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A Trip of a Lifetime - St Albans to Armenia

How far can you take a bike from Cycles UK? One of our customers found out by spending his summer riding across Europe.

Paul Parrish is Director of Fundraising and Marketing for Aspire, a charity providing support for people with Spinal Injuries. Aspire gave him a three month sabbatical to complete the trip from St Albans to Armenia and he raised over £2000 for them along the way.

Paul got in touch this week to let us know that the Trek 520 he bought from our Watford shop, or Mavis as she is now known, performed flawlessly on their continental adventure. The bike managed the 4,500 trip without getting a single puncture and Paul is now using her for commuting at home. Even more impressive considering Paul was carrying all of his camping gear, bringing the weight of the bike up to around 85kg. We caught up with Paul yesterday to find out some more about his trip.

Paul on his Trek 520 Touring Bike

Paul told us that his main desire was to get off the beaten track so he could really get to see the countries he was passing through. He didn’t have a daily mileage target and he even stopped using his Garmin after a couple of days.

Paul’s route took him down the Rhine and the Danube using a mix of cycle paths and backroads, before splitting off and heading across Turkey on mixed surface roads. Paul said:

Map of Paul's route across Europe

“I had the absolute time of my life and it is, without doubt, the best thing I have ever done.  Mavis was a legend – no problems at all and the weight she was carrying was incredible “.

Paul told us that one of the things that really stood out to him was how friendly everyone he met was, especially other cyclists. It really does sound like he had an amazing time on an amazing bike.


 Paul’s fundraising page is still open if you want to donate to the great work that Aspire do -