Diary 1-12

Day 12 – Day Off

Day 11 – Mestre to Trieste – 145 km – 12 hours

It is after a day like this that you realise careful mapping before the trip would have helped. Another day on the only road which accesses Eastern Europe. What a shame… but still smiling…just.


Day 10 – Verona to Mestre/Venice – 120 km – 10 hours

More grime in the morning… however by lunchtime we were able to have our first chat in 36 hours. We had reached country roads finally. By 3pm however we were back to our old tricks and experienced the busiest motorway in the whole of Italy by mistake. The problem with making this mistake is that you have to cycle until the next junction until you can get off. Alex wet himself a little bit. We finished the day cycling over to Venice. The experience not being quite the same as it would have been with a pretty girl on hand. Anyway, as said by Alex lighting a fag in Piazza San Marco, it was all a bit “over-rated”.


Day 9 -Monza to Verona – 147 km – 13 hours

Imagine being in a gym with no music, no-one to talk to and with the constant sound of lorries droning in the background. For the entire day, we cycled through industrial Italy on A roads with helmets strapped on tightly. One of the most boring and unpleasant days of our lives.


Day 8 – Domodossola to Monza – 110 km – 11 hours

Passing into the Lake Districts of Northern Italy, our morning was excellent. Foccaccerias were the order of the day and Alex and Freddie – often heard whining for “num nums” – were placated by frequent stops for Pizza and Olives. George tended to go for the Creme Donuts which can readily be found in any Tescos in England, usually swilled down with a jug of tropical fruit juice. The afternoon welcomed us into the armpit of Northern Italy’s industrial mess which made – what should have been an easy 10km – take 2 hours. Without good views, attention was drawn back to “bottie rash” and tired limbs.

Day 7 – Martigny to Domodossola – 120km – 10 hours

Plunging through the Alps, it was only a matter of time before the first McDonalds was visited. Indeed, I think it was the fist guilt-free trip to this establishment anyone of us had ever made. Confirmed by the fact that Freddie not only went for a Chicken Burger but attempted a McCurry burger too – which of course was dirt… Ronald, stick to what you know best. Despite fresh legs and excellent time made in the morning, the afternoon was marred by our first (and only) trip on a train. Due to snow conditions, the top 20km of the pass over into Italy was closed and left us no option. In a spout of divine retribution, we were all fined for not paying for our bike’s too!

Day 6 – Day off.


Day 5 – Pontarlier to Martigny – 135 km – 11 hours

We woke feeling like we had not stopped biking since the night before and feeling as though we had been our on a momumental week of excess and depravity. 20km of uphill into Switzerland made sure that the blood started pumping once more. We were reassured in Switzerland by far more efficient road systems and much safer driving. Indeed, we were pushed on by more frequent supplies of Bananas. We arrived in this skiing base camp ready for an urgently needed day off. $


Day 4 – Dijon to Pontarlier – 137 km – 12 hours

Muscular pain really set in today and psychologically it was hard to carry on being so tired and knowing that we would have to wake up again the next day and do itall over again before we could have a rest day. Deapite having made good progress by lunch we were severely delayed by a gruelling climb up top Salins des Bains – a popular training area for Tour de France training!!! `Night Riding` – as we now fondly call it – was on the agenda again but this time we vowed that it would be our last. Tired and shakey, it was a risk which we did not want to take again. We arrived eventually after an hour in the dark. Bums sore and groins aching.


Day 3 – Auxerre to Dijon – 147 km – 12 hours

Having got up at 7am on a foggy and cold morning in Auxerre, I am not sure that anyone was ready for what we experienced today. At 2pm we settled into a lunch in a nice town 60km into our journey, realising that we had an unruly distance to go. Despite making good headway in the afternoon, night closed in with a good 30km to go and we realised that our flourescent gear would come into play for the first time. We soon managed to find a canal bike path into town which proved to be more dangerous than helpful with little visibility and an extremely narrow path. The problem was not helped by the fact that our last drop of water and last Mars Bar had been eaten 1 hour before. We arrived at 8pm shaking and cold.


