11.9.06

Mat and Jin Cycle trip

Statistics:
Days: 5
Days Cycling: 2.5
Punctures: 4
Brake tampering: 2 hours
New wheel
Buckled wheel repair
Brake repair
Broken light

Just got back in after a 5 day trip away from home. Basically, Jason and liv are now living in Canterbury (south east) so I wanted to go and see them. So I rang them up and said i wanted to come and see them this weekend and said i'd just get the train down on friday or something, and they said ok sounds cool. Then later that day, I thought why not cycle there instead? So on tuesday I phoned up my mate, Mat, who knows jason and liv also and asked if he was up for it and the first thing he said was...."sounds like hassle". But it took little pursuasion to convince him to come, so on wednesday i went to town with him to sort out stuff to bring, the first thing i needed to buy was a bike! So i got a cheap second hand one, which i can aslo take to uni.
After buying inner tubes, a pump, lights etc we went back to mats house where we planned the route on the A-Z map we bought and multimap on the net, then went to bed. The next morning we spent about an hour and a half fixing up mats bike then set off on our 140 mile trip with about 10-15kg each on our backs and minimal knowledge of bike maintenance. It took us about an hour to get to our first stop, Royston, at which point we realised how much harder this was going to be after getting there fairly aching. My wheel had busted so we had to find a local bike shop, and he managed to get the wheel fixed, meanwhile we waited an hour practicing handstands and consuming chocolate and lucozade and stocking up. After paying 25quid for my new wheel, we set off again to bishop stortford.
We arrived after about 2.5 hours of cycling, reaslising that Mat had been cycling with a flat tire for about 6 miles up hills. So needless to say we went to sit down and eat something, by which point it was about 2/3pm. After getting some bananas for cramps on the BASTARD hills, we went back to the bikes to fix mats puncture by changing the innertube. After 20 mins we set off, but mats brakes didnt work for some reason! So we then spent about 1 hour fiddling about trying to figure out what the hell to do cos we didnt have a clue. We finally got them to work to an extent and thought we should carry on to Chipping Ongar. So with the amount of weight, hills and heat i think we were burning about 800-1000 calories an hour, and basically topping these up with boosts, mars bars, flap jacks, kit kats and lucozades. We couldnt really find any decent long acting carbohydrates in the local corner stores and i needed the fast acting sugar to keeping my blood glucose levels from dropping dangerously low. We stopped at Chipping Ongar at about 5/6ish to eat and drink something, at which point i was starting to get cramps in my quads when going up the hills. Then we set off for Brentwood to find somehwere to sleep. I forgot to mention, we brought a two man tent with the intent of sleeping in some random field or woods along the way, with no planning for sleeping anywhere excepte somehwere random and isolated.
It began to get dark at about 8:00 and Mat got another puncture! So we had to find a small path in the country lanes and do an innertube change in the dark, with a torch to see with, which took about 30 mins. At this point it was getting fairly cold and we were getting quite tired after a collective of about 7 hours cycling for 40 miles. It was really the wieght of the bags and the rediculous inclines that were taxing. So we decided to cycle on till we found somewhere to sleep, and we saw a campsite sign after 10 mins of cycling. So we followed it and found a really great campsite at 8:30 in Kalvedon Hatch and pitched up after paying the really nice owners a fiver each. They gave us the number for a chinese take away and we ordered some chow mein, and were eating it by about 9:45! That was seriously sweet, and there were shower blocks and toilets! Amazing we though, what awesome luck, we can shower and we dont have to take a crap in some bush! We then went to bed feeling very content and tired.
In the morning, mats brakes were playing up again, so we took about 30 mins sorting it out with the help of a fellow camper. So after using our previous days tops as towels, we showered and packed up and were out at about 9. We cycled to Brentwood after 10 miles and then mats brakes locked the back wheel completely, so we had to find a bike shop and wait an hour and a half for them to fix the brakes, practicing handstands again hehe.
Our next target was Dartford crossing, to cross over the border and into Kent. It took about 4 hours to get close and then we came to some very scary dual carriage ways, and unfortunately i got a puncture so we were walking along the side with huge lorries and trucks screaming past. It took about 40 mins of walking to get to a petrol station where we got a flap jack, double decker and lucozade to replenish our energy. I spent about an hour changing the innertube and messing around with the brakes until we finally got on our way to reach the crossing about 20 mins later. We were driven across by the "crossing Control" and went on to cycle further south. Our aim for the day was to get to Sittingbourne, about 20 miles from Canterbury where we would find somewhere to sleep for the 2nd night. So we went on for another 5 hours or so cycling when it started to get dark, about 20 miles from Sittingbourne, so we went to a tesco and bought some food for the evening.
We thought at this point we should find somewhere to camp since it was about 7 getting dark. Switching on our lights and with food in our bags for the evening we set off to find a place to sleep for the evening. We were travelling on A-roads almost the whole way and this one was cutting through every village and town so we were not finding anywhere to sleep at all, but we kept shouting "just keep going we need to find somewhere!". We had already decided we were not going to make it to Sittingbourne since it was dark so we were really trying to just find somehwere to sleep. We were really going as fast as we could at this point, cutting through villages and towns desperately trying to find a wood or field. It was dark at this point and despite the fact we couldnt find anywhere we were feeling amazing, we had pushed through the fatigue to a new kind of energy and were going really really fast, powering up hills and just slicing through traffic, we were both shouting to each other how amazing we felt and just going "yyeeeeeeeeehaaaaa!!!!" down the hills and through traffic, it was amazing and we were both really amped.
Suddenly, we came to a town and saw a sign at about 9pm that said Sittingbourne, we were like "no WAY! how the hell did we get here! we must have been cycling for at least 2 hours, we have covered 20 miles!!". We then saw a public footpath which we took for about 600 metres in PITCH black, pointing our lights at the ground to watch out for pot holes. We came out into a village road which was really dark with no lights, and we both mentioned how creepy this was with our meager bike lights, and we were now really trying to find somehwere to sleep. It was about 9:45 and we were thinking what the hell can we do, so we came across a big house and mat said we should ask where the owner of all the land lives so we can ask if we can sleep somewhere, as we couldnt find anyway to get past the bushes and fences with our bikes. So we knocked on this huge houses door in the middle of nowhere to be answered by a rather aprehensive woman, who called her husband. We explained the situation and he said we could sleep in their back garden, trying to convince his wife who just looked shocked and walked away, at which point we were insisting it was fine and we didnt want to impose. But he lead us round into his garden where we set up the tent about 20 metres from the house. It felt very wierd but we were very thankfull for his generosity and got into our tent to eat our sardines and bread, thn getting into our sleeping bags and falling asleep at about 11pm. We woke up about 10 times because it was rediculously cold, i had ALL my clothes on from my bag, shorts, trousers, beanie, tees jumper socks, and i was FREEZING.
We set off at about 7:30am after having a kit kat and left a thankyou note for the family, his son saw us emerging from the garden and put his face to the window in awe, thinking "what the heck?".
So then we set off cycling, but my tire was flat and i had to change the inner tube after about 20 mins of cycling, at which point we had some peanut butter and honey sandwhiches, and also came up with the ingenious idea of mixing honey and peanut butter to make a super energy paste to dunk or kit kats in.
We cycled for another 2.5 hours to finally reach canterbury after the most intense inclines we had experienced on the whole trip. We were elated when we found the sign for canterbury and thought it appropriate to get a photo standing next to it. We then found the train station where we used the toilets to relieve ourselves and then met up with jason and liv!
The next two days we trained hung out together, which was really great seeing them before i went off to uni. Mat had a motorbike test on tuesday so we decided to gett the train back, and on monday at about 4pm, we arrived home, tired but very satisfied and happy with ourselves.

