Currently planning a trip, on my KH 29”, from Denmark, Copenhagen, back home to Southern Austria in the summer and just trying to make sure that there aren’t too many unexpected surprises. Trip will take in Denmark, Germany, The Czech Republic and finally Austria using Eurovelo Route 7 .
Is anyone aware of any restrictions on riding a unicycle on the roads in any of the above countries?
In Germany it’s complicated and it’s best just not to get into trouble
In Germany a unicyclist is, legally speaking, a pedestrian. Just like rollerbladers and riders of kick scooter… they are all categorised as “sport devices and toys” -> pedestrians.
This means that if you ride on a road outside town with no pedestrian path or anything along it, i.e. an ordinary country road, the law would actually require you to ride on the very left side rather than on the right like a cyclist I use the subjunctive because in real life of course nobody does that.
But if you fit all equipment to your uni that the law abbreviated as StvZO requires bicycles to have, you count as a cyclist. Wolfgang “Yeti” Schaper found this out by inquiry (German).
You speak German, so you can easily look up what these requirements are. It’s a lot and it includes dynamo lighting. For the brakes, one is enough for anything with a fix gear.
Most cyclists don’t care about StvZO compliance. None of the unicyclists do (thus accepting pedestrian status). Most policemen don’t either, they are satisfied if, when it’s dark, a vehicle emits white light at the front and red light at the rear. Which is what bikes’ technical requirements read like in countries with more sensible road law in this department.
But a court of law will care, if you want to claim vehicle status because you rode like a cyclist (∈ vehicle) That’s what makes our legal status here unsatisfying.
We keep our heads down because we agree that if anything about it changes, it will certainly change for the worse.
Looking forward to seeing you again when you start your trip from Copenhagen!
I have only been in Denmark for one year now, and have not bothered checking the law as I ride pretty much exclusively off-road, so feel free to stop reading here!
But Denmark is generally a very bike-friendly country. It does not mean it is uni-friendly, but at least expect plenty of proper cycle lanes throughout the country, not just in the cities. I don’t know about the Eurovelo 7 one, worth checking.
And it is not just the cycle lanes, motorists are also used to dealing with bikes, and here the biker seems to be king (pedestrians AND cars fear them…).
No idea about the law. I seem to recall someone mentioning that unicyclists are not allowed on cycle lanes, but then again not a reliable source as I cannot even recall where I heard or read this… All I know is on the rare occasions I have ridden in the city, I was not bothered by either the police or bikers.
Sorry - not very helpful! :o