Day 2 – Nemours to Auxerre – 96 km – 8.5 hours

Having woken up and left our roadside motel, “Hotel Formula 1”, a first uneasy hour passed leaving us feeling fresher than we ever thought we would. Without having to navigate manic city streets, we sailed through the countryside to arrive at our destination in good time. Although tired, we were reassured at the end of the day that the task in hand would not be too difficult.


Day 1 – Paris to Nemours – 85 km – 8 hours

Although the shortest day which we will do on the trip, our protein, carbohydrate and mineral shakes did nothing to minimise the onslaught of pain. This was probably made ten times worse by the fact that getting out of Paris was a nightmare and a 85 km journey was probably more like 100 km. Indeed such issues with reading directed us onto the French equivalent of the M1 for 15 km. The shock of energy consumption was also hard hitting: to the extent that we went to bed, having eaten a a loaf of bread and a steak and chips, with a multi-pack of Twixes! We were in bed by 9:30 pm.



70 responses

17 03 2007
Andy Couroussopoulos

Great going guys, Im really impressed with all that you have accomplished. Keep it up! Yours, Andy C x

17 03 2007
Elisabeth Hauff

We follow your daily adventures with great interest and a lot of sympathy for the grueling hours and determination you commit to the cause. A day of rest truly deserved. Well done and safe onward journey. Best regards Elisabeth and Reinhard.

17 03 2007
Lily Mottahedan

Guys i’m so impressed!!! Love the photos and keep up the good work!!! You’ve even inspired my little brother to do the same in his gap year (in 6 years time that is). We’re all thinking of you three musketeers x x x

17 03 2007
George's parents

George, don’t imagine for a minute that those outdoor photos and your weather-worn sports gear will fool us – you are up to your old “train-hopping” tricks again. The only thing that will convince us otherwise is a close up shot of those “sores” you complained about when we spoke yesterday. M&Dxxxxxxxxx

17 03 2007
sarah stancliffe

firstly id love to say, very well done to you three….im very impressed u made it out of paris, ur almost there…well??!!oh n george these sores dad is talking about, please not over the internet. Also georgie…. STOP POSING IN ALL THE PICTURES, alex n freddie look so much better, come on george ur a stancliffe…if u want to pose n not make it obvious, just look away from the camera, harry n i have both established that!!!!imagining the vaseline is becoming very useful at this point in time…hehe…much love to you all n keep going!xxxx

17 03 2007
Tom Stancliffe


am i right in thinking you are the only single person in your team. Is it a coincidence that you are also the only fat person on your team????

Lap up the pictures- I am sure Sir Elton would also like the sight of you guys in your tight gear!

Look forward to hearing some more banter in your updates. Has anyone succumbed to pressure and had a “massage” yet…

Keep up the good work lads!


18 03 2007
Alex Iltchev


let me know when u r in Sofia. I am there 2-11 April. Can have u guys over etc not a prob.


18 03 2007

To be honest I am so impressed by what you guys are doing… but. What i want to really hear about is the banter. Whos is lagging behind? Who’s fitness is not up to scratch? who is really providing the most boring whinging? Come one, some juice please? xxxxx

18 03 2007
sabine kinloch

Freddie, George and Alex,

Hello heroes! This is a fantastic first week. Everybody is most impressed and following your progress. Furthemore very good looks (imporatnt these days it seems). Happy to hear that you went through the Swiss ressuscitation experience thanks to the Swiss support team yesterday in Martigny.
Keep going and see you all on 12th April.

Big love.


18 03 2007
Kitty Kaletsky

You’ll love istanbul boys. had the weirdest night of my life yesterday when we somehow fell upon the lantern-riddled, magıc-carpeted, giant-cushioned, marijuana-fuelled attic home of an old turkish man who gives you free wine, very suspect drugs and ottoman gifts… we tried on crazy hats and attempted to stifle our laughter when forced to listen to the flautist skılls of a ‘world famous’ turkish musician.

all you have to do now is KEEP ON CYCLING (golly you’re good) instead of jumping on an easyjet jet, just like me… ha ha x x x x x x x x

18 03 2007


You Rock!

so impressed by your mission so far.. Great spirit for a great cause 🙂
enjoying the updates… Vai ragazzi!
big love

p.s. volunteering my services as team massage therapist to sort out knackered muscles on yr return to london x

18 03 2007


Good skills……we are all thinking of you with utter jealousy while you go on your bike ride/holiday!……sauntering along every day in the sun while we are slogging our guts out in the office!

