Let’s welcome home Dale and Linford who have arrived back in the UK this week. Keith, on the other hand, has nipped over to the USA to continue cycling. More on that later.
It’s Graham’s Birthday [5th November] today so had a little moment thinking about him: he would have been 64!
Well it’s the final day, Linney and Camilla flew home today (have a safe journey guys) and Keith flew on to LA to start the next leg of his holiday (have a great time mate, hope the weather’s good for you and you are able to get out of the urban sprawl).
Well that leaves me in Osaka for one last day and the logistical nightmare of getting my bike and bags up to the airport; not the easiest of things to do. Keith made two journeys and stored his bike up at the airport a day early and Linney moved hotels to be closer to the airport and he and Camilla struggled with their bikes and bags on the train. I have opted to have the bike couriered up to the airport and then go on the train with my bags. This also involves sleeping at the airport; if I can camp in the desert I can definitely sleep in an airport, “nothing can go wrong”
To everyone who has supported our charities it has been a very humbling experience receiving all your positive comments and donations to our named charities, Alzheimer’s Society, the Fight for Sight charity and for the Slide Away charity. We have raised over £7.5K and really appreciate all the donations; an amazing achievement.
The only other thing to do is say my thanks to all that have supported our little jaunt, I apologise for not being able to name every one; the list would go on forever, however a few do need a special THANKS:
Billy Plews & Tina Plews East Kent Foods
For their continued sponsorship, they have supported every tour we have done, Cheers, (Though Bill was a bit concerned before we left, “you don’t need food and water all the way to Japan do you Housey”! was his first comment
Roy Berkhauer From R B Air Conditioning Services
Once again cheers mate supported every tour with a massive donation for the kits.
James Ritson McGinley Support Services
A big thanks to Jimmy and his team from the village.
Cant say enough about your support mate, truly missed you on this year’s tour, I know you will be ready for next year, watch this space! A legend in China we met your agent, stall full of goodies.
Carl Moses & Cathal Bartolo
Cheers guys for starting the tour with us, made the first 1000 miles a doddle, pleasure riding with both of you.
Driving to Poland and back, with a load of mad cyclists, who needed waiting on hand and foot, one of the only blokes I Know who can shut Carl up, for that reason you are welcome to drive us all over the place.
For making a great effort in joining us for the last 1000 miles (930), Cheers “Young Un” a very special experience cycling with your “Old Man” and that guy you sold your bike to in China is so pleased with it.
Keith & Linford House
A pleasure and a privilege to cycle with you two guys, can’t wait for the next “Holiday”
For editing the website and blog, making sense of my cobbled together words and putting some sort of structure to the thing. Cheers Steve we’ll have a little beer when I get home.
Last but not least a massive Thank You to the fairest rose of all, thanks for letting me go on this mad caper, can’t wait to see you again in early November and getting a job again.
Many many thanks to all those that have donated.
All the Details of the Calais to Shanghai Ride
All the Details of the Japan rides
Keith in the USA
Keith has flown to Los Angeles in the USA and is planning to ride across the continent. The first stage is a ride to Austin, Texas to visit his sister Debbie.
This week: 225 miles, 9535 ft climbing and 17:43 hours riding
USA Day 1 Wednesday November 6th – LA Loop
It’s my first day riding in the USA. I spent yesterday evening putting the bike back together, adjusting bits and pieces, and re-packing my panniers.
I have a relaxed start as I’m nervous about riding in the US. Not sure why, maybe the drivers are poor and the roads I’m likely to ride on not so good. Also I read up on highway codes in the US and every state is different. Not helpful at all.
I get out on the road around 10:00 and my plan is to head for Santa Monica and Muscle Beach. It should be pretty simple, just follow the 3rd Avenue West. The roads are not great and there are numerous stop signs and traffic lights. I’m doing my best to be patient with them but I have an urge to jump them when all is clear!
