I want you to meet German cycle-tourer, Klaus Möller. Klaus is a serious cyclist who had a close encounter with British police! Although this took place last year (2017), I still believe it is a story well worth telling.
Klaus Möller is 72 years young (we don’t think he will mind us giving away his age) and lives in Kiel, Germany, a port city on the northern coast of the country. Klaus, like many of us takes a holiday each year. However, Klaus’ holidays are not of the “package” variety that a lot of us are used to. His holidays normally take around one month (lucky chap) and involve anywhere between 4,000 and 6,000 Kilometres of cycling (that’s roughly 2,550 to 3800 miles)! Like most keen cyclists, Klaus has several bikes but, when I met him, he was riding a Stevens 2012 “Xenith” bike (a German brand not widely available in the UK). However, Klaus disclosed that he only ever uses Brooks saddles on his bikes as he says they are unique in terms of comfort. So, how did I meet Klaus and why?
Lost and found.
In 2017, I was a police officer with Devon and Cornwall police, stationed at Cullompton police station. In the early afternoon of May 26th, 2017, my colleague, PC Hodgson, and I happened to be outside the station. We were approached by a slightly frantic chap wearing lycra and pushing a touring bike. It was Klaus. Luckily, I can speak reasonable German and Klaus can speak some English. Between us, we figured out that Klaus was on a cycling tour around the UK. He had just cycled from Bristol via Wellington, Somerset and was on his way to Newton Abbot. He had just stopped in Cullompton High Street to withdraw some cash. Then it dawned on Klaus that, at some point between Wellington and Cullompton, he had lost a bag. Unfortunately, the bag contained his wallet, cash and cards as well as his passport and other valuables!
After a brief conversation and with Klaus clearly close to panic, we decided to load Klaus and his bike into a police van. Together, we re-traced his route from Wellington to Cullompton in the hope that we might spot his possessions. I don’t think that any of us were very hopeful that the trip would be a successful one. It was a reasonable distance to cover and the chances of spotting it from a moving van were not high. As we neared Wellington, Klaus mentioned that he had stopped just outside the town to have a quick lunch break. We managed to find the spot where he had stopped and, much to everyone’s surprise, there was Klaus’ bag! So, he hadn’t lost it on the way – he had just forgotten to pick it up after his break.
The relief was enormous. I think Klaus was close to tears and he could not thank us enough for our help in his “hour of need”.
On our return to the police station, Klaus asked if we could take a load of photographs. He also mentioned that he would be writing a report of his cycling tour for the local newspaper and promised that he would give us a mention! True to his word, a few months later, he sent us a copy of the newspaper along with prints of the photographs he had taken on the day. A happy chap, meaning he could continue on his way to Newton Abbot. A great story with, thankfully, a happy ending.
Long time in the saddle!
Klaus’ adventure took him on a journey covering 4,977 Km in total. His “tour of Britain” lasted 29 days including 3 rest days. He was riding for 327 hours from start to finish. His longest day in the saddle was the very first stage when he rode for 21 hours and 29 minutes – surely testament to the comfort of Brooks saddles? His tour was broken down as follows:
Kiel – Lingen/Ems, Ligen/Ems – Eindhoven, Eidhoven – Eeklo, Eeklo – Dover, Dover – Brentwood, Brentwood – Peterborough, Peterborough – Doncaster, Doncaster – Darlington, Darlington – Edinburgh, Edinburgh – Blair Atoll, Blair Atoll – Inverness, Inverness – Durness, Durness – Cape Wrath – Inchnadamph, Inchnadamph – Fort Augustus, Fort Augustus – Tarbet-Arrochar, Tarbet-Arrochar – Glasgow, Glasgow – Dumfries, Dumfries – Lancaster, Lancaster – Liverpool, Liverpool – Birmingham, Birmingham – Bristol, Bristol – Newton Abbot, Newton Abbot – Plymouth, Plymouth – Amesbury, Amesbury – London, London – Diksmuide, Diksmuide – Eindhoven, Eindhoven – Lingen/Ems, Lingen/Ems – Osterholz-Scharmbeck, Osterholz-Scharmbeck – Kiel.
See you soon.
I am very glad to say that Klaus has kept in touch since, consequently providing details of his most recent adventure. This year, he rode from Kiel to Moscow – a planned distance of 5,790 Km! I know he got there (as he sent a postcard from Moscow). However, I have yet to hear how the trip went…. maybe I will have an update at some stage. I am very glad to have had the pleasure of meeting Klaus and sincerely hope that he carries on with his cycle touring “holidays”. What a great way to see the world!