Seriously though, keep us updated……we want some gossip…..!

Good luck over the alps!

19 03 2007
Dr. Tabi Mahungu

Hello Boys!

Enjoy your adventure. Good to see you raising the profile of such a worthy cause.

Good Luck



19 03 2007

I love the diary! Hope you are all become beautiful, bronzed, muscular Gods out there (as Freddie has promised).
Alex I hope you have recovered from all those incidents that I have been informed of. I told you stabilizers were a good idea!

Keep it up, you are all AMAZING!

vix xxx

19 03 2007
Issy af Petersens

cant tell u how impressed I am…very impressive stuff!! thinking of you and hoping ur not in too much pain-loving the diary and pics!! lots of love xxxx

19 03 2007
de Loës

Bonjour les grands voyageurs
Quelle joie de vous voir si enthousiastes pour cette expédition samedi à Martigny Je pense très souvent à vous et vous embrasse

19 03 2007
Mencia Scott

Well done all three, you all look pretty wonderful in the photographs and the text is very encouraging. If thinking of your adventure helps here goes… Keep it up we are so impressed.


19 03 2007

What’s this I hear about having to put yourselves on a comfortable swiss train because of the Simplon pass being snowbound! Have you forgotten that that’s why there are St. Bernard dogs up in the Swiss Tora Bora? No wonder they are getting fat and out of training – the dogs, I mean.
More seriously, you are doing a great job for a good cause, and KEEP GOING – or we will be asking for our money back!
George Dubya

19 03 2007

DAVID KINLOCH (17:15:34) :

What’s this I hear about having to put yourselves on a comfortable swiss train because of the Simplon pass being snowbound! Have you forgotten that that’s why there are St. Bernard dogs up in the Swiss Tora Bora? No wonder they are getting fat and out of training – the dogs, I mean.
More seriously, you are doing a great job for a good cause, and KEEP GOING – or we will be asking for our money back!
George Dubya

19 03 2007
sophie kinloch

hey al, freddie & george,
just wanted to say that you guys are doing so well!!!!!! keep going!!!! al i will volunteer to do ure washing for a week if you get to turkey on time!
i love you so much and missing you

your amazin sis

19 03 2007

ok honestly guys….we all know that there’s a bit of ‘brokeback mountain’ syndrome setting in but here’s the killer question…who’s at the fornt of the chain? judging by george’s haggard face in the photos my guess would be him. big love guys xxx b

19 03 2007
Dr Mervyn Tyrer

Hey boys,
I am sure that it is very painful this travelling by bike. Just remember that I am an expert in anal pathology and I am very happy to help out after you have finished. Swollen testicles are also an area of my knowledged expertise. The bluer the better!

Big love, you are fantastic!


20 03 2007
Amanda Evans

Hello Alex and friends!

Sabine has told me about the trip and the charity you are raising money for . Well done so far and keep up the good work! I see that Mervyn has offered to be your physician for any clinical diificulties you encounter due to a life in the saddle, he is a selfless soul!

Enjoy the good weather while it lasts and your day off!

Amanda x

20 03 2007
Debbie Levitt

Hello, what a fantastic and gruelling journey!! Very impressive and will follow with interest. Heard about your adventure from a big fan, Sabine, who I am very fortunate to work with…May the pedalling get easier, warm wishes debbie levitt

21 03 2007
phil athill

Can we have more photos and I detect a yearning among the public for gory detail; after The House… The Bike! aka Get Me Onto Here. Your Italian friend Giorgio revealed some of the musical secrets that keep the Bikerhood’s spirit aflame.
I had no idea how long it would take to get to Verona not on a plane,train of car but think eight days is fantastic. Georgeous day in London today and I hope the cool windless sunshine beams down on the Verona Trieste road.
Love Dad/Phil

22 03 2007
sarah stancliffe


22 03 2007
susan hendrickson

hey guys, looking good, keep up the good work! tho you seem to be slacking on the diary/pictures, elton will be so disappointed, plus i want to see how george’s waistline is coming along 😉 only joking of course kiddo. hope all is well, keep it up! xxx susan

22 03 2007
sabine kinloch

George, Freddie and Alex,

Hope you got to your destination today. Trieste by night must be unique!You deserve a good rest anyway.

