RvR Day 11 Chelmsford to Dover

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RvR Route Day 11 Chelmsford to East Kent

Probably the best nights sleep of the whole tour night was had by all. More to do with how much work we had put in rather than plushness of the hotel. Functional would be more descriptive.

With a quick look at the route a collective decision was made to stick to the route for which we diligently and carefully prepared before we left.

It was possibly not the best decesion we made as we went through ploughed fields and had to strip off all the baggage on the bikes to get them over railway lines; not the easiest of tasks.

Then we hit the urban sprawl on the Essex side of the Thames and cycled through little used cycle tracks then on to the banks of the Thames. It was pretty disappointing really as the cycle path was in a bad state of repair with steep steps and locked gates which meant manhandling the bikes again.

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Crossing the Thames at Tilbury

We got past Tilbury Fort and then finally got to the Tilbury ferry pontoon. After a bit of lunch waiting for the ferry we got a cheery welcome aboard but had some difficulty getting all the bikes on. It was all sorted and within 10 minutes we were back in Kent; it may be the Kentish-Men side but the Men-of-Kent are on our way.

From Gravesend we followed the old Medway – Thames canal (never knew it was there!). However it made for a nice ride straight to Strood. We all regrouped to go through the Medway tunnel. It’s not great riding but it does cut out the stop/start riding going through the Medway towns.

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Always time for another beer

We were quickly through the tunnel and on way out of the busy towns, mindful that now it’s the Man-of-Kent side. Two rivers to cross now. We stopped for a beer at the Happy Mariner in Lower Tydall and then set off again through the apple orchards of rural Kent.

Mark had a little issue with his bottle holder and then we pushed on skirting Sittingbourne as much as possible. Then it was on to Faversham as we kept off the A2 until the Brindley corner. From here we quick spurted around and down the hill to Boughto and then on to Canterbury looking good as we all kept in a peleton around the ring road. Then up to Bridge for a final pint and a debrief.

Everyone felt good if not a bit tired. We had a few little niggles but nothing us ‘Athletes’ can’t handle. Then we left going on our separate ways home to various corners of East Kent.

Another tour finished. It was somewhat different from other tours but nevertheless it was excellent riding  and ‘guys, a pleasure and privilege to ride with you’.

Until next time, your calm collective tour captain, Dale

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Map of the whole Tour
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Home at last

5 Day Countdown

Dave

He’s doing well in hospital, though obviously bored and naturally a bit down about missing the ride. He was hoping to be out by this w/e for the farewell send-off at the King’s Arms, Elhams (Sunday 9th June from 1pm – all invited), but the consultant wanted to keep a check on his lungs for a bit longer.

Fingers-crossed he’ll be out soon and on his feet (and on his bike before very long).

Charity Update

Many many thanks to those that have donated.

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The team are very pleased that almost 40% of the target has been reached so far. We cannot thank you all enough. This week a special thanks to the contributions from the Fun Day that Snowdown Colliery Welfare Rugby Football Club organised. Fantastic effort.

Training

Last week they had the fancy dress bike ride and then a well deserved rest day on the Sunday. They are ready and raring to go.

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Linford’s Gear – ready to pack
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What everyone fears Linford’s bike will look like

Planning

Everything is to hand. They leave on Wednesday the 12th June on the 6.40am ferry. If you wish you can wave them off at the White Horse car-park (next to the old Leisure Centre in Dover) at 5.40am!

A better bet is to join them at a farewell drinks afternoon at the King’s Arms, Elham on Sunday the 9th June from 1pm. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Dale, who is leaving work at the Dover Harbour Board today (7th June) was presented with a cake. What a beauty.

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Dale’s cake
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Loaded bikes

12 Day Countdown

Dave

Last w/e Dave crashed badly and broke his collar bone, a couple of ribs and punctured his lung. Naturally he’s been in hospital but the good news is that he is recovering well.

Obviously this will set him back and sadly he won’t be able to do the ride to Krakow. He’ll be missed.

We all wish him well and a speedy recovery so that he is back in the saddle as soon as possible.

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Dave, Dale and Keith
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Dave approaching Canterbury

Dave: before & after: get well soon

Fancy Dress Bike Ride

Saturday 1st June was the annual charity fancy dress bike ride attended by players, former players and friends of Snowdown Colliery Welfare Rugby Football Club.

We’re hoping that these photos will cheer Dave up:

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If only they’d ride to Japan like this!
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Good turn out: well done girls
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Some old birds at the Griffin’s Head
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They’ve all taken a Wrong Turn somewhere along the line

Charity Update

Many thanks to those that have donated.

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Training

Last week the boys did the usual loop around SE Kent. Here is the live map, with photos.

Use the link if the video doesn’t show in your email.

And here is the map with some additional photos.  Use this link if the map doesn’t show in your email.

And here are the photos.

 

Planning

Everyone went and collected their China visas.

 

 

If they get into China it will be a miracle, but not as much of a miracle as if they get out again.

All the visa requirements for the tour are now done.

Equipment

If you remember the frame of Keith’s road bike broke. He’s now rebuilt this Felt to take over road bike duties until Krakow.

