9 weeks to cycle to Istanbul.
4 hours (plus turbulence) to get back by plane.
After 2580 miles, 0 punctures and 182 portions of chocolate covered peanut nougat delicacies, Mr. Ed is back from his cycling odyssey.
If you're ever thinking of cycling a little further than 'just down the shops' here are some edited highlights from what Mr. Ed learnt:
- People in caravans are nice (if you turn up at a campsite on a bike everybody feels sorry for you and the offers of coffee/dinner/a lift do not stop coming)
- There are a few hills between here and Asia. For a few, read a lot.
- Germany has the best cycle paths (they even put diversions up when they are doing road/pathworks)
- Cream is your friend (sun and bum)
- Romania has the friendliest people and the angriest dogs
- Eating 5 meals a day gets pretty tedious after a while
- In Istanbul, you are never more than 3 feet from a pretzel
- And if you ask nicely, hotels will valet park your bikes (we tried this once during our celebratory 1 night in a nice hotel when we got to Istanbul)
On the way, Ed also managed to sleep in a castle, meet a man walking home to Turkey (from Germany) and grow his calves by 1.3 cm.
He also raised £4,500 for charity and convinced the excellent Lizzy to marry him along the way.
Thanks to everyone who sponsored and encouraged Mr. Ed's epic ride.
It's good to have him back.