Talk to you next week!

Please do not send message in serbo-croat!



22 03 2007
Brian Poett

Well done Alex and all. Hope life is getting easier now – good luck next week.

Brian and Lucy

22 03 2007
Alan Sim

All the best Alex and friends. Remember when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Well done, good luck, keep pedalling.

Alan, Wilma, Alana and Linzi

22 03 2007
phil athill

are you in trieste?

I heard their young hearts crying
Loveward above the glancing oar
And heard the prairie grasses sighing
No more, return no more.
Oh hearts, O sighing grasses,
Vainly your loveblown bannarets mourn!
No more will the wild wind that passes
Return, no more return’…
(singing this in Serbo-Craot will propell you up any nasty incline).
Joyce was writing about ‘Watching the needle boats at San Sabba’ but no doubt had he had seen you three peddling desperately against the cruel east wind up the final slope of the autostrada through the suburbs of his beloved Trieste he would have been as moved to verse.
Despite having been expelled from the town at 15 for shortsightedly entering the ladies changing room at the Trieste Yacht Club I too think it has great allure.
Good luck as you are about to plunge off the map of familliar France Switzerland and Italy. love Dad/Phil

23 03 2007
George's parents

Dearest All, good to see more diary entries today but I must now accuse you of manipulating your most loyal of friends, your website followers, by showing us bandages on legs, half closed weary eyes and digitally enhanced/elongated photos, so we all think you are thin and neglected – IT DOESN’T WASH (and judging from the slushy sunset Day 10 photo of George neither does he!). Who is the dishy guy in the beard who has just joined you (I didn’t think Alex would last the trip so its lucky you found someone else) ….. xxx

23 03 2007
David K

Well done heroes!
Alex – any chance of you taking a break in a Croatian hairdresser’s? Think how much faster you will go after it!

23 03 2007
de Loës

Hello boys
je vois que tout le monde pense à vous je suis si heureuse que tout se passe bien et que vous êtes toujours aussi enthousiastes. alex tu es eclopé,,, pas grave j’espère. les photos sont très réussies bonne route

23 03 2007
domitilla steiner

Hi Freddie!! I’m terribly impressed … amongst others, you’re building one of your best stories to impress your girlriends… I’m following you with Giacomo and Vitti, good luck!

23 03 2007
Alberto Fiorin

Hallo guys, many compliments or your idea! And good luck. I’m a cyclist too and I like so much travelling by bike. I’m sorry to have found your website in late: I live in Venice and I’ll be very glad to met tou and probably, after our meeting, the road to Trieste will be not the same! Why Istanbul along the croatian coast and not trought Ljubliana, Zagreb, Beograd, Sofia, Plovdid, Edirne, Istanbul? This is the shorter and the easier. Probably in this months the route along the see wille be not so crowded like in summer, but in July and august is quite impossible. I made two differet times Venice isatnbul by bike and the route inside (Zagrabe, Beograd, Sofia) was ok.
One suggest: on the diary put the date close the day and tha cities: for us is muche easier understand.
Es: Day 11 – monday 11 may – Mestre to Trieste – 145 km – 12 hours


23 03 2007
phil athill

For the record:
10 biking days
total ks so far 1242
total biking hours so far 107.5
av k a day 124.2
av hours a day 10.75
av speed 11.55 kph
(worked out by Dad so you better check it)

24 03 2007
Dick M-P

Well done. recommend meths on bum (& if desperate taken internally). Just back from Skopje & Istanbul – weather great. George – how about taking a back seat on the photo ops!

24 03 2007
Alex Hood

You absolute jokers.
Good going guys – it’s amazing.

24 03 2007

Good work bhoyz…top stuff
When you reach Slovenia, I want Meatball to re-create my just a t-shirt get up for your photo board. Sorry I missed your call yesterday, am at Al’s this weekend, so give me a shout. Kinloch keep those aviators on.
Peace and Love
p.s, Very shrewd to put distances in Km!

