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#newscycle – day 11, Hobro to Frederikshavn

Day 11 of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Today’s ride covered 71 miles with 1314 feet of climbs. Tonight it’s the overnight ferry to Oslo then a short ride to my brother’s house – all done!

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#newscycle – day 10, Kolding to Hobro

Day 10 of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Today’s ride covered 92 miles with 3291 feet of climbs.

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#newscycle – day nine, Schleswig to Kolding

Here’s a video from today;

Day nine of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Today’s ride covered 73 miles with 1774 feet of climbs.

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#newscycle – day eight, Hamburg to Schleswig

June 15th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Magazines, Non-profit

Day eight of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Today’s ride covered 75 miles with 1022 feet of climbs.

Here’s a video from today:

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#newscycle – day seven, Bremen to Hamburg

Day seven of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Here are some tweets from today:

Today’s ride covered 68 miles with 764 feet of climbs.

Final tally 65.5 miles completed in six hours.

Pleasant riding today but not all on cycle paths. Still surprisingly cool – I’m told some bad weather may be on its way down the line.

Long night’s sleep in Bremen hostel. Some noise, Euro related but barely stirred. Entry into Hamburg involved weird tunnel with car lifts and much ducking and weaving past construction works etc. Hotel in Hamburg again by train station but much more laid back with bars and restaurants nearby.

Another day of cycling in Germany tomorrow, then it’s on to Denmark – the final country before Norway.

Here’s a video from today:

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#newscycle – day six, Freren to Bremen

Day six of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Today’s ride covered 75 miles with 871 feet of climbs.

Final tally 73.72 miles in 6 hours 22 minutes.

My route today was mostly quite pleasant although nothing outstanding. Some road riding today where cycle paths stop which makes me feel slightly vulnerable now even though the roads are quiet. Amazing how quickly you take good cycle paths for granted and I will miss them back in the UK.

So far Belgium still top of my list for best place to cycle for good scenery etc.

Note to bikeroutetoaster: another ‘short cut’ today was unrideable – you cannot cycle across sand! Fortunately short and walkable although always causes me anxiety in case ‘off road’ parts might stretch for miles.

Managed a quick coffee break today although later than I had hoped. Arrived Bremen in good time. Area of hotel seems to have a lot of, err, independent cinemas which is surprising in this age of the Internet.

So glad to have arrived early to avoid the worst of the wildlife. Hostel tonight – basic but more than adequate and cycle friendly.

Slept long and soundly apart from what I presume was football-related shouting and some nearby noisy residents.

Here’s a video from today:

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#newscycle – day five, Arnhem to Freren

Day five of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Here are a few tweets from today:

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Today’s ride covers 89 miles with 880 feet of climbs.

Final total 89.26 miles completed in 7 hours 36 minutes.

Wildlife spotted: hare, red deer (wild this time), red squirrel, lapwings, oyster catchers.

A long and muggy ride, plus canals, which meant flies, flies, flies. Flies in the eyes, flies in the ears, flies in the mouth.

I need one of those beekeeper hats.

Other annoyances: itchy head under the helmet syndrome. Sometimes exacerbated by… flies.

Completed in good time (for me) though, aided by caffeine and cake around the 60 mile mark.

Hotel by a lake in Freren was lovely although its wifi was all but useless. Tesco mobile have cut me off for spending too much on data roaming this month so having a comms nightmare now.

Waitress unimpressed by my iTranslate app…

Half way done now.

Here’s a video from today:

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#newscycle – day four, Rijkevorsel to Arnhem

Day four of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

A few tweets from today:

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Today’s ride covers 77 miles with 487 feet of climbs. Here are live updates:

Here is a video from day four.

Wildlife spotted today: Belgian hare, jay, buzzard, red squirrel, llama, alpaca, wallaby, heron and a fox.

Increasingly being taunted by a ‘virtual partner’ on the Garmin Edge gps navigation device. Trying to ignore (didn’t get to that bit in the manual) but he keeps showing up on my map. Hangs with me for a bit then speeds off as soon as I hesitate at a junction. Then announces arrival at my destination ahead of me with great fanfare, telling me just how much longer it’s going to take me, THE LOSER.