 

19 Day Countdown

Charity Update

Many thanks to those that have donated.

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In particular thanks go to those who have contributed in the collection bottles in various pubs around the county: the Ratling Club, the Royal Oak, The Two Sawyers, the Red Lion, the Fitzwalter Arms and the King’s Arms.

Timezones

Probably time to remind our riders to set phones, cameras and bike computers to update timezones automatically if possible.

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EU through to Poland is ONE hour ahead of the UK.

Ukraine & Russia are TWO hours ahead of the UK.

Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are FOUR hours ahead of the UK.

Kyrgyzstan is FIVE hours ahead of the UK.

China is SEVEN hours ahead of the UK.

Japan is EIGHT hours ahead of the UK.

The summary table on the home page as had a timezone column added. Links in the table will take you to a website where the local time is shown amongst other time & date information.

Training

This weeks training ride took in a loop to the seaside. The intention was to try and fit photos to the map & video. It almost worked except the clocks on the various devices were not synchronised. Hence The ‘Timezone’ section above. Another attempt to manage this will be made this w/e.

And Dale sent me some photos (with gps data) which I placed on this map of his ride from Dover to West Hougham along the cliffs.

Planning

The Chinese Embassy visit is on the 28th May for visa applications.

Equipment

No news here.

Other News

Uzbekistan featured in the news this week concerning a Museum of Art at the city of Nukus, which is passed on Stage 37 which should be reached towards the end of July.

This part of the world is also where the boys will cross the legendary Oxus ruver.

Here are the notes from the Uzbekistan page about these two days.

Stage 36 Hotel UGCC Kyrkkyz – Stanciya Shumanay

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Nothing is known about this place except it is close to the Turkmenistan border and has a railway station, and surprisingly, is close to the Amu Darya river. This is the River Oxus of legend. Alexander the Great crossed it three times. At 2,500km it’s the longest river in Asia.

This is the country of Oxiana: Robert Byron’s “Road to Oxiana” (1933) is sometimes said to be the greatest travel book ever written.

Stage 37 Stanciya Shumanay – Nazarhan

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You cross the Oxus river today at Nukus, which is Uzbekistans 6th biggest city with a population of 300,000. It was a former site for chemical weapons manufacture and testing, now known more for it’s Museum of Art.

This is what the Guardian had to say in May 2019

“This museum in a bleak outpost has one of the world’s greatest collections of avant-garde art, rescued from Stalin’s clutches by an electrician. But now it needs a rescue of its own”

 

 

 

26 Day Countdown

Charity Update

Many thanks to those that have donated.20190518_CharityDonations

 

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Aylesham Garden Village Newsletter May 2019

Training

Linford trains in his own inimical way.

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Keith had his first ride out with panniers on his bike.

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Here is the fly-thru of this meander around SE Kent. Also you can see he visited his Mother – on Mother’s Day too!

Planning

All three Houses are booked into the Chinese Embassy on the 28th May for Visa applications.

Equipment

Keith continues to look for a new road bike but meanwhile …

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Linford has set up his Surly bike with panniers
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Linfords new shoes

Other News

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Taldyk Pass 3615m, Kyrgyzstan

The Uzbekistan page (with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) has been updated with stage notes.

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Kyrgyzstan: Alison Tetrick on a bikepacking tour

 

Training News 7

Charity Update

A bumper week this week – many thanks to those that have donated so far.

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Training

Linford was still in Las Vegas.

 

 

Keith had a disaster as his frame broke on his road bike whilst out riding.

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This will mean a search for a new frame, but no doubt it’s some compensation that it didn’t happen halfway to Poland and did happen quite close to the Two Sawyers.

Dale and Dave did a little ramble around SE Kent.

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Planning

Dale has his Russia Visa.

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Why does everyone look shifty on passport style photographs?

At least now they know how to spell their names phonetically in the Cyrillic alphabet:

Дейл Хауз is Dale House, and Кит Хауз is Keith House.

 

And the team took time out at Chaps Grooming in Canterbury for a full waxing and haircut courtesy of Charlie and friends. I’ve refrained from showing you some painful waxing videos.

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Equipment

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The Slide Away Bear got a set of badges for border crossing photo opportunities.

Other News

The Food page summarises some of the cuisine they may encounter once they leave the safety of Europe.

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A platter of horse meat served traditionally as an appetizer

The Kazakhstan page has been updated with some notes on each days stage.

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Sherqala in the Mangystau Region of Kazakhstan

 

Training News 6

Charity Update

Donations continue to arrive – many thanks to those that have donated so far.

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Bears get thirsty too

Training

Linford naturally is doing his own thing!

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Linford: This is what I call training

Some of the team went out on Saturday and Sunday last w/e.

Here is the map from last Sunday with Dale’s route shown and a couple of photographs.

And this is a fly-thru video of Keith’s route on the same day.

 

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Roger: listening to some cyclists at the bar

Planning

Dale picks his Russia visa up next Tuesday.

All China visa application forms are complete and the team apply for them in two weeks time. You need to use them within 3 months of application.

