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Commuting from one end of a city to the other is a mission in itself. From one country to another? It’s a whole new level.

It’s a very real daily grind for Clara Johanna, though. Since moving to Innsbruck (Austria) halfway through 2023 and working in Munich (Germany) during the week, her new Brompton Bear Grylls bike has become the perfect foldaway companion for the border-hopping ride to and from her nine-to-five.

But even on the super-efficient European train network, one thing tends to stop her in her tracks when she’s en-route to her destination.

“It’s really funny,” the 27-year-old bikepacking enthusiast tells us. “I’m constantly being asked about the bike by commuters at the station. Two strangers have even asked for photos!”

Clara Johanna with her Brompton x Bear Grylls folding bike waiting for a train
The Brompton x Bear Grylls bike folded waiting at the train station

Luckily, that’s where the slight delays end for Clara. It’s a different story when she and her BG make it to the carriage.

“Sustainable travel is very important to me,” she says. “Like a lot of people, going by car is appealing when you need to be somewhere quickly and don’t want to spend 10€ for a bike ticket on a train. With my BG, the decision is clear: it’s pedal and rail all the way. I can save money as a Brompton can be classed as hand luggage. And the BG’s surprising speed and amazing handling in the city means I'm fast and flexible as soon as I step out of the station.”

The weekends are when Clara and her BG really come to life. Her Brompton fits seamlessly into her active lifestyle (and the changing room lockers she often uses).

“The BG has been so good for adventures. If I’m at an indoor climbing centre, it stores away neatly. If I’m out in nature and need to jump between rocks, for example, I can just carry it. My friends found it funny to begin with, but once they gave it a go, they fell in love with it.”

The front tyre of the Brompton x Bear Grylls folding bike, shot by Clara Johanna
The mainframe of the Brompton x Bear Grylls folding bike, shot by Clara Johanna

“It’s just so fun to ride,” she concludes. “It really feels like I’m back on my first BMX!”

You don’t have to scroll too far through Clara’s Instagram to discover her love of bikepacking around Europe. Who better, then, to give you the best spots for kickstarting your love of pedal-powered overnighters in nature? Here’s her five favourite bikepacking destinations for beginners…


Scottish Highlands

“I´ve actually just come back from a trip there. The scenery is unbelievable, there are so many great gravel roads to ride along, and you can wild camp everywhere. An adventure in the Highlands would be a super nice intro to bikepacking.”

Italian Dolomites 

“What’s better than a bike trip with awesome views, epic climbs, high mountains, and great landscapes? Finishing it off with pizza, pasta, and vino.”


“I’ve found some super nice touring routes in my new backyard – you can rack up the altitude metres and road kilometres very easily from the city. A big healthy portion of Tyrolean food always tastes better after some serious riding, too.”


Innsbruck to Lake Garda

“I think this is my top pick for beginner bikepacking destinations. You start off in the old town district of Innsbruck, then take lovely bike routes through dream landscapes that lead you into Italy. I find that the people there are very welcoming to cyclists, too.”


The Swiss Lakes

“Cycling in Switzerland feels extra special, especially in the Ticino region. Its three lakes - Como, Lugano, and Maggiore - are spectacular. The 160km ride around Como is a classic, and every inch of Maggiore’s 170km route is a real experience.”

Clara Johanna riding her Brompton x Bear Grylls folding bike
Brompton x Bear Grylls
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