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Engineering Takeover: We cycled to Frankfurt!

‘Should we cycle to Eurobike?’

Harry and Adam on their FLIT adventure from England to Germany. A cycling road trip for our folding ebike engineers to prevent unsustainable modes of transport: getting a flight or taking a long car journey.

The proposition was intended as a joke but in efforts to avoid short-haul flights and 8-hour car journeys, it was quickly apparent that we were cycling to Frankfurt!

Harry and Adam on their FLIT adventure from England to Germany. A cycling road trip for our folding ebike engineers to prevent unsustainable modes of transport: getting a flight or taking a long car journey.

Day 1 – Dunkirk – Ghent – Antwerp

Ferry Terminal – Dunkirk 24.3km
Dunkirk – Antwerp 190.1km

Day one began slightly late, recovering from the midnight dash from the ferry port to the Dunkirk hostel, but began nonetheless with a trip to a bakery to stock up on French pain au chocolats and baguettes before we set off for Belgium.

After a long morning of sand dunes, quaint villages and sprawling fields, we reached Ghent for a late lunch at another bakery for some more pain au chocolats and baguettes (even though they weren’t French). Pushing on, we left Ghent and truly began to appreciate the Belgian cycle infrastructure as we sped along the railside cycle paths only stopping at level crossings to watch the trains speed by.

We approached Antwerp as early evening rain started to fall and took refuge under a tree before we could cycle the final 10km to the river Houdok. We would end the day with 214km in 24 hours. Not too bad. 

Day 2 Belgium – Netherlands – Germany

167.1km 

We awoke in Belgium feeling surprisingly spry, but still started slowly to work off the fatigue of the previous day. It was a long morning and we kept on pedalling only getting distracted by food and necessary stops for water. 

The sun began to pop out as we left the Houdok river around midday and hit the forests, where the cycling was fast and fun, scenic and sunny. We then hit the first big milestone of the day, reaching the Netherlands. The border crossing required a short boat trip across the river, and we rewarded ourselves with lunch on the other side. Our time in the Netherlands was short as we soon crossed into Germany and encountered the first hills of the trip, albeit small ones. Our energy was low so we were happy to roll into our Ibis Budget for an early night, with well over half the trip distance completed.

Day 3 Birkesdorf – Boppard 

149.2km 

Each morning we would awake with tired legs but we always surprised ourselves at how quickly the feeling left as soon as we started cycling. This was the first day riding with blue skies and direct sun. We headed for the Rhein, the river that would lead us most of the remaining way to Frankfurt. The remainder of the day was flat and calm, picturesque and peaceful with castles and forests. The only contender was the headwind slowing us down. 

We made it to Boppard having stopped three times for photos in the final 10km, which was our way of saying 150km was enough for today, but we were rewarded with pasta, watermelon, and the remainder of the FLIT engineering team on their way to Frankfurt.

Day 4 – All the way to Frankfurt

118.8km

With the sun out and a support vehicle in tow carrying our bags we set off on the last day (also our shortest) with purpose and a mission to make it to Frankfurt. The day started fast, rolling through fields alongside the Rhein, and remained fast as we jumped between gravel tracks and city riding. A short day but 650km from the start we had made it to Frankfurt.

What started as a joke resulted in a great experience cycling from Dunkirk to Frankfurt over four days, it allowed us to challenge ourselves, experience new things, and travel to countries we hadn’t previously seen. It gave us a personal understanding for bikepacking, cycling infrastructure, and a greater appreciation of how e-bikes are ever present across Belgium/Germany, something to take back to the FLIT workshop. 

Signing off,
Harry & Adam

Harry and Adam on their FLIT adventure from England to Germany. A cycling road trip for our folding ebike engineers to prevent unsustainable modes of transport: getting a flight or taking a long car journey.
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