Rugby Fives Association
29th December 2018
Rob Cleave reports from Thailand on his fund-raising round-the-world cycle ride so far:
Having set off from Nottingham in April 2018 I have covered 8,500 miles and cycled through 19 countries; England, Morocco, Gibraltar, Spain, Portugal, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, India and Thailand.
It has been absolutely fantastic, but each day you never know quite what is going to happen.
As well as all of the wonderful scenery, sights, food and experiences there have been a few lows and some challenges: countless storms, one earthquake and a hurricane in Greece and one cyclone in Kerala in southern India; a couple of incidents of ‘Delhi belly’ and a chest infection in Rajasthan, India which was exacerbated by the heat, dust and pollution. Also a couple of bike breakdowns, when the hub on the rear wheel broke and a gear changing cable went; these were very frustrating and delayed me for three weeks in all while repairs were made. I had no punctures for the first 5,000 miles but then six punctures in one day in India. Also a split tyre which I patched up with Gorilla tape to prevent the inner tube poking out through the gap. This was good enough to get me through the next 250 miles to new tyres.
The highlight for me so far have been the forts and palaces of Rajasthan, the desert state in India. In addition, Jaipur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh and Jodhpur really are awesome.
Amidst all the beauty I’ve seen of people, cathedrals, museums, temples and palaces, the concentration camp at Mauthausen in Austria was a stark reminder of the darker side of life.
I’m currently in Bangkok, having spent a different but wonderful Christmas with my family and celebrating Christmas at Christchurch, the Anglican Church in Bangkok. This involved being invited to bring my bike to church and then cycling down the nave at the start of a service and being interviewed by the vicar.
Many thanks for the very generous support for the two charities, Traidcraft Exchange and Cancer Research UK.
I can be followed at robertsride18000.com and on Facebook Robert Cleave, where I post daily.
Looking forward to 2019 and reaching the 9,000 mile halfway point in two weeks’ time.