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I just found out I'm heading over to Europe for business travel (early July). I'll be spending time in Amsterdam (2 business days plus the weekend) and then in Zurich/Bern (3 days), Munich and Brussels.

As a cyclist, what activities or suggestions would you give me if you were traveling to these locations? Should I bring some gear in case I can rent a bike?

-Thanks, Todd
 

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Given your schedule (4 cities in 10 days), you likely will be tired from just the efforts to get over to EU, deal with jet lag and then the travel in Europe. Depending on how busy your business schedule is, you may be able to find time for rides when in Amsterdam and Zurich. With only one day in Munich and Brussels, I would suggest normal sight seeing versus cycling. If you are a normal size rider, you can probably find a decent rental in Amsterdam and Zurich. I've been to both Munich and Amsterdam. They are both great cities from culture or tourist standpoint.

I've always liked the Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides (just google on Amazon) when travelling on business as they are small enough to carry but have enough details to help you sort out what to see. I know the Amsterdam one has info on rides but I would also expect Wim to give you some insight as well. I personally would focus on taking in the culture and sneak in one or two bike rides if possible. Now if it was vacation time, then I would definitely push harder on touring via bicycle. There is info on bike rentals at www.amsterdaminfo.com. It may be worth calling the bike rental places to see what types of bikes they have available. I'm sure you can get an urban cruiser but if you want a more traditional road bike, that may require a few phone calls.

Typically, I find on business trips to the EU that much of the schedule is already set with dinners, etc. so there is actually little time to yourself. In any case, enjoy and get out and take in as much of the EU experience as possible.
 

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Colorado Springs, CO
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Take Some Time Off!!!

Take some time off at the end of your trip if you can. If your business stuff ends on Friday, then take a day or two and come back on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning the following week. Use the business days to get over the jet lag, a day or so to look around and get rested up from your business activities, and then go for a ride for a day or two and come back the next day. The plane ticket is already paid for and is usually the most expensive part of the trip. Plus, doing the riding at the end will give you time to hunt down some good rides with some of the locals.
 

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Go for a walk

tmanley said:
I just found out I'm heading over to Europe for business travel (early July). I'll be spending time in Amsterdam (2 business days plus the weekend) and then in Zurich/Bern (3 days), Munich and Brussels. As a cyclist, what activities or suggestions would you give me if you were traveling to these locations? Should I bring some gear in case I can rent a bike?
If you wanted to bike in these cities, the best bet would be one of the "local cruiser" style bikes. Between the cobblestones and trolley tracks, in-town cycling is not so hot on a regular road bike. There's great road riding outside these cities, but then you get into a lot of logistical issues of getting maps, transporting the bike, etc. If all you have is "after work hours" in a given city, then I suggest you take some walking tours. It's exercise, and just getting outside will help you deal with the jet lag. For the weekend in Amsterdam, that would be the time to take the train out of town with a bike. A decent road map will show you cycling roads (the little ones), and you could get in some nice rides in the Dutch countryside. You would need to do some advance work on finding a bike. Perhaps the hotel concierge service could help you with that, or just Google "Amsterdam bike rentals."
 

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Personally, I would skip trying to ride. Amersterdam is not a place to get a workout on a bike. There are far too many "slow moving" commuter types. You need to get out into the country-- and even then, you probably won't know where are are going... or will be riding a bike superhighway that connects cities. You could rent a city bike--- they are very easy to rent in Amsterdam. You don't need any gear to ride one... in fact, you will look silly if you wear a helmet on a city bike-- esp. in Amsterdam. I have never been to Switzerland, but Belgium and Germany are not that different than the Netherlands.

I do a lot of business travel myself in Europe... and I cannot imagine finding the time or energy to bike--- as much as I would love to.


tmanley said:
I just found out I'm heading over to Europe for business travel (early July). I'll be spending time in Amsterdam (2 business days plus the weekend) and then in Zurich/Bern (3 days), Munich and Brussels.

As a cyclist, what activities or suggestions would you give me if you were traveling to these locations? Should I bring some gear in case I can rent a bike?

-Thanks, Todd
 
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