My local newspaper is the weekly Halifax Courier (it long since lost its prefix ‘Evening’) and the letters page is always a good read. It’s a (mercifully) watered down version of the comments that appear on the paper’s Facebook page (a scary, dark place, frequented by ill-informed people who probably spend much of their lives shouting) but […]
Another excellent blog from Andrew Sykes. It’s about time to nail the constant lies and misrepresentation from Brexiters
If you watched last night’s programme on BBC 2 about EU immigration to the UK, you may remember the woman at the start who lived and worked in Clacton-on-Sea. She blamed the lack of availability of housing in the area on EU immigrants. Clacton is part of the Tendring council area. The percentage of EU migrants in the UK is 3.7%. In Essex – the county including Clacton – it is 2.2%. In Tendring? Just 1.6%… I’ll leave you to come up with a reason why she blamed foreigners. Once you’ve finished reflecting upon that, consider the fact that there are 1 million immigrants in the EU which rarely get a mention; those British people who choose to live in one of the other EU countries.
The following infographic has been produced by the UNITE trade union. It’s worth a read:
Having been silent for a very long time for which there are many reasons, today I reblog a very good piece by my friend Andrew Sykes. Andrew was one of the people who inspired me to take up my challenge in the Alps and I have a huge amount of respect for him. Please read his piece carefully and particularly explore the links to the Infacts and the Guardian articles. I hope to write my own piece as well but I doubt if I’ll be able to improve on this.
If you follow this blog via Twitter or Facebook I should perhaps start with an apology that over recent weeks, the tweets and posts about cycling and travelling have been far outnumbered by those on the subject of the EU referendum next week. It’s a hollow apology however as I think the importance of the vote on June 23rd far outweighs most other things in 2016. It will come as no surprise that next week I will be voting for Britain to remain in the EU.
For much of my life I have had the opportunity to travel widely across the European continent, meet countless other Europeans and have even lived and worked in another EU country. That’s all very nice but it’s not the main reason why I am so supportive of the EU. Last year I had the opportunity to cycle from Tarifa in the Spain to Nordkapp in…
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,600 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.
Got back last night to an amazing feeling. Having had a very tough four days of cycling it was wonderful to be home and sink into a warm bath. Proud of having shared so many wonderful memories with a fantastic group of people. It has been a long and determined journey but worth every bit of blood, sweat and tears.
There have been so many memorable moments throughout training and the actual ride over the last few days and apart from the emotional entry into the piazza del Duomo in Milan the ride on the Monza race track was a unique experience. Hope office managed to get permission for all the riders to ride around this historic race track only three days after a Grand Prix.
The support I have had from so many people has been a humbling experience and played a big part in getting me up those monstrous mountain climbs. There have been many messages of goodwill, good luck cards and a sponsorship money. It will take me a few days to get all the money in. My current total from all sources is just over £7500 and I am hoping that it will get to £8000. A massive thank you to everyone.
If you wish to donate here are all the different ways that you can sponsor me and make that big difference:
text GURU67 with £amount (from £1 to £10) to 70070
Sponsorship forms are still available at Charnwood Pharmacy, Bloomin’ Marvellous, Dilip’s Multi Store, The Black Swan, The Crown, Ryatt’s Optometrist, Hall Croft Opticians, Janine Soars hairdresser at “Sheardesire” in Hall Croft, Rosebery Medical Centre, Rosebery Pharmacy, Forest Edge and Outwoods Surgeries, Bridge Street Medical Centre and Pedal Power in Loughborough. Don’t forget Livio of Livio’s Italian Restaurant is also collecting a voluntary £1 donation from his diners and promising to match it. The Black Swan is also raffling some quality wine donated by Naked Wines
Further information about Hope Against Cancer: http://www.hfcr.org
This blog should have gone out yesterday but due to iPad failure didn’t happen! Brief summary:
It must have been an amazing sight for the Milanese and countless surprised tourists as 72 riders all in Hope’s Italian Job tops cycled into the Piazza del Duomo yesterday evening. Cameras clicking, bubbly flowing, many hugs (even from strangers) and whoops of delight filled the air.
The entry into the centre of Milan was as treacherous as the previous days of cycling. Dodging the chaotic Italian drivers required a completely different skill set.
Earlier in the day we had set off from Lugano and after crossing Lake Como another killer mountain awaited us with steep greatness – leading up to the spectacular Museo del Ciclismo on the Madonna del Ghisallo. Here is a complete record of all the cycling heroes that have graced the tough Giro d’Italia. What better place to stop with our own hero Johnno.
The evening at the hotel was overwhelming as I officially got crowned as the Singh of the Mountains! We had many emotional moments and very tired bodies but an early night was elusive.
The rider Reg who was injured in a dramatic high speed descent yesterday is much better. He has two fractured vertebrae and should be out of hospital soon. The fractures are not unstable and there is no damage to the spinal cord.
Today’s ride started off with a very long and tortuous descent. The weather on the top of the mountain was freezing but the skies were clear.
The first part of the descent is on cobbles hence it was a controlled descent with no heroics. Once we got on to the Tarmac after 5 miles, the next 30 miles was exhilarating. The lower down the mountain we came the warmer it got.
The ride itself was very long and tiring – 95 miles with some climbing but not epic. Many tired legs tonight. So early bed and more tomorrow.
I am still having problems uploading photos from yesterday and today but the iPad is playing up.
Today was the toughest day of my life. I have never done so much climbing before and that too in adverse weather conditions, with temperatures plummeting and a wind chill of zero degrees C in strong winds.
The day was also marred with a serious injury when a rider came off on a descent and had to be airlifted to hospital. He has multiple vertebral fractures but his nervous system is intact. He should make a good recovery. Unfortunately as a result of this and the deteriorating weather the course for some of back riders was curtailed by about 10 miles.
Everyone is too knackered and upset at today’s events.
Tomorrow starts with a tricky descent and then it is relatively flat all the way to Lugano. Till then I was going to leave you with some photos but they don’t seem to have loaded on to the iPad. Hopefully tomorrow.
It is still time to donate to Hope Against Cancer by sponsoring me for this challenge of my life. Please check sponsorship links in previous posts. xxx
9.30 start from in front of the hotel on the shores of Lac Laussane. 6 groups of 10 riders with each group shepherded by two support riders. Cycling through Switzerland an amazing country with stunning scenery.
First 20 miles were flat and then the killer long climb of Col du Pillon. An amazingly fast descent after that before another small climb and then the last 30 miles downhill to Thun.
Quite shattered and it is time for bed after a few stretches and an early start tomorrow at 7.30 for the longest and toughest day in the mountain.
I am certainly overwhelmed by people sponsoring and following me. Your encouragement is very important. Tomorrow I hope that I will not be too shattered for another update. I shall leave you with a few pictures I took today.