Quick-fire Q&A with Markus Stitz, author of Great British Gravel Rides

May 22, 2022 2 min read

Quick-fire Q&A with Markus Stitz, author of Great British Gravel Rides

Photo © Nils Laengner

VP: How does it feel out on a ride?

MS: Every ride, no matter how short or long, feels like an adventure. Bikes are an extension of my personal freedom and, as a child that grew up behind the 'Iron Curtain', that's what I value a lot.

VP: What are your earliest memories of cycling?

MS: I was a late starter to cycling, and it didn't help that my first pedal strokes were on a bike slightly too big for me. My earliest memory of the freedom that cycling gives me is setting off on an adventure on my foldable 'Mifa Klapprad' to watch the Peace Race passing by, long before the times of mobile phones. It was about 10 km there and back and you can imagine my mum was slightly worried when I'd been gone a few hours without letting her know – and super proud when I made it back in one piece!

VP: What is your favourite story from the writing and research of Great British Gravel Rides?

MS: I enjoyed all the rides and getting to know all the people featured in the book. My favourite is the route with Katherine Moore because there was so much to do outside of the great cycling, and the route was fab! I could really see the strong connection between the landscapes we travelled through and Katherine's personal story, and that is what the book is about. I also had a déjà vu moment when we were sitting on the beach in Budleigh Salterton eating a crab sandwich and thought "I've been here before". Turns out that the first leg of my round the world trip went through there, and it was wonderful to be back!

VP: Cycling can obviously be an individual or personal experience, or part of a bigger group. Do you have a preference?

MS: It depends, both can be great. I would say more of my cycling is solo, but I equally enjoy cycling in the company of great people. I like the solo rides as they are great for building experience and confidence, and I love sharing that on joint rides. For people who are a bit scared of going solo, I would suggest trying it. I often meet very interesting people on those rides, which is trickier in a group.


VP: What is your favourite route or area to ride in?

MS: Scotland! It's where I live and I love cycling around Edinburgh as it has so much to offer – sea, hills, urban trails.

VP: What is your favourite snack or refreshment?

MS: Carrot Cake!

VP: What is your favourite place to stay?

MS: I love my tent and places with a personal feel and character.

Great British Gravel Rides is available to pre-order now