England fan to wild camp throughout Germany on fold-up bike for most cost-effective Euro 2024

An England fan who cycled to Russia for the World Cup in 2018 is gearing up to repeat the feat in Germany this summer.

Mitch Jones, 30, is no stranger to epic missions across the continent whether on two wheels or his own two feet, and his latest adventure is no exception.

Having ticked off making a mammoth journey for the Three Lions on standard two wheels, sucker for punishment Mitch has decided to add another layer of difficulty to this summer’s proceedings.

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As if riding 1,200miles on a bicycle wasn’t hard enough, the apprentice electrician from Southsea, Hampshire will be doing it on a small-wheeled fold-up bike designed for commuters.

Mitch (L) and pal Jamie Marriott
Mitch (L) and pal Jamie Marriott as they cycled to the 2018 World Cup

Mitch told the Daily Star: “I’ll be spending the Euros following England on my fold-up bike. I have tickets for all our group games and the final if we get there. The rest of the knock outs I have to rely on the fate of the ballot, but even if I’m unsuccessful I’ll still go to the city to try my luck.”

Mitch (L) and pal Jamie Marriott
Mitch is no stranger to a challenger

Snubbing flights, the journey starts on Friday at Victoria Coach Station in London where he’ll rest easy until arriving in Cologne. From the western German city, Mitch will unload his fold-up bike from the coach at 11.25am on Saturday and get to work. A relatively reasonable distance of 55miles stands in his way of England vs Serbia in Gelsenkirchen.

Then comes the first real challenge on a standard bike, let alone a specifically portable contraption. Mitch will have three days to peddle his way 200miles to Frankfurt for England’s second game of the tournament, against Denmark.

Mitch (L) and pal Jamie Marriott
This time Mitch will be alone and on a bicycle far less suited to long journeys

Mitch said: “Between matches I’ll be camping in the wild. Forests, farmers fields, besides lakes and rivers or in town centres depending where takes my fancy on the day. I cycled from England to Russia for the 2018 World Cup so the distances between cities doesn’t bother me too much, but I don’t have any experience riding a foldy bike so I don’t know how easy or hard that will be to cover hundreds of kilometres at a time.”

Mitch (L) and pal Jamie Marriott
As well as snubbing flights and trains, Mitch also has no plans on splashing out on accommodation

Explaining why on Earth he’s taking on so much mileage, he said: “I’m doing it for a mixture of saving money on accommodation and the freedom a bike brings of being able to go anywhere, anytime and not be restricted by transport links. Keeps the fitness ticking over between beer sessions and then whilst I’m doing something a bit different I may as well try and raise a bit of money for charity.”

Mitch has launched a fundraising page for anyone impressed with his challenge to donate to mental health charity Mind UK

Having calculated England’s potential run-ins all the way to the final, Mitch would bizarrely prefer England to finish runners-up in their group so he gets to cover more new ground in Germany. “I actually hope we finish 2nd for the sake of the mission,” he quipped.

Mitch’s trip if England win their group and make the final in Berlin

Road to the final

  1. (14/6/) Bus from Victoria to Cologne 9pm
  2. (15/6/) Arrive Cologne 11.25am. 88km > Gelsenkirchen
  3. (16/6/) 9pm England v Serbia. Gelsenkirchen
  4. (17-20) 320km > Frankfurt
  5. (20/6) 6pm England v Denmark. Frankfurt
  6. (21-25) 230km > Cologne
  7. (25/6) 9pm England v Slovenia. Cologne
  8. If win group: (26-30) 88km > Gelsenkirchen
  9. (30/6) England v TBA Gelsenkirchen
  10. (31/6-6/7) 45km > Dusseldorf
  11. (6/7) England v TBA Dusseldorf
  12. (7-10) 75km > Dortmund
  13. (10/7) England v TBA Dortmund
  14. (11-14) 540km > Berlin
  15. (14/7) England v TBA Berlin Total 1386km

Mitch is far more excited by his journey if England finish second in their group and make the final

If runners-up :

  1. (26-29) 93km > Dortmund
  2. (29/6) England v TBA Dortmund
  3. (29/6-5/7) 460km > Stuttgart
  4. (5/7) England v TBA Stuttgart
  5. (5-9) 237km > Munich
  6. (9/7) England v TBA Munich
  7. (9-14) 653km > Berlin
  8. (14/7) England v TBA Berlin Total 2081km

You can donate to Mitch’s JustGiving page here

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