On the 130th anniversary, I recreated part of the journey of the first person to cycle around the world on a bicycle. Taking it one day at a time. View the archive.

Dachau to Munich

By Stuart Lowe on

I only had about 25 miles to go today so I took my time. As I got closer to Munich it got greyer and wetter. Since France my gears have needed looking at but I haven't yet found an open bike shop due to timing. With no recommendations from people on Twitter, went to the first one I found in Munich.

Inside I met Gotz and Dennis. Gotz was quite matter-of-fact and was very dismissive of the bike oil I still had from the US. He also didn't like Schwalbe tyres for some reason although I have loved mine and have only had three punctures since San Francisco. He did point out that mine were on the wrong way around. This was a bit embarrasing because I put them on the day before I left from Liverpool and, thinking I'd put them on backwards, took them off and put them on the other way around. Had I done the wrong thing then or had the mistake happened with the puncture near Paris? Either way I'd been cycling for ages with the tread slowing me down.

portrait
Gotz and Dennis

It took a while to sort out the problems with my gears and Gotz seemed to soften a bit in that time. Once he'd finished he ordered me to take some of his own secret formula bike oil in place of the American stuff.

In Munich I went to the IYA youth hostel only to be told they had a whole-hostel booking so I should look elsewhere. I eventually found a bed at a cheaper hostel nearer the train station. Their wifi only worked in the reception area as seems to be common so I camped out there along with other tourists needing their online fix.

It seemed as though it was going to be a lonely evening until I was joined at my table by Jonathan from Texas, Ashley from Tennessee, another American and an Irish couple. The three Americans seemed like old friends but had only met that day. The Irish couple were quite shy and seemed a bit overwhelmed by the Americans. Jonathan was very confident despite his young age of about 19 and was leading proceedings. On discovering that I was British he demonstrated his "British" accent. Surprisingly he didn't have the standard American-doing-a-British-accent that sounds like Monty Python crossed with Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins. After having watched British shows and vloggers on Netflix and YouTube his attempts were much better. The only trouble was that his accent moved around the country within the same sentence. He'd start off in London, head to Birmingham and Dorset via Scotland. I told him he just needed to settle on a fixed location. What had seemed like a grey lonely evening in Munich was brightend up considerably.