komoot
Discover

To the colliery by gravel bike — riding in Germany's Ruhr region

Stephan Peters | lifeCYCLE magazine

To the colliery by gravel bike — riding in Germany's Ruhr region

Bike Touring Collection by Martin Donat

4

Tours

09:20 h

83.1 mi

2,525 ft

Driving around in the Ruhr region? Total nonsense! You'll just be stuck in a traffic jam. Life is much better when you explore here by gravel bike. Gravel bikes feel right at home in this historic part of Germany and trails lead you through the dirty backyards of our beautiful Potts, as locals like to call the area. We name it after the coal mining ‘pits’ that the Ruhr’s industrial heritage has left behind.

I put this Collection together especially for the Gravel Games, which took place for the first time at the end of September 2021 on the grounds of the former Ewald colliery in Herten. It was a really nice gravel family reunion with lots of exhibitors, cool races and plenty of guided Tours (the one I led is in the Collection too). My idea was to leave the car at home and travel by bike and train instead. I scouted some brilliant gravel routes from three easily accessible stations in the Ruhr area: Essen, Bochum and Dortmund; and the Tours are between 25 and 40 kilometres (15.5–25 mi) long. Perfect for getting into a gravelly mood before the event!

The best thing about this Collection is that all the Tours work perfectly without the event. Ewald Colliery and the Hoheward slag heap are always fascinating destinations. Here, you not only feel the pure charm of the Ruhr area, but also cycle through an important piece of the region’s history, so keenly shaped by coal mining. It’s not all history and riding: you'll get huge slices of cake at the Ewald Café, while one of the most magnificent views in the entire Ruhr region awaits you at the top of the slag heap.

What you do with the Collection is up to you. There are numerous possibilities to choose from, so how much time do you have? If you only want to ride for a short time, you can take the Bochum Tour and ride it back again. If you want to ride longer, simply combine the Tours. For example, start in Dortmund and end the Tour in Essen.You can get back to the starting point in no time at all by train. And if that's still not enough for you, just add my circular Tour, which takes you around the Hoheward slag heap in a big circle.

Whatever you decide, you can expect the finest gravel fun. I scouted all the Tours myself and worked on them until they were perfect. They represent a mix of everything that is fun on a gravel bike: a bit of road, but above all a lot of gravel paths, tracks and sometimes a few trails – it certainly won't be boring. Through this Collection, you'll get to know the Pott’s quiet, rural side. I hope you have a lot of fun!

On The Map

loading
loading

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Easy
    01:43
    16.2 mi
    9.4 mph
    375 ft
    525 ft
    Easy gravel ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Bochum tour is the shortest of my little Ewald trilogy. “Quickly to the dump” works particularly well from Bochum's main train station. Right at the beginning it is clear: With the gravel bike you prefer to take the remote paths - which is why the route also begins at the rear exit of the train station. It meanders briefly …

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    02:44
    23.7 mi
    8.7 mph
    825 ft
    925 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    This tour starts at Dortmund main station and takes you to the Ewald colliery in Herten. On the way, it really offers everything that the Pott has to offer when it comes to gravel: From fallow industrial areas to golf courses, overgrown trails, impressive locks and old railway bridges, you really don't miss a piece of Ruhrpot romance.Immediately after …

    translated byView Original
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Intermediate
    02:05
    17.9 mi
    8.6 mph
    450 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate gravel ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Food and the surrounding area are a nice place to cycle anyway, especially on a gravel bike. So it wasn't difficult for me to find a really nice route from Essen main station to Ewald colliery. Only at the very beginning does it lead over a large road. As soon as you are out of the center, the paths become smaller, almost traffic-free and even one or the other single trail is included.

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    02:48
    25.3 mi
    9.0 mph
    875 ft
    875 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Why did I call this tour “Sea to Sky the Ruhrpott way”? To be honest, it had to be quick: I scouted this tour for the Gravel Games and the organizers wanted me to give the group a “crisp” name shortly before that. Somehow, despite the hurry, the name fits pretty well: "Sea" stands for the water at the beginning …

    translated byView Original

Like this Collection?

Comments

    loading

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    4
  • Distance
    83.1 mi
  • Duration
    09:20 h
  • Elevation
    2,525 ft

You Might Also Like

The North Sea Coast Cycle Route part 5 — Netherlands and Belgium

Bike Touring Collection by

 komoot

The world's most epic cycling roads

Bike Touring Collection by

 komoot

Hike through vineyards along Germany’s River Rhine – RheinTerrassenWeg

Hiking Collection by

 Rheinhessen

Breathtaking Alps - by bike on the Graubünden Route

Bike Touring Collection by

 komoot

Discover

To the colliery by gravel bike — riding in Germany's Ruhr region

What We Offer

Discover
Terms of ServicePrivacy PolicyCommunity GuidelinesSecurity vulnerability reward programImprint