Cycling home for Christmas by gravel cargo bike

Friday December 22nd 2023

Cycling Home For Xmas

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Round the world cyclist and ‘Great British Gravel Rides’ author Markus Stitz is currently on a 1,100km journey by gravel cargo bike from Edinburgh in Scotland to Erfurt in Germany. He will be joined for two days by Guinness World Record Holder Mark Beaumont to cycle a new touring route from Staithes to Hull, which has been developed as part of development of cycling routes on Route YC on the Yorkshire Coast, due to be launched in late January 2024. Markus is documenting his journey in a short film and daily updates on Instagram, X (Twitter) and Facebook, while his progress can be tracked on the Route YC website.

Markus said before he left: ‘Cycle touring in the busy time before Christmas has become a bit of a tradition for me. I have done this journey five times now, and look forward to another adventure this year. I arrived at Hull by ferry from Rotterdam on my trip in 2011.’

He continues: ‘This year I am looking forward to travelling in the opposite direction and being joined by Mark Beaumont for the journey there. This is not only a great opportunity for us to put the new cycle touring route from Staithes to Hull to a final test, but also to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the people in Yorkshire. And there is enough space on the cargo bike to take some presents for my family in Germany as well. The new routes will inspire visitors from the UK and the countries I will be passing on my journey, to experience the wonderful Yorkshire Coast on two wheels. Having the ferry connection from Hull to Rotterdam will be a great asset for people who want to travel more sustainably to get here.’

Markus’ ride is supported by German bike manufacturer Hase Bikes; he will ride a Hase Gravit Dust, a gravel cargo bike, with Schwalbe tyres and an 11-speed drivetrain. At around 20 kg the bike is not only lightweight, but also becomes ultra-compact when the movable parts of the telescoping frame are pushed together, so it fits into bike sheds and hotel rooms.

The development of Route YC is supported by Komoot, a route planning app that helps over 35 million cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts all over the world to plan better outdoor adventures. The new cycling routes will be launched in January 2024 at Markus’ planned route for the trip can be found in a collection on the Route YC Komoot profile.

The new routes will range from 15 to 415 kilometres in length, and have been specially designed to help visitors of all abilities explore the Yorkshire coast and countryside on gravel, touring and road bikes. They were designed by Markus Stitz and tested by some of the UK’s leading adventure cyclists, Mark Beaumont, Jenny Graham and Nick Sanders. People can follow Route YC on social media, including Facebook, Instagram and X (Twitter).

There will also be a new Yorkshire Coast Dirt Dash event on 13/14 July 2024, where riders can experience part of Markus’ and Mark’s journey in an organised ride with campsite and food. More information and entries will be available soon on

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