An hour later I’m on the beach. I’ve not enjoyed my journey here but things will get better. The cycle path along the coast is very good. Not too many skaters or dog walkers. It’s overcast today so that may be the reason there are not so many on Muscle Beach and the volleyball courts. I’m enjoying the ride now, relaxing and taking in the scenery. I see seals off Manhattan Beach, the sun shinning and it’s a quiet path down as far as Torrance Beach. I cut inland at this point, 40 miles into my ride. That was all I set out to do.
The roads are busy now and full of trucks busy coming and going from the port.
Long Beach is my destination but I’m not liking the traffic it’s far too heavy. So I start heading back to downtown LA. It’s not long before the traffic improves and I’m cruising the downtown streets.
I locate a local bike shop and purchase an inner-tube, the guy has no WD40 or grease. But he tells me where to purchase the WD and gives me a knob of grease in tin foil. Nice man. I pop into the local supermarket to pick up tomorrow’s lunch and get the WD40. The place is full of Mexicans; I should have done Spanish at school!
Then it’s back to the digs where I have a bite to eat then sort the pedals out on the bike. I dis-assemble the cranks then clean, grease and re-assemble. Didn’t take long, all seems fine now.
I have dinner at Gut’s; burger, salad and chips, and then back to the Holiday Lodge motel; not the classiest of joints!
USA Day 2 Thursday November 7th
I’m all ready to depart at 7:00, packed and ready to roll.
Getting out of LA turned into a battle for the first couple of hours. It was all steep climbs and stop signs. I’m feeling tired from the start and the short sharp inclines aren’t helping.
I stop for lunch at a primary school sports field. It’s a wonderful expanse of baseball and football fields. All in pristine condition. Not surprising given the area they’re in. All the timeI’m under the watchful eye of the local Police. I pass Harvard University [this University is in Massachusetts! so not sure what this is: Ed] shortly after and on to the Electric Pacific bike trail.
It’s a lovely 10 mile stretch of new tarmac and I pass only three other people. I spot a cycle store (Don’s Cycles) so pop in and buy some grease for my bottom brackets. Don follows me out the store and spots my bike. We then have 20 minutes of me telling him where I’ve been and him advising me of where I should go. Lovely bloke, very helpful.
Once I clear LA the Lytle canyon is my next challenge. It’s 14 miles of twisted climbing to end my day. Not what I wanted as I’ve been feeling tired all day.
It takes me 90 minutes to cover the ground after fueling up at a coffee shop.
The Best Western hotel is a bit dated!
USA Day 3 Friday November 8th
I had a great breakfast this morning with make your own waffles included. The weather’s good again as I continue the climb out of the canyon. Train whistles echo up the valley as they also weave their way up. they are pulling hundreds of containers with their eight locomotives.
I drop down gradually and follow the “Old Woman Creek Road” along undulating highway with poor hard shoulders. Luckily the road’s not too busy. I’m making good time this morning and by midday I’ve got over 50 miles in the bag. I pull in to a large pile of boulders to seek some shade for lunch. It’s 30º now. It’s a ham and cheese roll, banana and apple and I’m refuelled.
About an hour later I pull into a layby to check out hotels. As I come to a halt a couple in a mobile home ask, ‘Tea, coffee or water?’. Turns out they were from Gouda (Netherlands) and are very nice and very chatty. They;ve been in the US visiting friends and touring for 6 weeks. After two bottles of water and a cup of tea we said our farewells.
I’m still not feeling great and my legs are aching on any sort of climb. Perhaps the two weeks off the bike hasn’t helped! No worries, I still did 85 miles today on some difficult terrain. Better tomorrow 🙂
USA Day 4 Saturday November 9th
[Keith camped this night with no wi-fi – so this day will be included in next weeks post: Ed]
Overland To India
See how Ben and Jess are getting on as they take a more southern route across Asia to India. You can catch up with them here. An excerpt is below.
They have now flown to India. It appears that whilst they are in India they will travel separately. I think they both flew to Delhi over the Himalayas, but Jess is now in Chennai! Where Ben is I don’t know!