Airman's 425-mile journey across Germany

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Miles and miles of road stretch ahead of the handlebars, as one man makes his journey across Germany on a 425-mile bike ride from Ramstein to Berlin, Germany.

Lt. Col. Jason Dudjak, U. S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Expeditionary Operations Branch chief, will bike 60 to 100 miles each day for five consecutive days to reach his goal of riding through the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany.

"The challenge is going to be to ride this whole bicycle trip in five days," said Dudjak. "I've trained by riding portions of the planned route in 100-mile rides, but I have never ridden two in a row. The challenge will be trying to find the energy to keep going the next day and to make it to the end of the trip."

Training and preparation are both important aspects of a light weight bicycle tour.

"Since I've had the idea to make this trip I've been examining this route night after night to make sure that there's no high-traffic areas and no problem areas for my bicycle," said Dudjak. "I've had to make some changes from my original route after I rode out on them during my training."

Before Dudjak embarks on his journey to Berlin he will have practiced two-thirds of the route.

Once, on the second portion of my route I was riding uphill when I saw people waving at me from inside the passing cars, it wasn't until a motorcyclist stopped to call me crazy that I realized I was going up a very large mountain, said Dudjak. It was then that I realized that it couldn't all be done in one day, It was just too much.

During the trip throughout Germany, Dudjak will be staying in guest houses and eating in local restaurants in hopes of getting a better experience of the German culture and the chance to interact with the locals.

"I'll be to deploying to Afghanistan this year so this is the last chance I have to experience Germany like this," said Dudjak. "I've been in Europe for three years now and besides the deployment this will be the last thing I do before I permanently change stations. This is my last cultural experience before I leave for training."

The road trip begins Aug. 4. Visit the Ramstein Air Base Web page to view photos and track his progression throughout his journey.