Back in December 2010, one of the hardest winters in history, that Edinburgh-based cyclist Markus Stitz ploughed his way with a singlespeed bike through snow and ice in a cruel 14-day journey to arrive in time for Christmas.
This time he is taking the easier option, a geared road bike, but is slashing the travel time in half. With only a saddle bag to take his luggage, Markus will cycle approximately 1300km in 7 days starting Saturday 14 May, with the first part of the journey from Edinburgh to Newcastle. He is again supported by Ashington-based company Montane, who will provide him with lightweight gear for the trip.
From Newcastle he will continue with the ferry, kindly supported by DFDS Seaways, to Amsterdam. From there his journey will take him through Lingen, Hamburg, Berlin and Leipzig back to Thuringia, to meet his family for a relaxing weekend in Friedrichroda. With a 300km day being one of his longest ever on a bike, the trip will be far from easy, but the German rider is looking forward to his new adventure after successfully completing his winter trip.
‘I would call it a long time trial, as I will be covering all those long distances on my own, unsupported and with just the bare minimum when it comes to equipment. But I know I can do it, looking forward to stay with friends overnight. Whoever wants to join in riding, please get in touch, I am happy to get some company on the road.’
Markus will also raise money for two charities again, UK-based Re~Cycle and Bicycle Empowerment Network Namibia (BEN Namibia). Re~Cycle’s mission is to collect second-hand bicycles and ship them to Africa, closely linked with BENN, whose main focus in Namibia is a Bicycle Empowerment Centre program, a network of independent, community based bike shops that are supported by local grass roots organisations. Donations can be made online at his JustGiving page.
Sat 14 May: Edinburgh – North Shields 185km (overnight ferry to the start in Ijmuiden the next day with DFDS Seaways)
Sun 15 May: Ijmuiden – Lingen 235km
Mon 16 May: Lingen – Hamburg 250km
Tue 17 May: Hamburg – Berlin 300km
Wed 18 May: Berlin – Leipzig 172km
Thu 19/Fri 20 May: Leipzig – Erfurt – Ilmenau 192km
Ilmenau – Friedrichroda 40km (or longer)