be parked, frequently use the

XMPromSchild which is a combined foot- and cyclepath rounding the inner city, using part of the space created by the razing of Münster´s city walls in the 19th century. It even incorporates structures like this underpass

XMPromUnterfmaking cycling much easier for those who want to cross this

XMPromUnterfKreuzgroad. More typical, however, is this sort of view,

XMPromturnor this:

XMPromQThe fotos were taken on a cold and inhospitable day during low traffic volume time; more often than not Promenade is filled to the brim with cyclists.

More infrastructure always is close by; cycle shops abound, too. Some have hire bikes on the streets ready to be used.

XMLuftstation XMLeihräder XMLeihraddetXMHansenXMOstma

Walking through the city my impression was that the fixie craze seems to be abating. I only saw a few of them being ridden, and only one parked, and that was a horrible specimen built on the basis of an old Motobécane or Hercules frame and only used to advertise a nearby shop.

XMMilchreardo XMMilchrearbrake XMMilchfull XMMilchdttransfQuite close to this horror, another one, perhpas ever worse, was lurking. In a shop window, this thing pretending to be an early fifties Dürkopp racer, was presented to disbelieving passers-by.

XMDürkfullXMDürkseatcl XMDürkrim XMDürkreardo XMDürkpedalXMDürkfrontdohub XMDürkbbWatch the El Cheapo rims, cranks, and hubs, as well as the drilled out holes in the rear dropouts. Also the b/b axle seems to be much too long. At least the people presenting the bike had the good sense to put it wrong side out, with what I believe to be Suntour derailleurs turned away from the street.

Couldn´t mar my day in Münster, though.



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