The urban bike magazine

Flight Routes You Could Easily Cover by Bike

Scheduled flights so short that the distance can be covered on a racing bike in just one day? Sounds strange, but isn’t all that rare. Here is an overview of the most interesting overland routes in Europe.

Image © Shutterstock

Twenty Minutes In The Air – The Sustainable Way Is Different

The excitement in the media and amongst politicians was huge when the Austrian airline Fly Niki announced the launch of its scheduled flight between Vienna and Bratislava in January. The shortest flight (40 kilometers, 20 minutes) in the world between two countries was meant to commence operations on 1 April 2015, which was now postponed to October 2015.

Vienna – Bratislava

Flight duration: 20 min
Distance by bike: 60 km
Country: Austria/Slovakia

According to the media and politicians, this route could be covered without difficulty by car or public transport. However, when it comes to the nearly 60 kilometre highway between Bratislava and Vienna, we have to say that the route can also be easily covered by bike. The trip along the Danube can be completed by practised cyclists in under four hours.
In 2015, when everyone is talking about climate change and ecological footprints, the establishment of such a short flight route is irritating to say the least. Of course, Fly Niki isn’t the only airline to operate ultra-short routes.
Around the world there are numerous flight routes that can be covered without problem using other modes of transport. Most of them connect islands or particularly remote places. We have picked out the routes for you below that can be travelled by bike in a single day.

Bergerac – Perigueux

Flight duration: 20 min
Distance by bike: 54 km
Country: France

The journey time between Bergerac and Perigueux in southwestern France is even shorter than that between Vienna and Bratislava. And although the beeline between the airports here is longer than Vienna-Bratislava at 48 kilometres, the cycle distance is shorter. Indeed, the cyclist uses the 20th stage of the Tour de France 2014 in this area. The timetable of the Tour de France provides about one hour for the almost 54 kilometres. Even an occasional cyclist will make it over the hilly section in 5 hours.

Þórshöfn – Vopnafjörður

Flight duration: 15 min
Distance by bike: 60 km
Country: Iceland

Cyclists have to be safely equipped with proper lighting and sports clothing if they want to complete the 70 kilometres between Þórshöfn and Vopnafjörður in winter. The towns situated in the north of Iceland are just 60 kilometres apart by air. Those who travel the area by bike in summer will be able to delight in the sparse beauty of Iceland. Tempted cycle tourists will find more information on this popular tour at Bikingiceland.com.

Zurich-Basel

Flight duration: 35 min
Distance by bike: 90 – 120 km
Country: Switzerland

The domestic flight from Zurich-Basel in Switzerland is about 79 kilometres long, almost twice as long as Vienna-Bratislava. Similar to the Danube Cycle Path, flat and fast straight ahead, cycling in Switzerland involves traversing the Rhine Valley: So it’s not about crossing the Alps. Depending on how much of a hurry you’re in, you can choose from different options of between 90 and 120 kilometres in length. The website veloland.ch contains information on the cycle path and also always provides a link to Swiss Railways. In terms of smart mobility, the ladies and gentlemen of Swiss European Air Lines can still learn something from their colleagues working for the railways.

Luxembourg – Saarbrücken

Flight duration: 25 min
Distance by bike: 195 km
Country: Benelux/Germany

Only one kilometre longer than the Swiss route is the second-shortest country link in Europe: the flight between Luxembourg and Saarbrücken. The route is 80 kilometres long and takes about 25 minutes. The ground distance of 195 kilometres can be covered on a bicycle in one day, but is – honestly – only something for practised racing bike riders. To compensate for this, the tour in the three country area of Luxembourg, France and Germany lies in a wonderful long-distance cycle path region.

Information on the world’s shortest non-stop flights: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-stop_flight

Stock photo © Henry Oude Egberink

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