29 Mar 2011

Open University student plans to cycle 3,000 miles while studying for two degrees

On 05 April 2011, Steven Primrose-Smith will start his 3,000 mile cycling journey from the Open University campus in Milton Keynes in a bid to raise money for charity. His journey will see him visit 50 European capitals whilst studying towards two Open University degrees and is expected to take him three years.

Steven completed his first degree in Philosophy and English in 2008 through The Open University and is currently writing his dissertation for an MA in philosophy with Trinity St. David (formerly University of Wales, Lampeter). He is also continuing studies through The Open University for a degree in maths and another in physical sciences.

Steven calls himself the UniCyclist, referring to his cycling and university studies, He said: “My aim is to make this journey and, when I finish, to have the qualifications to be a well-rounded private tutor. I have a tour plan, but exact dates in specific cities get more difficult to predict later on in the journey, as I need to fit it around Open University exams and residential schools too.

“People ask why I want to do this trip. I love cycle touring and I love The Open University. Cheap, portable technology will allow me to combine the two. Also, in 2009, I nearly died as a result of a high blood pressure-induced brain haemorrhage. Since then, I've realised that we really should take each opportunity as it presents itself.”

Steven will set off on Thursday 31 March from his home in Douglas on the Isle of Man. He will arrive at the head office of The Open University in Milton Keynes on 05 April, before departing for London, Jersey and then Europe. His expedition will take him to every European capital, from Athens to Lisbon and from Dublin to Moscow.

He will also be raising money for three charities: The Blood Pressure Association, Action for Animals and the Open University student charity, OUSET.

Steven will share his adventures on a blog. Please see link (right).

If you would like to meet Steven during his stop at The Open University in Milton Keynes, please contact The Open University press-office, details right.

Editor’s Notes

Steven’s approximate itinerary for 2011 is:

Thursday 31st March - set off from Douglas on the Isle of Man
6th April - London
12th April - Arrive Jersey
14th April - Leave Jersey. Arrive St Malo (France)
21st April - Paris
28th April - Luxembourg
3rd May - Brussels
8th May - Amsterdam
14th May - Berlin
27th May - Warsaw
7th June - Prague
14th June - Vienna

From mid-June to mid-July (he has to fly from Switzerland to Nottingham for a residential)
Graz (Austria - not a capital but he has lots of friends there and will probably stay a week)
Vaduz (Liechtenstein)

After the residential...from back-end July onwards
Monaco (he may leave this until the following year as he will be passing this way again)
Barcelona (he needs to catch a ferry to Majorca for another OU residential)
One week in Majorca
Ferry back to Valencia (probably about 18th September)
Gibraltar (early October)
Exam mid-October
...and that will be all the capitals done for 2011

More information about the trip, including print quality photographs, is available at

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