24 03 2007

Hey Hey Mr Alex Kinloch, u + ur m8s are doing something memorable, i’m really proud of my “little” future brother in law, u rock guys! respect. gaudi ps- please say hi to my native country…..

24 03 2007
Leslie & Dale

Bloomin’ Fantastic!

Well done chaps, keep up the pace and great work.
We’re checking the site daily…

You and your families should be really proud.

Special hello to Alex… & Big thanks to your mum X

25 03 2007
George's Ma

Keep strong, such an amazing achievement, although I get the feeling that you are ALL asking for your mothers now……..By the way, its Elton’s sixtieth b-day today. Magic has been playing his songs all afternoon – so Yellow Brick Road et al will probably always remind me of the three of you battling the winds along some bumpy road in Slovenia. I am sure he would appreciate a message from you on HIS birthday website. xxxxxxxxx

26 03 2007

Hi boys,
From warm Goa, managed to find internet access after my computer had crashed with many tears from you know whom.
We have been celebrating your fantastic achievements here with cold cockttails!
Cannot wait to see you all again. I am praying for decent weather for you.
You are fantastic! Keep going!


26 03 2007
yolaine de L

J’apprends par Sophie que le temps est venteux et les routes encombrées Bravo pour votre endurance et courage, vous êtes des heros je me réjouis de vous revoir tous les trois

27 03 2007
Harriet Graham

Brilliant progress! Complimenti! Would love more pics. Would love some pics (in seconds rather than hours! – Mr/Ms Webspinner they don’t seem to download so well to Italy…? ) Hope the present rain is missing you and lots love from your cheering fans this side of the Alps.
Terribly proud godmother!

27 03 2007

…..keep pedaling stars!
U r doin’ sooooo well!
may the force be with ya!
respect! gaudi

27 03 2007

hey everyone
hope the good old croatia is great!
keep pedalling
missing you all lots
(from an immensely proud sis)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

28 03 2007
Fred Gillard

Dear Freddie & Co!
I wished I was 65 years younger, I would have joined you as Number 4!!!!

28 03 2007
Dr Alison Rodger

Hi Guys,

Really really impressed with what you are doing. I hear all about it from Sabine. Hope the wind changes direction soon…..

Keep peddling….

Good luck

28 03 2007
Tristan Hambleton

At the risk at sounding very soppy, I just wanted to say that I’m so ridiculously impressed by all of you; I’m quite literally astounded. Keep it going and remember that you’re doing something monumental.
Best wishes

28 03 2007
phil athill

Just remember that altho’ it is 45.1 degrees in Krapina it is only 42.2 in Osijek….but hopefully the unseasonably delicious summer weather covering the whole of northern europe – where most businesses are in trouble as workforce mass sunbathing – will soon drive back the waves of spray on the Dalmatian coast.
Poor Bikers I am sorry the Weather God has decided to tease you, perhaps he though he had been too kind the first week. Go carefully.
love Dad/Phil

28 03 2007
George's Ma

George et al, well done! While you battle the wind and rain in Croatia, its getting increasingly warmer in London and tensions are, correspondingly, running high: notably, Tom claims that Trench was flirting with your sister on Facebook last night and Henry 8 has made it clear that he won’t tolerate it. We need you here to sort things out……or send home the dishy guy with the beard (who seems to have more time on his hands than the efficient organiser with the dazzling blue eyes). Keep peddling as the Stancliffe family longs for Istanbul. xxx

28 03 2007

Hi Chaps,

I just met Jim Brenan in Argentina and he showed me your site. I did a similar route last year (although I kept going a bit) and loved it. Have a look at http://www.chinacycle.co.uk if you´re interested and feel free to email me if you need any advice. The ride into Istanbul will be interesting- the best way in is to get down to the (south) coast as soon as you enter the city and follow it to Sulthanamet. It will be busy but it´s the best way in (apparently). The Orient hostel in Sulthanamet (a part of Istanbul near the main mosques) is a good place, with a turkish guy called party boy who speaks like a pissed aussie (he learnt English from the clients).

