Thank You!

Its been 2 months since I was Riding around France and Germany and I know this post is long overdue, but I just wanted to say, Thank You!

While I was away I had messages of support from so many people, and it really meant a lot. As well, as the messages, you guys also donated a butt load of money! After adding it all up with Gift Aid, its £393.75!!! Which is going to fund Nurses, Care facilities and help the families of people effected by Dementia, to name just a few. Again, Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Ride to Remember Donations

Not only that, but I filmed the whole last day with a GoPro and a good mate of mine, Ian Broadhurst(Thanks!), Edited it all together. You can have a watch of my Last Leg, from Brandenburg to the Brandenburg Gate, just below.

Enjoy and Thanks Everyone.

Brandenburg!

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It worked out that I did 89km today, meaning the total so far is now- 1219km and I’ve essentially done it! I’ve got 69km left to do tomorrow and it over! I would say it’ll be easy, but I don’t want to tempt fate!

This morning I ended up late leaving and didn’t hit the road until half 11, I was in a bar last night and people were buying me drinks all night. It would’ve been rude to refuse! I left anyway at about half 11, sore head and not feeling to clever and I made it 20km and any hangover was gone. The bike has a way of beating stuff out of you. Every morning I leave, and I think I’m getting a cold and then by the afternoon I’m good as new!

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Anyway by the time I’d done the first 20km I was on the bank of a massive canal and these two old guys flew past me. Not that I’m competitive or anything. I went after them, I sat lower on the bike, less wind resistance, I got the speedometer up on my phone, so I could make sure I was going faster and I had one mission, to over take them old farts!

These two must have been 60’s to 70’s and by the time I’d decided to go after them they were about 500 metres ahead. They were essentially undermining the last 12 days of hell because 1. They were old and out pacing and 2. They looked so casual! After about 5 minutes I was closing in on them, and we came to a big hill, I thought, great these won’t be able to power up that quicker than me I can catch them there! They just carried on like normal, they didn’t slow down and again they looked casual as anything! I got so angry with them, and started thinking they were using the same stuff Lance Armstong had used. Again they’d taking a big lead, because I slowed down, going up the hill.

It was about another 10 minutes before I got back to close to them and made my move. I snook in behind them, bided my time and used there slip stream to get some energy back (it all got technical in my head) then bam, I stood up in my seat, switched a gear up and went for it! I got level and, I’m hunched over my bike straining at every pedal, to make sure I pass and I hear this humming noise. I look down and just below the seat is this electric engine, That basically means what ever they pedal this doubled it. I stopped pedalling and just started laughing my head off.

Over the previous 40 minutes I grew this intense hatred for these guys, they became my arch nemesis, only for me to find out they weren’t using performance enhancing drugs they were using a performance enhancing bike! Dicks.

It wasted some time anyway, that’s what happens on the bike, you get lost in some little rivalry with another rider, or yourself and before you know it you’ve done another 20km!

This is my second to last daily update then, tomorrow I will have done it. It all seems a bit surreal, to think 2 weeks ago I was packing to get here excited about it to start,and now I’m only 1 day away from finishing! Tomorrow then from Brandenburg to the Brandenburg gate in Berlin! 69km and that’s it!

If you were waiting until you were sure I’d do it before donating then now’s you’re time! We are only £280 at the moment and I’d love if we could get a few more donations! http://www.just giving.com/ride-to-remember1

Over 1000km!

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(WARNING:I havent had a chance to spell check)
I crossed over the 1000km Yesterday! I did 132km and it takes my total to 1130 for the trip so far. It was the last big test Yesterday, and it’s one of those tests where I’ve literally only just passed!

I could only check out from my hotel at 9am as the earliest, the last few days I’ve been leavin for 7am, but even then I didn’t end up leaving until 10am. So I was late for the test, I hadn’t filled my water  bottles so I only had dregs left and because my hotel was in the middle of Nowhere I’d eaten all my extra food the night before. Essentially I’d woken up late for the test, forgot my pen and and forgot to revise the night before.

To be fair, even with this stupidly bad preparation, the first 60km was done in 3 hours and I felt good. From then it all went a bit wrong. The way I work these rides, I don’t think- I’m doing 132km today. I break it down into little segments. Best example of this is when I worked in retail, when ever I was on a 9 hour shift, It was never 9 hours. It  was 2 hours until break, then 1 hour 45 until lunch, then 2 hours until break and then I was going home in 1 hour 45! I do the exact same on the bike. I take it one Google maps direction at a time, be that 800 metres or , like today, 36km. So when I had 72km left and I got told to turn onto a road for 36km, I thought. Sweet!!! When I’ve done that I’ve only got 36km to do!!!

In theory this method is great. The only problem was, this was a essentially a motorway, with the speed limit being 90km and there wasn’t any cycle path. I’m not Normally bothered by this, I hug the grass, just in case anything gets too close I can jump onto it. I did this for about 10km but then, there began this metal rail that looked like it carried on the whole way. I was stuck between trucks and metal, so I thought bugger this, and took the next turn off to find another route.

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This took me through a massive forrest that I ended up get lost in for 4 hours and only doing 30km. It was hard work, there were no roads, any path were sand, which is impossible to ride through and when I got onto a dirt track it was soaked and like a muddy glue. That said though, it was beautiful, it had this mist amongst all the trees and it was so dense with this trees I couldn’t see past maybe 50 metres because it was just like a wall!

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After that I got out of the forrest and I was still on these dirt route for about another 20km. I can’t describe how much it takes it out of you, to ride on the dirt tracks and uphill as well. Especially because I hadn’t eaten or drank anything all day. I just had no energy, where normally I’d average 18-20km an hour, it got to the point where I was struggling to get to 10km. It was like try to pedal through Caramel or something.  At this point I went out of my way to find a garage and the person in it was shocked at how much I ate! 2 Mars bars, 3 pepperami stick things 1 big cheese baguette 1 ham baguette and a big bag of Haribo with a litre of Coke. All in about 10 minutes!

