Two of Scotland’s finest – one born and bred, one adopted – have come together to invite you to ‘explore your boundaries’. Both are familiar to listeners of The Cycling Europe Podcast; one is Mark Beaumont (episode 16), one is Markus Stitz (episode 29). Mark is an athlete and broadcaster with a string of cycling accolades to his name; Markus became the first person to cycle around the world on a single-speed bike and now runs Bikepacking Scotland. They not only share a name (nearly…) and a passion for cycling, but also great filmmaking and storytelling skills and they have come together to produce the following film, not in a far flung foreign location, but on their doorsteps in Edinburgh…
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The wind was a pain but at location number three, the cameras rolled… Wanda has met the drone!
“Slovenia was pretty and flat and in the late afternoon of a hot day in July, it was a very picturesque and pleasant place through which to cycle. Although linguistically (and probably culturally – I didn’t really have the chance to find out) much the same as Croatia, physically, the countryside was more like southern Germany and, I guess, Austria which was only 100km further north. All the fields had been freshly cut and large rolls of hay were strewn across the landscape like discarded Liquorice Allsorts made from Shredded Wheat. In the distance were the hills, carpeted by a continuous cover of dark green trees, which pushed this area to well over 700m above sea level. It was in total contrast to the coastal cycling that I had been experiencing for much of the previous week and it was blinking marvellous.”
Attentive readers will hopefully remember that, way back in 2013, I flew to Athens with Reggie (the bike) with the intention of cycling from Cape Sounio in Greece to Cape St. Vincent in Portugal, following the coast of the Mediterranean and as later recounted in Along The Med on a Bike Called Reggie. Before setting off, I had arranged to meet local cyclist and journalist Manos Charalampakis. Manos works for a newspaper in Athens and, among other things, he often writes about cycling. Indeed he writes a blog for the newspaper’s website and earlier this week he got in touch with a few thoughts about being a cyclist in Athens.
Cycle touring is normally undertaken on a bicycle composed of two wheels of the same size and one cyclist sitting on the saddle. But not always… The guests in this episode of the podcast didn’t for one minute allow their desires to break free from the norms of cycling to quell their lofty ambitions. On the contrary. All three contributors – tandem cyclists Rachel Marsden and Catherine Dixon, and penny-farthing rider Joff Summerfield – have cycled thousands of kilometres across the globe. They talk to the podcast about their cycling adventures with a twist.