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From London to Amsterdam on fixed gear

By Adam Marsal

Fixed-gear bike enthusiast Peter Janak cycled over 500 kilometres on a single speed bike for fun. During that ride he even managed to raise money for cancer research.

Peter (28) is originally from Slovakia, but he has lived in London for more than ten years. He fell in love with single speed biking as soon as he arrived to the UK. It wasn’t really a fixed gear bike in the beginning. He could coast with it and it had brakes.


He found riding such a bike very useful for commuting in the streets of London. He soon started creating fixie bikes from older frames and parts from the eighties. And then finally he assembled one for himself.

Having fun while raising money for charity

His biggest achievements so far have been his trip from London to Amsterdam on his fixed gear bike in just four days. He made the journey with his friends Federic and Alessandro.

They wanted to make something good out of their trip. So they decided to start a fundraising page on JustGiving. Their ride raised over £1.000 for Cancer Research UK.

Where did the idea come from?

“When I came to UK I’ve started to assemble new bikes and later the fixies. In that time I met Federic. We were riding bikes together in London and later we made our first trip to Brighton, which is about 90 km from London. If you want to know more about fixed-gear bicycles watch our short documentary In the Fix!

watch In the Fix Part 1

Another experience was biking trip around Paris. Our latest idea was to make a journey from London to Amsterdam with our friend Alessandro. We made it like easy riders. We didn’t make any route research, plans or hotel reservations. We just departed from London anticipating to ride about 450 km and make it in five days. In reality it was much more than 550 km. But we achieved it in just four days!

Any travel difficulties?

[cite align=”right” width=”39%”]”Every single muscle under our skin was on fire”[/cite]On the first day we arrived at Dover where we embarked on the ferry to Calais. The second day we woke up totally tired so the road to Bruges in Belgium was very difficult. The third day was even worse. Our bodies were totally exhausted, every single muscle under our skin was on fire. Soon we crossed the boarder into the Netherlands.

While both of my achilles tendon were in extreme pain, Alessandro broke a bolt on his vintage saddle so we had to find a bike shop to repair it. The journey started to feel never-ending. I was hardly able to walk when I woke up the fourth day. We finally got to Amsterdam via Rotterdam – but it took us another six hours to find the accommodation.

Would you do it again?

[cite align=”right” width=”39%”]”I want to make almost 1900 km in eight days”[/cite]After couple of months we’re still thinking that this was the first and the last time to ride such a long journey on a fixed gear bike. But it doesn’t mean I stopped biking. My next bike expedition will lead from London to Slovakia where I was born. I want to make almost 1900 km in eight days and again try to open some social fundraising page to raise even more money.

I’d like to thank to my father who brought me into cycling (can it be a cycling gene?) and trained me hard. I’d like to thank to my mother Emilia who was always patient with me. I’d like to thank to my sister Zuzana who always took care and to my girlfriend Nina who supports me every single day!

We wish Peter the best of luck with his upcoming summer expedition and we will report back with the details of his 1900 kilometres journey.

Could you make such a trip? Please tell us in the comments below!