From lederhosen at Oktoberfest to Striving to Mount Etna

Currently on a break from mountain biking to the foothills of Mount Etna, I find myself pondering how I’ve ended up here, when only a matter of hours ago I was swimming across the Strait of Messina. Then I find myself wondering how I made it across, just hours after attending Oktoberfest!

Richard Branson virgin strive challenge 2016 swim

On a rest day from Strive, I hopped over to Germany to spend an amazing and sunny day in Munich, where I had been invited to address Bits & Pretzels, a gathering of more than 5,000 entrepreneurs and investors from around the world. Bits & Pretzels is a very professional event that is just as much about having fun as it is about bringing together a fascinating array of guest speakers. I regret I missed listening to Kevin Spacey the day before – I was on my bike!

This being Oktoberfest season, which sees almost three million visitors descend on Bavaria’s capital for beer and pretzels, I couldn’t resist when my hosts asked me to don a pair of lederhosen, the outfit of choice of pretty much every man I met in Munich, including my own team.  I have to say, it’s a pretty comfortable piece of clothing that leaves enough room for your growing bladder after a few of those enormous glasses of beer. I was tempted to wear it for the rest of Strive…

Richard Branson lederhosen

At the Oktoberfest, I met with a few young German entrepreneurs and was impressed with their determination and knowledge. I was equally impressed with the Germans’ capacity to have a good party. Here are the pictures to prove it.

Now it’s back to the bike on the penultimate day of the Virgin Strive Challenge. After this cycle, all that stands between us and the finishing line is Mount Etna itself. Then it will be time for a party even Oktoberfest would be proud of. Head over to the Virgin Strive Challenge to follow our progress.


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