Cycling in Münster “This bike is the best thing I have”

Münster is known as the “bicycle capital of Germany”. Bikes are used up to half a million times a day here. With a population of roughly 300,000, Münster is the German city with the largest proportion of bicycles in its transport mix. Our photos show what that means.

Students, rabbits and bicycles – all three are particularly plentiful in Münster, say city residents. The city encourages cycling with an extensive network of bike paths and a city centre that’s closed for private cars. Public transport here is mostly busses, which often end up stuck in traffic. Which is another selling point for cycling: it’s simply the fastest way to get around town.
 
  •   “I am – Ich bin” it says in this shop window in Münster’s city centre. With the bike parked right in front of it, this sums up the city’s bicycle culture in a nutshell: cycling and Münster belong together. © Franziska von Malsen
    “I am – Ich bin” it says in this shop window in Münster’s city centre. With the bike parked right in front of it, this sums up the city’s bicycle culture in a nutshell: cycling and Münster belong together.
  •   In fact there are so many bicycles in Münster that they can actually become a problem. Namely when owners fail to come and get them, e.g. some of the abandoned bikes on the lot in front of the station. Unclaimed bikes routinely have to be removed by the municipal authorities. © Franziska von Malsen
    In fact there are so many bicycles in Münster that they can actually become a problem. Namely when owners fail to come and get them, e.g. some of the abandoned bikes on the lot in front of the station. Unclaimed bikes routinely have to be removed by the municipal authorities.
  • Sebastian, a research assistant at the university, rides his bike to his favourite café, where he’s going to prep for a conference. © Franziska von Malsen
    Sebastian, a research assistant at the university, rides his bike to his favourite café, where he’s going to prep for a conference.
  •   The Münster Marathon is held every year in September, since 2002. These three helpers are measuring the distance again, as the rules of the competition require. And the best way to measure it is on two wheels. © Franziska von Malsen
    The Münster Marathon is held every year in September, since 2002. These three helpers are measuring the distance again, as the rules of the competition require. And the best way to measure it is on two wheels.
  •   Münster’s Radstation is the biggest bicycle parking facility in Germany, with slots for 3,300 bikes. Not only can you park bikes here, you can have them washed and repaired here too. © Franziska von Malsen
    Münster’s Radstation is the biggest bicycle parking facility in Germany, with slots for 3,300 bikes. Not only can you park bikes here, you can have them washed and repaired here too.
  • Football fans cycling to the stadium for the match FC Bayern versus Preussen Münster. © Franziska von Malsen
    Football fans cycling to the stadium for the match FC Bayern versus Preussen Münster.
  • Heinz is an FC Bayern fan. When the Bavarians take on Münster, however, naturally he’s for his home club. So Heinz has found a compromise: he wears an FC Bayern cap and an SC Preussen Münster scarf. So whoever wins, Heinz is happy. © Franziska von Malsen
    Heinz is an FC Bayern fan. When the Bavarians take on Münster, however, naturally he’s for his home club. So Heinz has found a compromise: he wears an FC Bayern cap and an SC Preussen Münster scarf. So whoever wins, Heinz is happy.
  • Luka is already a bicycle enthusiast at age 2, even if he has to make do with a walking bike for the time being. He’s on an outing to Münster Palace with his parents. © Franziska von Malsen
    Luka is already a bicycle enthusiast at age 2, even if he has to make do with a walking bike for the time being. He’s on an outing to Münster Palace with his parents.
  •   Frank has been homeless for three months, and has pared his possessions down to what he can carry on his bike. “This bike is the best thing I have,” he says. He’s just paid a visit to the St Clare convent, where he can take a shower and trim his beard. © Franziska von Malsen
    Frank has been homeless for three months, and has pared his possessions down to what he can carry on his bike. “This bike is the best thing I have,” he says. He’s just paid a visit to the St Clare convent, where he can take a shower and trim his beard.
  • A nun cycling round a roundabout at Ludgeriplatz © Franziska von Malsen
    A nun cycling round a roundabout at Ludgeriplatz