The following is another of my favorite routes. It starts at the Volkgarten park and Niers river again, leads east straight through Korschenbroich, passes Kleinenbroich and Büttgen, the A57 Autobahn and continues to the Rhine river at Rheinuferstrasse. This viewpoint is 735 kilometers from the Rhine river’s origin. The route back to Mönchengladbach is almost the same, just in opposite direction. If you continued a few meters further across the river you would find yourself in the metropolitan area of Düsseldorf.
This route is another easy ride on flat terrain, but it leads through very beautiful parks, parkways and nice roads. The parkway through the municipal park in Neuss is especially beautiful in autumn when the leaves begin to fall. Left and right, old tall and very beautiful trees are forming a high arc over the unusually wide path, which believe it or not is not accessible by motorized vehicles. This magical sight alone makes this route worth the ride. But I also always enjoyed the way through Morgensternheide. Its path is finished and smooth, and yet this area always felt very untouched and quiet. Every time I rode through this area I had to wonder why so few people walked or biked in such a beautiful place. But at the same time I was very thankful for it — it wouldn’t be the same if you suddenly had to share the path with crowds of people.
Riding to the Rhine river obviously was another highlight of the route. Düsseldorf is to Mönchengladbach what Washington DC is to Baltimore. Many people commute from Baltimore to DC, and a lot of people from Mönchengladbach and surrounding areas are commuting to Düsseldorf every day. The Autobahn is crowded with traffic; the double-decker trains are completely packed with people squeezed in up to the doors. It took me about an hour to an hour and a half with switching trains to get from Mönchengladbach to Düsseldorf. After experiencing these rush hours for a while one can’t even imagine any other way to get to a city like Düsseldorf (or Washington) other than taking the train or car.
The more surprising is a bicycling route like this one, proving that there are far more pleasant ways to cover essentially the same distance. Every time I also find it interesting that when you take cars, trains or buses, places seem much further away than if you rode a bicycle or walked the way. Motorized routes are generally longer, and the start-stop rhythm of traffic, traffic lights, bus- or train-stops just make places feel much further away than they really are. I was very surprised when I first walked all the way down to the Baltimore harbor, or when I just recently rode this route all around Druid Park, the Baltimore Zoo, Clipper Mill Road, Pennstation and back on Charles Street.
I’m glad that there is such a beautiful route that connects Mönchengladbach with Neuss and the Rhine river. I would love if I could find a similarly nice route from Baltimore to Washington DC one day — even if I had to make it a whole day or two-day trip.
Other highlights include probably the best Turkish Döner Kebap fastfood restaurant in Büttgen and the ice cream parlour I already mentioned with the previous Korschenbroich route :). The route below is about 50 kilometers long.