I’m going to let his virtual tyres down tonight.

Travelling light

Means no electric shaver. So shaving with a disposable triple GT turbo, go faster striped I’m really macho razor and shaving oil.

It’s excruciating.

Then I have to apply sun cream which stings like acid.

Did I mention merino wool? It’s amazing. Wicks moisture very well, keeps you both cool and warm as you need, and is naturally antiseptic so it kills the bacteria that makes your clothes smell after exercise.

I have vests, tops and socks made of merino.

But only so many and there’s probably a limit to the number of times I can re-wear.

Which means hand washing and drying by any means possible looms. Hot towel rails not so common so far. Hair driers? Hoist up a pole attached to the rear of the bike?

Bad news
My brother texted today. He has GIST cancer which has spread to his liver. The radioblation (targeted microwaves) the surgeons tried a few months ago on his biggest liver tumour has failed. And now there are new, growing ones. Doctors do not want to try the procedure again.

If I had sails, they would be very much sans wind now…

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#newscycle – day three, Brugge to Rijkevorsel

Day three of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Today’s ride covered 77 miles with 473 feet of climbs.

Final count was 78.64 miles which I completed in 7 hrs 30 mins.

Got off to a good start after finally managing to get a good few hours sleep. Sun was shining and cycle paths again amazing, taking me through forests and along canals.

Wildlife count today: a pair of hares, various lapwings and a deer (the latter apparently a pet at my B&B in Rijkevorsel).

By afternoon ominous clouds started to form and it became quite close as if before a summer storm. Which meant more flies flying in my face, eyes and mouth, especially by the canal.

City navigation continues to kill my average speed even though I had no significant route mishaps today. And my route through Antwerpen, apart from an amazing tunnel, was not especially pleasant.

Managed a lunch break today and that, with yesterday’s sweet snacks from Brugge kept me fuelled up nicely.

The jury is still out on Beetroot shots. Tried one yesterday and not too unpleasant but it clearly wasn’t enough on its own.

Met someone on a penny farthing today – an early 19th century French model. Only on the flatlands of Belgium on a still day would you get away with that.

The family that owned it were most amused by its English name – guess the currency didn’t translate.

I’m posting pictures on Twitter by the way – follow @johncthompson

Here’s a video from today. The sound quality isn’t great but it gives a taste of today’s ride.

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#newscycle – day two, Calais to Brugge

Day two of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Today’s ride covered 68 miles with 347 feet of climbs.

Well, actually in the end it was 71 miles which I completed in 6 hours 54 minutes.

Got off to a later start than intended thanks to ferry delays. That was particularly galling as I got up at 5am and then had to stand in a queue of cars for a couple of hours in a freezing wind.

Took a while to get my bearings in Calais. I have pre-stored my routes on a Garmin Edge 800 and when you ask it to navigate to the start of the course it never actually believes you are there – telling you to go around in circles if you are not careful (my normal behaviour in cities).

Route out of Calais flat and straight with a tail wind. If it had been like that all the way I would have made short work of the journey. Unfortunately cities in the way slowed me down, especially Dunkerque which has an insane cycle route system.

French and Belgian drivers are noticeably more considerate than English drivers. One couple even stopped to point out to me that cycling the dual carriage way I was on was a bit unnecessarily dangerous given there was a perfectly adequate (hidden) cycle path by the side of the opposite carriage way. I was very grateful for that.

Belgium has amazing cycle paths and was a lot easier to navigate even in the cities. Bikeroutetoaster nonetheless threw in some surprises with an off-road route through some sand dunes (a crested newt sanctuary) and a hairy ride on a muddy path by a canal.

But, quick as they are, long, straight flat roads can get interminably dull. That, combined with stupidly not eating enough during the day, meant the last 10 miles were a slog.

Refreshed myself in Brugge old town with some traditional fayre, stocked up on sweet snacks (nougat and sugared almonds) for the next leg and then headed back for an early night at the B&B.

Exhausted. Don’t want to think about the next eight days.

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