On the way to the University Hospital in Bonn Some cycle paths in the Kottenforst considered "dangerous"

Bonn · For cyclists there are many ways through the Kottenforst to reach the university hospital. But not all of them are recommended. Employees have tested them. The result: Some ways are in a bad condition and dangerous.

Good for those who work at the University Hospital (UKB) on the Venusberg and live in Friesdorf or Dottendorf. Then they have to face only about 1.2 kilometers to get to work. On the way up, however, about 100 metres of altitude have to be overcome, which already drive the lactic acid into the muscles of a walker.

Those who don't want to wait for a cable car and want to make it to the UKB by bike would probably struggled a few years ago. The bikes were worse, the forest roads were disastrous. Nobody knew e-bikes yet, mountain bikes were only self-made things.

For Birgitta Vogt the way through the forest is now her daily exercise on the way to work. From her apartment in Friesdorf, four kilometres up the steep Annaberger Straße, turn right at the top, and after one kilometre over asphalt and through the forest she arrives at the south gate of the clinics.

Christine Mühle also takes the daily route along the well-developed Annaberger Straße. "And in the evening on the way back it is wonderful to cycle through the forest," she says. Especially as she can let her bike roll downhill to Friesdorf on her 6.5 kilometre route to Plittersdorf.

Both women recently took part in a tour with other employees who tested the forest paths around the UKB by bike. Hans-Peter Bürkner, Clinic Mobility Manager, for whom cycling is part of his business, was also there. There were also others who prefer to leave the car at home to get to work - such as IT man Kai Santos, who cycles the 17 kilometers from his home in Buschhoven every day through woods and meadows to the UKB.

First impression: Everyone who takes the bike to work has good „material“ under him, which runs smoothly, has reasonable gears, tyres, brakes and decent lighting. The rolling resistance on these bikes is low, the wheels run almost silently. If you also have an e-bike under your butt, you don't have to be afraid of the slopes of the Venusberg.

The route over the Annaberger Straße to Friesdorf was a relief. The pioneer path, which winds its way up a little further in Bad Godesberg from the promenade path, is different. It is not so steep, but it takes longer and is characterized by a gravel road that sucks the power out of the cyclists' legs. General tenor therefore: "This route is rather less suitable as a route to work in the UKB“.

The cheapest way for people to get to the UKB is in Dottendorf - also across the forest. The Winzerstraße behind the last residential estate becomes a difficult single-trail-piste, which can't be done well without mountainbike tires. But the Rochusweg a bit further on looks better for cyclists. Above all, the brevity of the effort is tempting. It is only two kilometres from the centre of Dottendorf to the clinic - a stretch that can be completed in 15 minutes.

Other routes around the UKB, on the other hand, have their pitfalls. Like the Haager Weg, which has no separate cycle path in the direction of Ippendorf and is generally not in good condition. "The road is also sloping to the side, and the water is dammed up there," says UKB employee Santos. It is not easy for Heidrun Steinke to get from her home in Röttgen to the university hospital. It's only four kilometres theoretically, "but the way to the UKB behind the tennis court in Röttgen is impassable," she says. That’s bitter for her: "When I cycle via the Katzenlochbach valley, it is dangerous, and past the Annaberger Hof the distance is twice as long because of the detour".

(Original text: Rolf Kleinfeld / Translation: Mareike Graepel)

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