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near Uerdingen, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Deutschland)
This route takes you along the Rhine river between Uerdingen and Orsoy and back, with a small excursion along the Ruhr near Duisburg. It is a nice route with beautiful river (Rhine and Ruhr) views, meadows, floodplains, cityscapes, harbors (Duisburg), bridges, characteristic villages and a lot of heavy industry (there is always a chimney in sight). It generally takes dedicated cycling paths, but near cities, the cycling paths are generally mixed pedestrian/cyclist routes and you need to slow down. On this track you will find quite a lot of non-asphalted cycling track, mostly gravel, and also a stretch of degraded asphalt. I cycled this track on a racing bike, but some parts are a bit better suited for broader tires. See also a few waypoints with more information.
The route starts in Krefeld-Uerdingen and first passes by the large Bayer site. It then goes onto a cycling path and passes by the characteristic village of Friemersheim, and also river-side meadows with hedges and trees. You then pass another industrial site before you enter Hochemmerich. Here, you are taken on a split/gravel cycling path along river floodplains up to Alt-Homberg, with a nice view of the A40 motorway bridge. Here you descend to a cycling path sandwiched between the river and another industrial site, close to the river. From here, you have a nice view of the Ruhr flowing into the Rhein on the other side of the Rhein. The cycling path takes you almost to the Friedrich-Ebert-Brücke, and then takes you around the Eisenbahnhafen and across the Rheinpreussenhafen onto a degraded cycling path with beautiful views of the river and the floodplains. After 2.5 km of cycling path you go onto an asphalted stretch up to Haus Rheinblick, where you turn inland to Baerl. From Baerl to Orsoy you follow roads away from the Rhine. In Orsoy you take the ferry to Walsum. The ferry operates all year, and it costs you 2 euro’s for a bike. After crossing the Rhine you turn south through mixed urban (Duisburg) and industrial areas. At the Alsumer berg you take another gravel cycling path with on one side the Thyssen-Krupp industrial site and on the other side the river. After the A42 bridge, industry is replaced by Duisburg and you continue to Duisburg harbor. Here you turn away from the Rhine to cross a bridge taking you over harbor canals and the Ruhr river. Here, you can take a loop along the Ruhr river taking you about 3.5 km upstream and back. After having completed the loop you cycle to the Ruhr-Orange, where the Ruhr flows into the Rhine (see waypoint). You then turn back to Duisburg city center and then continue south through urban and industrial areas back to Mündelheim, where you cross the bridge back to Uerdingen.
When the level of the Rhine is very high, part of the route may be inundated. On the Rheinbrücke Krefeld-Uerdingen you can make the connection to another track I put on Wikiloc which takes you south along the Rhine through Düsseldorf to Grimlinghausen (http://nl.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=3821166).
This bridge takes the A40 motorway Venlo-Dortmund across the Rhine. You pass underneath the bridge twice.
Here you find the A42 motorway bridge and a railway bridge close together. You pass both bridges twice underneath.
This cycle track is a mix of degraded asphalt and gravel. No problem on a racing bike provided you reduce speed. You have a nice view of the floodplains and the river. An alternative road would devoid the purpose of this track: cycling close to the river.
Here you find the city hall and the Salvator church.
This ferry takes you across the Rhine for 2 euro's (including bike). The ferry also sails in winter. See the website (http://www.rheinfaehre-walsum.de/).
This Friedrich-Ebert-Brücke connects Alt-Homburg with the center of Duisburg.
This easy-to-negotiate gravel cycle track is about 7 km long, and passes on top of the river dike, with nice views of the river on one side. On the other side, there are steelworks (Thyssen-Krupp-Stahl) and Duisburg.
On this viaduct you have a nice view of the steelwork of Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann (HKM).
This bridge connects Uerdingen with Mündelheim, and you have nice view of the Rhine making a sharp turn in front of Uerdingen, with the Bayer industrial site on the west side of the river, and HKM on the east side.
An enormous rectangular orange slab is placed on the spot where the Ruhr river flows into the Rhine. The last 250 meters are not paved, but it is a nice spot with a bench to view the Rhine, the Ruhr, parts of Duisburg and two bridges.
The Ruhr flows over a weir here, keeping the water level high upstream. The track crosses the weir. You make a small detour (7.9 km) here along the Ruhr.
This is a stretch of 3 km with quite coarse gravel. Again, doable on a racing bike, but not ideal.