Berlin to London

You may or may not know, but we work in conjunction with teenage cancer charity Emma’s Bubble Trust. They organise a number of bike rides throughout the year and help to grow community spirit through such events. In August 2013 Adam Lynch one of the charity volunteers took it upon himself to cycle from Berlin to London, solo, on a Dawes Galaxy XL that he’d purchased at Bikes Direct. Here’s his story.

It’s the stage of my life where everyone decided to get married. Weddings are at the forefront of the yearly agenda (I’ll have had a crazy 5 weddings this year), but with every wedding…there’s usually a stag. You’ll notice that I say that somewhat abhorrently, which is true. Stags, as fun as they are, are a few days of heavy drinking and debauchery and should certainly not be carried out before deciding to cycle home from one. If old school friend Lenny’s had been held in London, this might have been a very different story, but alas the group of lads headed off to Berlin, where I would be cycling home from.

After a very heavy weekend and a 7am start the following morning, I left the hostel, fully laden with a pannier of goods across the continent. My first stop, a mere 80 miles away according to Garmin, would see me leave Berlin on road to a place called Dessau. The riding itself was good. Courteous drivers and plenty of cyclists around Berlin, soon saw me pounding out the miles. It was a bit of a shock to the system to be carrying 30kg of weight on the back of the bike in 30+ degree heat, but the bike itself as suggested by Max, couldn’t have been nicer to ride. After a while on the road, I soon became disappointed by the Garmin, for taking me along non-existent roads, not the Garmin’s fault per-se, but more user error, but eventually I reached my destination ready for another day of cycling.

big-climb
Adam explores a rather large hill in Germany

Day 2, was possibly both the best and worst day of cycling I ever experienced. Looking back on the experience, I should have planned my route a lot better, but at the time I had only planned to cycle 90 miles, which didn’t seem that far. About 2/3rd of the way through the journey the Garmin decided to try and take me on a motorway, which certainly wasn’t allowed. A re-route added an additional 60 miles to my route, but still I plugged away, hoping to get to my destination before dark. As dusk approached, the Garmin battery sadly passed away at 129.1 miles, after which I continued cycling until 10.30pm. I calculated that I’d cycled around 150miles that day, but ended up in a taxi bound for a hotel, where I continued to stayed for 2 nights. The area in question was called Goslar, in the German mountains and it was an incredibly beautiful place. I’d like to go back again one day.

Day 4  I was back on the road and things were going well again. I was on the flats of the continent and although the wind was blowing I was making good time. I stopped in many places small German villages over the following days, eventually finding myself in the Netherlands, where again I stopped in quaint villages and battled the easterly wind. I eventually made it to the Hook of Holland on Day 7 of my journey where I’d be taking the ferry back to English land. While waiting I met a couple of tourer’s who had been to and back from Denmark over the course of 3 weeks. They too had had a very windy time and blessed the end of their trip. It gave me quiet comfort to know that I’d not been facing the journey alone and that there were many other cyclists out there battling the elements.

Finally on day 8 of my 7 days of cycling I was back on home turf and ready to smash out the miles. My dad, who I’m going to get a cycling jersey with the name ‘Hero’ on the back, was nice enough to come and collect the panniers from me at Brentwood in Essex. That left me with about 40 miles to get back home via central London. After I’d left them behind time seemed to fly and before I knew it I was back home in a pretty emotional state to be surprised by my family and friends at the local pub.

For the full story visit Emma’s Bubble Trust 

For Strava stats from the trip visit here