Equipment

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SlideAway bears new Snowdown Colliery Welfare RFC shirt

Other News

This is not the news you’re looking for. May the 4th be with you. Farewell Chewie.

 

Training News 5

Charity Update

Donations continue to arrive – many thanks to those that have donated so far.

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A Slide Away Bear – ready for a Training ride

Publicity

The ride featured in the Kent Online Newspaper this week. Many thanks to Gerry Warren and the staff at Kent Online.

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A trio of rugby fans will be heading off to see the World Cup in Japan later this year – by bicycle.

They are part of a six-man team who will complete the first leg of the 8,100-mile journey to Krakow before heading on through Russia and six other countries to their destination in the Far East.

Their aim is also to raise £6,000.

The money will be divided between The Alzheimer’s Society, Fight for Sight, which funds research into blindness, and Slide Away, a Kent-based charity which supports bereaved children.

The riders are brothers Dale and Keith House and his son Linford, who will ride the full distance, and Carl Moses, Dave Austen, Cathel Bartello.

They will set off from Aylesham on June 12 and expect to arrive in Poland on June 20.

Dale, Keith and Linford, who plays for Snowdown Rugby Club, will then continue the epic journey, aiming to be in Japan for the start of the rugby tournament in September.

Dale, who has given up his job at the Port of Dover to take on the ride, admitted they had taken on a huge challenge.

But the team, who have call themselves Bike Rugby Japan, are no strangers to the challenges of long distance cycling. This year will be their eighth major challenge since 2012.

Previous tours having been to Scotland, Spain, Croatia, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark and Hungary.

“We’ve done quite a few long charity rides before, but this one will be by far the biggest,” said Dale.

“We will also be riding in quite a few remote areas and so will need to be prepared.

“But we are training hard with fully loaded panniers to ensure we are ready.

“It’s very exciting and going to be quite an adventure.”

The group’s support vehicle will be driven to Krakow by Roger Hadfield.

From that point onwards the House trio will be on their own for the next 7,000 miles.

To find out more, click here and to support their fundraising, visit here.

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Keith, Linford and Dale

Training

Apparently Linford was out on his bike last w/e and managed a staggering 10 miles. No photographic evidence exists though.

Last w/e the Touring bikes of Dale and Keith came out for the first time for an amble around SE Kent.

Naturally the ride involves some refreshment stops: this ride featured the Tickled Trout at Wye and the Smithies Arms at Elham.

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Dale, Keith and Slide Away Bear with some deserved refreshment
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Cathal starts training the next generation

Planning

Dale applies for his Russian visas, but Linford abandons the trip to London at Faversham as he realises he cannot leave his passport for 5 days as he’ll need it next week to visit Las Vegas!

No news as yet on the China visa applications.

Training News 4

Charity Update

Many thanks to those that have donated so far. The team are very pleased that 10%+ of the target has been raised so far. Onwards & upwards.

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Two Slide Away bears prepare for a long trip

Training

Snowdown Colliery Welfare Rugby Football Club finished the season on a high by beating Dover 51-12. Sadly Linford didn’t finish the game but instead aquired a Yellow and then a Red card. Oops.

With only about 50 days to go until departure of the Grand Tour he’s decided now might be the time to start some cycle training.

This w/e ardent spotters of the Lesser Crested Linford will be out in force.

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In the absence of any cycling photos from last weeekend here are some photos from previous outings:

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3 Amigos: Dale, Linford and Keith
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Dale, Linford and Keith … and Carl just gets his pants up in time
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We’ll see the back of them fairly soon

Planning

Keith got his Russian visa.

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Looks like any other inmate of a Russian Gulag. Dale & Linford are making an appearance at the Russian Embassy this week.

Visas for China have been applied for.

Equipment

Dale went over to Beveren in Belgium to pick up Steve’s Cannondale T700 for the Grand Tour. No doubt it’ll be getting a few upgrades before departure.

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Linford also managed to find himself a bike for the tour as well.

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It’s a Surly ‘Long Haul Trucker’ out of Minnesota, USA. Obviously it is yet to be tooled up with racks, panniers and fenders.

Linford also blagged some Pit Viper‘s sport sunglasses.

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Training News 3

Charity Update

Many thanks to those that have donated so far.

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Training

Last weekend on April 6th the team (and others) were in Belgium for the Tour of Flanders Sportive.

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Dale at the Tour of Flanders 2019

Keith at the Tour of Flanders 2019

Cathal at the Tour of Flanders 2019

Dave at the Tour of Flanders 2019

Everyone finished the 174km ride and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Both the ride and naturally the well deserved beers afterwards.

Planning

Keith applied for his visa for Russia this week and will pick it up next week. Dale & Linford will do the same soon now that the procedure has been verified.

Linford rustled up a new sponsor:

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Digital Ibiza Rentals specialists in sound system and DJ equipment hire. The Go-To-Crew in Ibiza for all your music needs.

A big thanks to Nathan for supporting the team.

Equipment

Dale has had the display board and banner printed.

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Linford has a new pair of wheels, but not a bike to go with them.

He’s looking at this one now and trying to persuade Dale & Keith just to take the one bike. His argument is that this way they wont lose each other on the road.

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