Sanketh Mysore, Akash S Kumar, and Saumil Sah, three of our international students, took their hobby to a new level: riding their bikes to our partner University Fontys at Eindhoven while raising funds for a charity. Here is Sanketh’s report:

As a hobby, my classmate Akash and I do long distance cycling and we enjoy exploring new places on our bikes. Back in Bangalore, due do poor cycle-lane infrastructure we had limited trails to ride but here in Baden-Wurttemburg we explored nearby towns and historic sites over the weekends on our bikes and thoroughly enjoyed this experience. This Spring break we wanted to take this to another level and also make it a campaign for a cause that we strongly relate to and just like that we decided to ride from our University to our partner University Fontys at Eindhoven over the Easter weekend. The international office at SRH was happy to hear this idea and generously supported our journey.  We also decided to use this tour to raise funds for charity:water – an american organisation that executes projects to make clean water more accessible to the most needy.  –
We had been quite impressed by this organisation and wanted to contribute on their website since almost a year, we realized this cycling tour is a good opportunity to make a campaign out of it and raise funds for charity:water.
The Tour:
We cycled about 90 kilometers a day over 4 days covering a total of 408 kilometers from Heidelberg to Eindhoven. Our goal was to raise 1$ for every kilometer we cycled, hence our target was 816$ in total and the campaign name -Dollar for a kilometer.
Heidelberg to Koblenz | Day 1 | 0 – 88Kms
The weather forecast for the 4 days had us worried all week, but once the day arrived it seemed to favour our journey. We began cycling from Gau-Bickelheim, with our backpacks filled with super nutritious snacks and our heads giddy with excitement for what was about to come. Our trail started off with small hilly vineyards – a route with erratic terrain but the scenery making it all worthwhile. Once we reached Bingen, the rest of our day seemed like we were cycling through pictures that we had only seen on computer screen savers before, a neat track along a majestic river flanked by mountain ranges and small castles every 30 mins just like in the sets of game of thrones.
We ended our trail at around 730pm at Koblenz and got on with sharing our day’s pictures on Instagram.
Koblenz to Cologne | Day 2 | 89 – 181Kms
Another entire day along the Rhine commenced but this time with slightly harsher weather. On the second day we encountered a bunch of noteworthy things. Camping areas filled with RVs and people BBQ-ing along the river, villages however small having an energetic vibe and a historic feel, very elderly people who too were cycling long distances long the river, stumbling into a restaurant which was run by an Indian, to mention some of them.
The weather deteriorated significantly after crossing Bonn but at the end of the day we were greeted by some wonderful Airbnb hosts at Cologne with whom we got to experience an Easter dinner with their family.
Cologne to Swalmen | Day 3 | 182 – 272kms
We decided to spend at-least an hour in cologne before continuing our journey – not sufficient to do justice to the city but we satisfied ourselves with Cologne’s energy, the city’s architecture and of course the beautiful cathedral. Our trail on the 3rd day was mainly flat with stretches of green and brown fields in every direction, it was exciting to know that we will be crossing the border this day and we felt good about ourselves to have some this far which fueled us for the rest of the day.  The view did not disappoint us even until the last village in Deutschland, Bruggen. We were unique visitors to a village which understandably does not get many tourists, taking pictures & videos drew lot of attention, which we had gotten quite used to by this time. Crossing the border was not as dramatic as we hopped, a small sign saying Nederland was all we got but the change in architecture made us feel like we were actually in another country.
Swalmen to Eindhoven | Day 4 | 273 – 358Kms
By this day the comradery among the 3 of us helped us get through our tiredness and kept us going. The deadline to reach Fontys University by 2pm (70kms in 4 – 5 hours) seemed impossible at first but with some sacrifices to taking pictures and maintaining a consistent pace of 15 – 20km/ hr with pre-calculated breaks, we were well on track.  The lovely weather we had on day one was back and the flat region with some head winds were also some helping factors that got us to Eindhoven on time. Reaching the sign board with “Eindhoven” written on it gave us a sense of achievement which I find hard to translate.  It felt like our trip was practically done and whatever more kilometers we had to cycle to reach the University just didn’t matter.
Prof. Jansen who received us at Fontys congratulated us on our unique initiative and felt a more significant relationship towards SRH as a partner university.
Our 4 day journey from Heidelberg to Eindhoven helped us explore Deutschland and Nederland (geographically and culturally) in the best way possible and is something we will cherish for a long time to come. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support from our international office at SRH especially from Frau Pauley and Stephanie Farrar. We also ended up fundraising 862 Dollars for charity:water from friends and family, which will help 23 more people get access to clean water. Most importantly this experience gave us a sense of achievement which will help us strive for higher goals in life.
Until our next journey,
Sanketh Mysore
Akash S Kumar
Saumil Sah