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Category: Fitness

London to Auschwitz: Day 19, Pilsen to Prague, 95km today, 1780km total

London to Auschwitz: Day 19, Pilsen to Prague, 95km today, 1780km total

Another emotional day as I reached a very significant milestone in the journey following the liberation path. I have gone past the place where the allied forces met in the middle – the “anti-fascist coalition” as the monument recalls. The US Army and the Red Army met between the town of Borek and Rokycany. It was a very moving spot to reflect at because this signifies the end of the fighting journey for the troops. Now there was just a…

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London to Auschwitz: Day 18, Weiden, Germany to Pilsen, Czech Republic, 115km today, 1685km total

London to Auschwitz: Day 18, Weiden, Germany to Pilsen, Czech Republic, 115km today, 1685km total

Another unforgettable day on this incredible journey involving another puncture, a visit to a concentration camp, being stopped by German police and questioned, crossing to the fifth and penultimate country of the trip – Czech Republic, nearly getting knocked off the bike by some of the awful Czech drivers and finishing with some of the toughest hill climbs to really test my stamina. After waking up early this morning I headed to the local McDonald’s to sponge their WiFi for…

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London to Auschwitz: Day 17, Nürnberg to Weiden, 100km today, 1570km total

London to Auschwitz: Day 17, Nürnberg to Weiden, 100km today, 1570km total

Today involved a lot of rain, un-sympathetic people, a rear wheel puncture and not being able to find a place to stay with wifi! I found a lot of my clothes were still damp despite my efforts to dry them with the room’s air-con system. Without any sign in the sky of rain I set off slightly moist. I first visited the rally arena where Hitler address many of his supporters in Nürnberg. The vast size of the place was…

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London to Auschwitz: Day 16, Würzburg to Nürnberg 100km today, 1470km total

London to Auschwitz: Day 16, Würzburg to Nürnberg 100km today, 1470km total

Today was another incredible day on this amazing cycling trip across Europe. My target was Nuremberg, which lay 100km away and with just one road to take me there (or so the map said). I wanted to visit the Nuremberg Trial room, which is closed on Tuesdays, so I had to get there early today. Waking up at 0600, I was eager to hit the road but it was already bucketing it down. I somehow managed to motivate myself and…

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London to Auschwitz: Day 15, Aschaffenburg to Würzburg 75km today 1370km total

London to Auschwitz: Day 15, Aschaffenburg to Würzburg 75km today 1370km total

A much needed rest yesterday afternoon and a lie in this morning allowed me to start afresh on even more hills in Bavaria today. Heading up through the forests I caught up to another couple out cycling on this fine Sunday morning. They were foraging for mushrooms on the forest floor but seemed interested in my long trip. I have told many Germans here about my journey, and almost everytime I mention I am finishing in Auschwitz they seem to…

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London to Auschwitz: Day 14, Frankfurt to Aschaffenburg 45km today 1295km total

London to Auschwitz: Day 14, Frankfurt to Aschaffenburg 45km today 1295km total

I have now completed two weeks on the road with my bike. With me I have two (unnecessarily heavy) bags containing some warm and dry clothes, toiletries, laptop and bunch of cables to charge my iPod and camera. I have met lots of people along the way, but, like a cab driver or delivery man, I have actually been with only myself the whole time. The journey is from London along a WWII liberation path starting at Westminster, to Poole…

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London to Auschwitz: Day 13, Engleheim to Frankfurt 50km today 1250km total

London to Auschwitz: Day 13, Engleheim to Frankfurt 50km today 1250km total

Today was a very relaxed day. Only needing to complete 50km before my friend Mathias got off work at 1900 led to a chilled pace on the bike. Waking up at 6am I saw the weather forecast updated from being an absolute downpour expected when I went to sleep, to no rain at all for the entire day! I decided a lie in would be acceptable and went back to sleep relieved. Yesterday was very reflective and yet filled with…

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London to Auschwitz: Day 12, Trier to Engleheim 135km today 1200km total

London to Auschwitz: Day 12, Trier to Engleheim 135km today 1200km total

Today was an extremely poignant day. I think I re-discovered the point of the trip. I endured the steepest and longest hills I have ever cycled. The cold meant I lost all feeling in my feet descending the climbs. My legs gave way under me as the hills just wouldn’t stop coming. The rain was upsetting on the slow ascents, and hit me hard in the face on the quick descents. Yet it was probably one of the best days…

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London to Auschwitz: Day 11, Esch-sur-Alzette to Luxembourg City to Trier, Germany, 65km today, 1065km total

London to Auschwitz: Day 11, Esch-sur-Alzette to Luxembourg City to Trier, Germany, 65km today, 1065km total

Another day, another country. Welcome to Germany – don’t mention the war! A nice early start was tough at first, but after downing some coffee I was eager to hit the road. The extra hours allowed me to keep going beyond my target with no problems. It reminded me how valuable seizing the day is. I still had some height to descend from just inside the border into the City of Luxembourg – great to relax for a few kilometres!…

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London to Auschwitz: Day 10, Sainte-Menehould to Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, 115km today, 1000km total

London to Auschwitz: Day 10, Sainte-Menehould to Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, 115km today, 1000km total

This morning started off well enough. I had a short lie and found a bike shop on the way out of town and was able to get my bike chain oiled. These small things allowed me to push on hard through the morning climbs. Generally feeling great, my spirits were lifted seeing the kilometre markers for the Voie de Liberte. They served to remind me of the purpose of the trip and I had seen them before, but only in…

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