Best of luck,


29 03 2007

Boys! (Alex maxi-muscles in particular 🙂 golly gosh… i’ve just been hearing about your expedition and i’m full of admiration and awe. incredible feat you’re all attempting and expect you’ll put it off in style. Here’s hoping those del$*£!!ious bums are intact after all this though !!

love V12s
ps. i knew Alex when he attended mini-muscles!

29 03 2007
Sarah Stancliffe

Just seen your text to Mum…..gather that you are planning a different sort of lash (to the rain variety) in Dubrovnik tonight. You probably all deserve it , make sure you are able to get bak on your bikes by Sunday though…..i know you lot(well George at least!!!)
Anway keep the pictures rolling in and Very well done so far….have a good night , lots and lots of love to you all, Binx xxx

30 03 2007
stunty legged sue and low slung laura

We hope the headwinds get very much stronger and you suffer for those legist comments!
Good luck!
Laura and Sue,
Abbott and Holder

31 03 2007
phil athill

as you enter the Balkans remember your Buchan; the Black Hand is everywhere.Be very wary,especially of bearded Levantines and starey eyed Russian Countesses who attempt to mesmerise you while is smokey souk. Around you stir Great Matters of which you are but dimly aware. Attempting to disguise your bicycles as ash trays (vide Frederick von Athill-Hohenhollenburgs info) will not phase them; they have always flicked ash disdainfully anyway. Anyone with an Africaans name is probably sound. And remember to hit the heather should you hear a Tiger Moth droning in the sky above you.

2 04 2007
Emma Sherrrard

Ohh George – i am soo impressed…keep on going! Loving the piccies and updates. Lots of love to you all xxx

5 04 2007
Grand Papa

Mon cher Alex,
Tout d’abord pour toi et tes copains, Bonnes et Heureuses Pâques.
Votre exploit est digne d’admiration et tu vas figurer au Guiness Book of Records avec Phileas Fogg!!
Si je ne t’ai pas fait signe, c’est que ta grand mère passe deux heures par jour à vous suivre pas à pas et que, de ce fait, nous nous répartissons les tâches dans la famille.
Je t’embrasse.
Grand Papa

5 04 2007
Darius Athill

That’s my boy Freddie, I’m thinking shisha, yes please!

5 04 2007
Cristina Vere Nicoll

hey boys, hope all is well and you guys arent getting to much of a work out…eventhough it sounds pretty intense. i must say i am rather impressed and just want to wish you all good luck and good health.
Tina (cristina) xox
ps i lovee the photos and the updates : )

6 04 2007
Niki Kinloch Bakshy

god save gluteus maximus!!!! I’m wondering if you choose the extra wide super cushioned girls seats or were you tough and manly and went for the sharp mans ones. Mmmmmmm well good luck and well done, I don’t envy you but its a good thing to do and somthing i’m sure will tresure forever.

love Niki

6 04 2007
Emmanuelle la Belle

Joyeuses Pâques à tous!
Et si vous vous égarez, suivez le Lapin !
Bon courage, le Bosphore est presque en vue !
xxxxxxx les Maillard

9 04 2007

GEORGIE …..TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!id start the crash diet now…..were seeing you on thursday!!!!keep cycling boysies!!!!!!much love xx

10 04 2007
Robin F

What a fantastic achievement cycling so far. have done a few trips in Europe but nothing as amitious as this. Just hope the saddle is not now at one with your rear end… Keep it up and hope you are flying back not cycling.


13 04 2007

Evviva la bicicletta!!!
Have you arrived???
I’m with Phil and Annabel and all your welcoming friends and parents in spirit.
lots of love

14 04 2007


I’m impressed..
I have no words for the performance…
What a crazy trip…
How many time without knowing of you?…
I hope that everything has gone well, that safe and sound stays. .. seen the photos…
You are an elite sportsman…
My congratulations to the three by the cause and invited to come to see Spain when u want!!!

A hug

1 04 2009

Halo! The babes are here! This is my favorite site to visit. I make sure I am alone in case I get too hot. Post your favorite link here.

15 07 2010

I the first time here.
It is assured to you it will be pleasant,new Story


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