The Emsradweg - a spontaneous bike ride from Bielefeld to Münster
Good Friday 2014, the weather in Bielefeld was bad. It was cold and raining. Holy Saturday cleared the sky in the morning and we drove just brave towards Münster. Easter 2014 was supposed to be quite nice, but the sky did not quite look like it. A two-day bike tour over 100 km from Bielefeld to Münster over the Emsradweg with accommodation in Warendorf was planned. The tour was beautiful and is also suitable for beginners, as there are no mountains. The Emsradweg starts in Hövelhof at the Emsquellen and ends 375 km later in Emden at the North Sea. The bike route goes through NRW and Lower Saxony. The extraordinary thing about this bike tour is the constant view of the water in a beautiful landscape, as the bike path naturally crosses the river again and again. Rarely have I forgotten everyday life so fast on this green spring bike ride, even though we only rode 110 km on two days.
The Emsradweg logo met
one every few miles
the bike ride. Only on the sign
alone on the bike path you can
but do not rely. A
Bicycle ticket should be for the tour
That was my bike bag contents for two days bike tour with one night. For the Emsrad tour I had bought a luggage carrier bag with Velcro fastener. What I would do without today would be: The sweets can stay at home, because it is available at every gas station. Everything else was pretty weight optimized. Together with the necessary fluid, a few pounds of ballast come together very quickly, which are clearly noticed when driving as a mass. Less is more!
Packed up, it looked like that. The bike bag is called VAUDE Silkroad Plus and is worth every penny due to its design and workmanship. It lies through the side pockets without any attachment very well on the luggage rack. I still packed valuables and clothing in a small backpack. Besides the Emsradweg map we had of course our GPS Open Streetmap maps. Only for mental security.
Shortly after Gütersloh after 20 km we swung towards Harsewinkel in the first almost car-free dirt road and it was immediately nice. Here were the first asparagus active, heavy work on Easter, Germany often performed by Eastern Europeans.
The weather was really good at noon, the Emsradweg showed its sunny side. From the bike you can literally breathe in the spring nature.
More and more often the Ems cycle path goes along the water. Not all routes are paved, but also with fast racing bikes still passable. A cyclocross bike would be ideal for athletes.
Shortly before Warendorf we took a break and dozed for one hour in the afternoon sun on pleasantly warm wooden benches.
In Warendorf to 60km bike ride in the late afternoon. We treated ourselves to a piece of cake and a coffee.
We stayed at this hotel. I do not give a name, but we have a good bike storage and Easter Sunday a very delicious breakfast for cyclists. The room was reserved for us. If you are thirsty in the evening, you will find a fridge with drinks in the hallway and a money-box based on trust. I love that! Everything was very uncomplicated and nice for a fair price.
The next day, a sunny Easter Sunday with perfect weather for cyclists: It's still nice and cool at this time of the year.
At an old mill I discover (probably) a fish ladder. Is that perhaps also a shortcut to the pan?
So it continues on wide bike paths directly on the river Ems.
A few kilometers further we find in Münsterland then the Easter Bunny. Curious, not shy and in a good mood, he approaches the astonished cyclist. Is he spitting or haunting? Do you have something tasty for cyclists? Maybe a few coca leaves from Peru to chill?
At noon on the river in Telgte
There are also strange behaviors to discover on the Emsrad tour: this bridge is very close to the church. Easter Sunday is really busy here in a rural area. I suspect that the locks come from wedding couples who want to symbolically consolidate their wedding ceremony.
After 50 km we are in the early afternoon in Münster - the capital of bicycles. I have to admit, I've never seen so many parked bikes like this near the train station. The Emsradweg does not lead directly here, but we want to go back by train. Originally we wanted to stay one more night in Münster, but the sky is getting grayer again and the return trip to Bielefeld with the train and the wheels lures us. Tomorrow is Easter Monday, because you could just plan the next bike ride.
Addendum: 2015 we had similar due to this great Ems bike tour at the same time Easter again. Unfortunately, it was just too cold and too rainy to ride the bike even 10 km. We heard from other experienced Emskanal cyclists that the route is often pretty busy with cyclists in good weather, especially when the weather forecast is good.
Short video clip from the Emsradweg bike tour