Whenever I want a bit of cycling wanderlust, I check out the Instagram feed of Markus Stitz (@reizkultur) which charts his epic two-wheeled adventures across Scotland (and sometimes even further afield).

Born in Heiligenstadt in the east of Germany, these days the intrepid Markus, 35, is based in Edinburgh. Here he shares how he fell in love with cycling and why he wants you to join him on his upcoming challenge, the Capital Trail, this summer.

How old were you when you learned to ride a bike?

I honestly can't remember, but certainly older than all other kids. I hated any exercise as a child and was quite introvert. I definitely struggled to learn things like cycling and skiing. But I knew I had to - every child in Germany learns to ride a bike - and I finally managed to learn using my mum's bike on a grass track behind our garden.

What are your earliest memories of cycling?

The most memorable moment was when the Friedensfahrt (Peace Race) came near to my home in East Germany. With not being able to travel to any western countries, this was as close as we got to professional road racing.

Olaf Ludwig, who won 38 stages in that race through his career, was competing and my mum and I spent the afternoon in our garden on the outskirts of town. I silently sneaked away on my wee foldable bike. I packed a blanket on the rack, dashed off and made it to the route the riders were taking to watch my idol racing.

After a 15km (nine-mile) round trip I headed back to garden. Those were the days when we didn't have a phone at home, so you can imagine the relief on my mother's face when I turned up again.

What was your first bike?

A passed-down, foldable bike my brother and sister had used before me. My first proper bike was a second-hand 24-inch steel racer which we bought second-hand from a family friend when the Berlin Wall came down.

Until then it was literally impossible to get any western bikes. I can still remember that huge smile on my face when I got it; it gave me the freedom to roam around the neighbourhood back home. Unfortunately it didn't last long. We lived in shared housing and at some stage it got stolen.

What kind of bike do you own now?

Too many. I currently have two singlespeed mountain bikes, one rigid 27.5in and a 26in hard tail; a 26in full suspension mountain bike with gears; a road bike with gears (which needs to be put together again); a singlespeed cross bike; a singlespeed commuter bike; and, although it technically belongs to my girlfriend, a fat bike.

How would you describe your cycling style?

There is a sticker on my cross bike that says: "I brake for cake". My mountain bike has: "Hey let's go to the pub" stickered on it. That perhaps sums it up quite nicely. I cycle loads and often, but I can't be bothered to take it too seriously.

Maybe adventurous describes it best: I'm one of those people that deliberately take the wrong turn to see what happens. And it's usually good things that happen.

Who is your favourite cyclist?

To be honest, I struggle to name someone. I like Alastair Humphreys and his two books have inspired me but I wouldn't say he is a cyclist, he is an adventurer.

Maybe that term fits better for me as well. I personally dislike the term cyclist as it puts people in a bracket. I'm just a guy who chooses to get around on a bike more often than by foot or in the car.

What is your motto on the bike?

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

Describe your all-time ultimate cycling moment?

The fact that I had to think about this one for a long time shows that there have been many. When I cycled through Germany in the winter of 2010 I got stuck in a whiteout near the Freusburg. After pushing my bike up a steep hill (22% gradient), knackered and tired, I discovered that the hostel I was hoping to stay in was closed.

While I stood outside in heavy snow, trying to make plans, a man got out a car, saw me, and invited me into a small cafe. He turned out to be the owner. I got fed and all the locals came around. I think everyone was thinking I was mad to cycle in those conditions, but fascinated at the same time.

The hospitality was simply amazing; they even invited the local brass band around for music. I have since gone back twice and the owners, Irene and Peter, have become friends of mine.

What is your favourite route?

Out to the German cake shop in Gullane, East Lothian, then past the Seashore Gallery in Cockenzie. My girlfriend Sophie loves that route and it is nice to ride it together as I spend a lot of time on long rides by myself. And it's a little piece of home in Scotland.

What is top of your cycling bucket list?

Cycling on a singlespeed bike around the world.

Describe your next big adventure?

Since I got into bikepacking I was wondering if it would be possible to find a nice route around Edinburgh and through the Borders. I finished one of the hardest mountain bike rides in the UK, the Highland Trail 550, last May and also a pretty tough ride in September in the Highlands.

The idea for a route came when I got slightly lost in the Pentlands last spring. Up until then I hadn't really appreciated how remote the area is. It was back then that I discovered the Cross Borders Drove Road that connects the Pentlands with the Gypsy Glen near Innerleithen.

After some initial research I became busy with other things and never really followed the idea up. Then at the beginning of this year I met up with Kim Harding, one of the directors of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, and he was keen to include more dirt in the event.

We met on a Friday and on Saturday morning I was on the bike, heading east from Edinburgh to find paths that would eventually take me to the Gypsy Glen. After many more miles I managed to piece together a route now called the Capital Trail. With 6100m of ascent and covering 237km (20,000ft and 147 miles) it is fair to say that it will be an adventure and a tough one at that.

What I'm more thrilled about is that it will bring together 100 like-minded people to appreciate the amazing surroundings of Edinburgh. The Capital Trail starts on June 13 at Portobello Beach, crosses the Lammermuir Hills, follows the Southern Uplands, taking in Innerleithen and Peebles, before heading back to Edinburgh.

How has owning a bike changed your life?

More than anything else I would say. I only took up cycling "properly" at university after I changed my lifestyle, lived a bit healthier and went running to lose weight. After doing that for a while I needed a change and discovered mountain biking.

I then moved to New Zealand and discovered cycle touring. It was the mountain biking and the great friends I made through this that made me stay down there for a while.

I moved to Scotland for the cycling again. Cycling has given me the best friends. It is so much more than just an activity, it is a way of life for me.

What is your top cycling tip?

Keep it simple. Don't get to caught up in technology, just grab a bike and ride it. There is an adventure in everything, even your commute.

The Capital Trail ride takes place on June 13. For more information, visit edfoc.org.uk. To follow Markus Stitz's latest cycling endeavours, visit fearlessandunique.wordpress.com