I felt the energy start to really spark after that, I had a big uphill slog afterwards, again on dirt tracks, to get to my hotel and I breezed through it. Something that really gives you an extra boost on these uphill routes are the views at the top, I don’t think my photos do it justice, but these views are incredible, especially yestersay when the sun was on its way down.

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Only a short 86km today to Brandenburg. Its a good job to be fair, my back is in a real state at the moment and it’s a good job I’ve only got 2 short rides left!

Storm Racer

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Another 120km done, thats 998km total!After checking the weather forecast last night, I saw there would be a thunder storm over where I was going at about 3pm. I was 120km away in Hamburg or 6 and a half hours ride. I knew I had to get to my Hotel before the storm because, although the odds of getting hit by lightening is 960,000/1. The events of the last 10 days means it’s almost a certainy I’d of been hit!

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I made it about 20 minutes before the storm happened, but it was tough on my legs and back. How I normally take these rides is quiet casual, slowing down when I need a break, stopping and doing little detours when I see sign that interests me. Just doing it my own way. Today though, because I had to be there by a certain time, or be zapped by lightening and turned into a cartoon pile of dust! Meant I stopped once on the whole 6 and a half hours. Which was really tough, but now means I’m only 2 km away from 1,000km!!!

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The one stop I did make, was when I moved into old East Germany. Quick history lesson. After World War 2 Germany was split up into 4 pieces, France, Britain, America and Russia all getting a piece each. Russia, gettind the East, decided to wall off there side in the early 60’s. This was  because all their population was moving over to the West and it was going to cause the economy to collapse. To stop this then, they walled off the whole border. They essentially did what Trump plans to do with America!

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This wall was mental, there was 30,000 German guards that were ordered to shoot anyone trying to escape from one part of Germany to another. Not only that, there was barbed wire, machine gun positions, a kill zone and even mine feilds! As part of my route I followed this border for about 40km and it’s crazy to see the difference between the two old Germany’s. On one side, East, I had a flat land scape, really simple buildings and really no personality in anything, only necassary things/buildings. The other, West, have all the German traits but, you take these out and it’s similar to any other country in Western Europe.  Look in the picture below, the grass is even greener on the western side!

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Today I booked the next 2 days hotels, I booked Berlin about 3 months ago, and with this found out my actual revised total! So far, I’ve done 998km, and in the next 3 days I’ll go a further 314km so I’ll total 1,312km! I might do a 1 km detour just so it finishes on 1,313km!

Apart from moaning about my bad luck, everything’s going well again, back is massively sore, but not long left!

Again thank you for everyone’s donations! We’ve hit £280! Let’s try keep it going and raise as much as we can! What ever anyone can give would be amazing, anything can/will really help and make a difference!

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Next stop this place!

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Day 9

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After the last couple days, today went without a problem. I left Bremen at 7.45am to try and make it to Hamburg nice and early. I got here at 2pm, doing the 107km in just over 6 hours. That brings the total ride so far to 878km!

Although my back feels okay, I had always planned to have a rest day in Hamburg, to go and see some of the places the Beatles played. I think it will do my back the world of good, and really help give me a that extra something for the last 4 days riding.

As I said, the back feels okay, the only time it’s gives me a lot of pain is getting on and off the bike, once I’m on its fine. The pain does mean I don’t have too many stops, because I just want to get the rides done. It helped that the route was really flat today,  considering on a normal day I’ve been going up and down around 400m, today it was only 50m.

I saw my load’s of wildlife today, I keep seeing warning signs for Deer and Eagles and hadn’t seen any yet, today though I saw them both and even some lambs! It was a nice little start to the day seeing the deer and then I looked up to the side and there was this Eagle flying around!

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When I first planned this journey the aim was to do over 1,500km. Unfortunately because of the 2 days I’ve missed, after working out the new total, it looks like I’ll only be doing just over 1,200km. Honestly I’m gutted I haven’t been able to do the 1500km, but I get it because of the circumstances. Right now, I’m just concentrating on getting to Berlin in one peice!

Tomorrow’s a nice little tourist/rest day and then it’s on to Dömitz (121km)on Tuesday, only 5 more days and I’ve done it!

If anyone feels like donating a £1 or £2 you can do here: https://www.justgiving.com/ride-to-remember1

Day 8- With a bit of Perspective

I got angry that I could only ride 25km today and let it get me down. I’ve had a little think though, and with that extra 25km, it means in 8 days of being here, one day ruined by punctures and no where being open and one day ruined by being hit by a car, in 6 days I’ve done 771 km! Plus I’ve got off pretty lightly after being hit by a car! To top it all off, you lovely- amazing people have helped me raise £235 (so far)for an incredible charity!

It’s all good! Plus I’ve still got 6 more days ahead of me! Bring on Hamburg tomorrow!

Day 8

By the time I got out of the hospital and got my bike from the police it was half 2 and I wouldn’t have made the ride in time, instead I rode 25km to a train station and got to Bremen that way. Angry I had to get the train. Good news is my back doesn’t hurt to ride that much, bad news is I can’t feel my little thing or index finger on both hands. Doesn’t really affect me, just weird. Need to have it looked at when I get home.

Apart from that I’m keeping it short because I’m annoyed with the last two days.

Tonight in Germany there is a ‘Easter fire’ it’s to get rid of all the bad energy and welcome in the spring. Going to go to one because I’ve had my share of bad energy this last week.

Tomorrow will be better. Off to Hamburg like 110km.