Bishop Douglass Catholic School 2016

Mohamed Ali Kadhum, Ace Cebedo, Aaron Javier

‘city to the coast’, bicycle ride to brighton

Their story, in their words…..

“We started our journey on the 15th of August where we met up and got out bikes organised in london bridge, which is also our starting point. We had a total of about 4 weeks to organise, train and diet our bodies to prepare us both physically and mentally for this challenge. We had things to buy, training regimes and strict diet plans to follow, which we made sure were enough to get our bodies conditioned for the whole trip. On our first day we had to cycle to brighton. We collected our bikes by 8:00 am and setted off at about 8:30 am. Although feeling wakeful, we had high hopes and looked forward for the journey ahead. We had problems at the start such as finding it difficult to read the GPS which made us took several unaccounted turns in central london. We were met by several tiring uphills, which took large amounts of effort to convince ourselves to cycle and not walk, as well as refreshing downhills throughout the day. Some up hills we just had to walk and some downhills we had to be slow on. We even had some people shouting at us on from cars for motivation which we found to be surprising. We also had other problems which involved rocky paths, causing pain in our groins, thorns, causing endless irritations, blind road turns, needing us to be very alert of cars, nightfall, causing dark roads, etc. None of which seemed to be major until our GPS ran out of battery. Which caused us to be very worried and led to the inevitable of getting lost. Overall the trip was very fun but mostly tiring which made us realise how easy we were thinking of this journey when after all it wasn’t. We reached brighton at about 9:00 pm

Furthermore, we all are not very experienced cyclists which caused us all to experience some form of crash. My crash, Ace, was in croydon where having realised we were in a tram line we tried to take the pavement where I failed to notice the elevation of the tram line tracks causing me to tilt sideways when i tried to turn. Aaron’s crash happened on our way to gatwick where a bump followed by a small fall in a downhill path wasn’t noticed by him which tipped his bike and caused him to lose control. Mohammed’s crash occurred on a national cycle way just after gatwick which was a very short downhill but we had to do a sudden stop which he wasn’t expecting thus causing him to brake suddenly downhill which tilted his bike. Luckily none of us were majorly injured and wounds could be treated with bandages.

The next day was our 19 mile journey to a campsite in eastbourne. Although feeling refreshed after a nice sleep and bath, we could still feel the pain in our groin and legs from the day before. We were about to set off at about 1pm when we found out aaron’s tire had a puncture. We tried to fix it with our kit but seeing as to how the hole is bigger than normal we had to take it to a near bike shop. This caused a delay which made us set off at about 2:30 pm instead. Our cycle to the eastbourne campsite was surprisingly, much more smoother than expected but we, again, had the problems of uphills which pretty much caused us to walk half of it due to tiredness. But overall the ride was smooth and no major problems arose just some flat wheels along the way and endless thorns on cycle ways. Even though we had a setback, we reached the campsite at about 7:30pm where we were greeted nicely at the reception and had several problems setting up the tent due to lack of experience. We then had a nice campfire, parked our bikes, ate and settled in our tent for a cold night ahead.

Then, there was our last day. After 2 tiring days we have decide to take the train all the way back to london instead of cycling. We prepped for a short 5 mile journey to berwick station; our last stretch. It was a rocky path for the most part and we even had to go through a farm filled with disgusting sheep poop everywhere. There were even some dreaded uphills along the way but at the end we were met by a downhill towards berwick station where we got a train to brighton and waited for our london train. Even though it was tiring, we are thankful to ‘The Mark Evison Foundation’ for allowing us and supporting us with our very testing journey which allowed us to experience new, fun, and challenging experiences.”