Les Woodland's Nine-Country
Europe Cycle Trip Photo Gallery
Here's the man who took the pictures below, Les Woodland, author of more than 25 books, nearly all of them about cycling. He is seated near the villainous cobbles of the Carrefour de l'Arbre sector, a regular feature of the Paris-Roubaix spring classic bicycle race.
A commercial interruption: One of my favorite books by Les is his Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies: The rise and fall of bicycle racing's champions. You can get it by just clicking on the link on the right. Or you can learn more about it.
To continue...our man Les Woodland doesn’t just write about cycling – he gets out there and does it. In summer 2015, for instance, he loaded his bike with tent, sleeping bag and stove and set out to ride through nine countries in three months – including the achievement of his very first cycling ambition: to see the mermaid in Copenhagen harbour.
I know you'll enjoy his pictures. It was fun putting this page together.
Heading north through France [Les lives in France] to reach England to meet wife Steph and our friend, Karen
Hawker Hurricane at Hawkinge, near Dover, England
The wartime code-breaking centre at Bletchley Park, 100 km north of London, where secret German messages were decoded with...
...the world's first computer. Bletchley Park also had the world's first programmable electronic computer, but it was destroyed after the war on Churchill's orders
Alan Turing, the code-breaking genius and the father of modern computing sat at the desk in the background.
Real steam lives on at Llangollen, Wales
Finding the remains of an abandoned jet fighter in somebody's garden near Chester, England
The essence of northern England: backstreet Chester
Beautiful canalside riding
The hills and stone walls of Yorkshire
Off-road adventure nearing the Scottish border
Dark skies and lonely roads: the Scottish highlands
John O'Groats, the tip of mainland Scotland
On through Holland and the first of many ferries
Many interesting people met, including a retired circus clown in Holland
Northern Germany: the elevated track is all that remains of the Maglev high-speed railway that balanced on magnets.
The warehouse district was all that remained of Hamburg after eight days of fire-bombing
Metal plaques mark where Hamburg Jews were arrested and taken to extermination camps
A man prays alone in the bombed-out shell of Hamburg cathedral
It's easy to think that all Denmark is painted orange. This, on both sides of the road, is a traveller's hostel
Southern Denmark, inoffensive, rolling farmland
Picture-book Danish village
To see Copenhagen's mermaid was my first cycling ambition. I wasn't the first to get there....
The smallest of Poland's rural roads are often just cement slabs
Gdansk was the start of the second world war and the start of the end of European communism. The gates to the Lenin shipyards were rarely out of the papers in the Solidarity era. They’re where the protests began.
Warsaw was flattened by the Germans in revenge for the ghetto and people's uprisings. Poland rebuilt better than before from sketches, photos and memories.
Warsaw remebers the people's uprising, which led to the destruction of the city while the Russians waited on the other side of the river to see who would win.
Beautiful forest roads to ride in the Czech Republic
Beautiful Prague, the end of the ride