Planning the trip route


Handtsand at royston while waiting for wheel replacement

Supplies for the trip (and tent)

First of many bike problems

Handstand at Bishop Stortford

the tramp eats his food haha

Puncture+nightime+unfamiliar place-Knowlegde-energy = FUN

Handstands at the campsite

Handstands while waiting at Brentwood for mats bike repair


Scary ass dual carriage way near the Dartford crossing

The fun continues! The pertol station at dartford crossing.

The knife we used for eating, fixing, and living. Cleaned with an old sock and saliva. you think im joking...

Beautiful view at the top of a BASTARD hill


Peanut butter kit kat dipped in honey and peanut butter mix, the king of health food.

Mat morphs into some kind of Humanimal when reaching for the spanner

Mission accomplished.

hello.

Training on the goal post with techniques Jason brought back from the guys in lisses.

Cat crawl down posts

Muscle up combo

pals

pals v.2

on the way home.

6 comments:

  1. nice seats, :D

    sounds like you had an epic time,

    - Cemal

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sick. I did the London to Brighton last year, was good fun, completed it in under 6 hours because I lost my dad and thought I needed to catch up to him, even though he ended up finished 4 hours after me.

    Those snacks look.. interesting. Sounds like it was great, much respect to you both for completing it even with all the bike problems and finding somewhere to stay etc.

    Stupidly beast handstands and muscle ups, you fag.

    And err, tasty knife. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice one, Jin. Looks like you had a belter of a pilgrimage to Canterbury!

    Text me if you want to train next week.

    Regards,

    Ben :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. Alastair3:50 PM

    Taking the train back? What a jessy.

    Sounds pretty beastly mate, good fun.

    ReplyDelete
  5. nice to see your working hard man!!
    It sounds like you had a hell of a trip. hope things are going well for you in uni dude, would love to meet up some time soon.

    im alwas droping in on your blog, every few weeks or so just to see what your upto and am always amazed!

    we (saiyanclan) have a little blog also, take a look if your not busy.

    Cable Saiyan

    ReplyDelete
  6. Vilewire3:51 AM

    Very Inspiring man!

    Appreciate the updates, i always look forward to new posts :)

    Hope to train with you in sheffield soon!

    Peace

    ReplyDelete