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iluvblutak

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Location: york
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Country: GB

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charity cycle through europe


By iluvblutak, 2010-08-28
Friday the 27th at about 1300hrs I arrived back at home, here in France. 2653 miles in just under 29 days.A month of cycling both physically and mentally exhausting made worse with a broken hand and wrist as the result of an unfortunate fall on the fourth day of the trip. Special thanks to Lt Col Haynes for letting me recover at his house.The weather was superb throughout France and Italy, constantly over 30 degrees and hardly any clouds. I raced through Monaco and across to Pisa where I met a young couple who were also doing a bicycle tour and they came with me to Rome and then to Ancona before we parted as they headed south and me north.From Ancona into Germany the weather got steadily worse with the altitude but I continued to eat up the miles, eager to get the Alps behind me. I crossed into Austria via the Brenner pass, going slightly higher than the main road (as it is a motorway I had to use the small side streets). Coming down on the other side it took me 30 mins to get to Innsbruck (30miles) and I hit my top speed of 67mph, overtaking cars, trucks and motorcycles as I rattled along silently screaming to myself all the way down.Once in Germany I spent a day with each of my aunts in Bayern and then took several days to get to the Hoffard's house (old friends of mine) near Stuttgart. It was Lisa's birthday during my stay which did last a little longer then I had planned but was good fun and great to have some rest and nice food. Nice food meaning anything other then stale bread and warm ham, which I had been eating since I started.Leaving Lisa's I had 550 miles to cover to get home, going down to Strasbourg I made use of the flat terrain and made good distances on the first two days before turning west. Most of my night near Strasbourg was spent drinking schnapps and whiskey with a couple of German families. One of them had seen me putting up my tent and having giggled at how small it was offered me some pizza he had just made. I accepted and sat with them talking and they brought out their two bottles which we drank until about 2 in the morning.I left at 8am on the last day and managed to arrive at home just in time for lunch.Over the last 29 days I have cycled 2653 miles, cycled up to 11 hours in a day and hit a top speed of 67mph. The longest distance I cycled in one day was: 186 miles.i am continuing to recieve sponsor money and have more events planned with the poppy appeal when im back in england, hopefully bringing more money to the brave men and women who are prepared to risk everything for others.
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Right, i'll get straight to the point, this summer, starting in august i will be cycling 2600 miles through europe in a month, if you go to my photos there is a map of the route, if you can't be arsed to look for it then dont worry. my route will take me from limoges (middle of france) down south to monaco, then to pisa in italy, then rome, naples, then back north to venice. after venice i head over the alps to innsbruck in austria and then on to germany where i will pass through munich and stuttgart untill reaching france again through strasbourg. my final checkpoint is paris from which i will head south again to finish where i started.I am not doing this task just for the hell of it, i am doing it for charity. My chosen charity is the royal british legion, for people who don't know who they are, they help support soldiers who come back wounded from afganistan, iraq etc. this is also the charity that we get our poppys from on the 11th of november every year. They do an amazing job and donating money to them will help support soldiers who were prepared to give up and risk everything to help others.This event is completely self-funded, i have a job to pay for my part, i estimate i will need 300 for equipment such as a tent and spare parts for my bike etc and a further 200 for food and the occasional hostel visit so i can have a shower (probably only once every 4-5 days haha). I am working on some sponsorship from several bike shops here in york and this means that every single penny i recieve in donations from the public will go straight to the british royal legion, that is a promise.This is a solo attempt, my bike is actually a fully suspensioned mountain bike, however with some alterations to the forks and gears. this means i need to carry all my own food, clothes, tent etc.If any of you lovely people would like to donate there is a website and i will put it on my profile here so if you so wish you can have a look. also if you want to know more about my trip please do message me or leave a comment with any questions or ideas on how to get more publicity. remember the more people who know about this, the more money goes to help those who need it.As the time comes closer to me leaving i will set up a twitter account so i can update everyone on how things are going on my cycle, i will put details of this up later on this month or early next month.For everyone who has read this, thank you, spread it around, make the charity known, even if people dont donate it would be great if they are just aware of the great work charities like this do. thank you all, god bless xx

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result at work


By iluvblutak, 2010-03-21
so, today i had my first day back at work with the start of dreadlocks in my hair.
i work in a vegetarian restaurant as a chef so i didnt think it would impact and i was right.
the only things i had was some odd looks when i walked in the front door... i dont think the other staff recognised me untill i started speaking and they promptly put on bob marley which did make me chuckle.
The only slightly negative comment was from my boss, she took a while to say anything about my hair and i could see that she was trying to find the right words and courage to ask me about it. she then asked me who did my hair (me) and then she asked if she could touch my hair after-which she simply said 'you had such nice hair'
so all round pretty boring i think. but some interesting conversations will follow on later when my dad comes to visit and then my grandma is visiting too, i dont think she'll be too impressed but i suppose we'll find out.
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This made my day


By iluvblutak, 2010-03-20
i just wanted to share something i got told today
This morning, i was walking through york, along the main highstreet. This may not sound unusual but let me fill you in on how i dress.. i tend to wear jeans or chinos with a collared t-shirt maybe a jumper and a really nice tweed jacket, and as you could imagine.. this combination with (very very baby) dreads is fairly uncommon.
Well anyway on the walk down the highstreet i got stopped 4 times by just random strangers saying how nice my hair looks. The one person that really made me smile though was the last one. He was a policeman and said how nice it was to see someone with dreadlocks wearing clothes alot of people would call formal and that it helps to dismiss some of the negative views some people have on people with dreadlocks. he then explained that his son has dreadlocks and the amount of dirty looks and snide comments he got from people was mind-blowing.
I dont think i'm the only one who finds this unpleasant, i don't know how people with dreadlocks have got this reputation, but i think it's a real shame that some people are so shallow and class people with dreads as ''bad eggs''. However, i think we all know how nice it is when we get compliments, and i just wanted to share that lovely experience with you guys x
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1 week reflection


By iluvblutak, 2010-03-17
1 week ago, i realised my ambition to get dreads. My girlfriend of 3 years had just had intimate relations and run off with some other guy she works with, she dumped me by typing it over skype, thus delivering me a metaphorical kick to the crotch. This started me thinking. i would change how i live. i have always wanted dreadlocks, now i am a student and my girlfriend had gone i had noone to upset, this all magically coincided with my hair being about 4-5 inches long so i decided to give it a go. I knew what to do, 4 years ago i had helped my friend backcomb his hair to get them started, so i did the same. i spend a long afternoon quickly back combing my hair and then twisting it and fiddling with it. the next morning i walked off to my lecture at university looking like sideshow bob.
Now, i'm a biology student so there a a couple of people with strange hair but non with dreads. i was expecting lots of laughs, or faces of disgust as i imagine people might often recieve from the uneducated who think dreads happen when you don't wash your hair. However, i was greeted with smiles of admiration and i had people approaching me saying that it looks great despite them sticking up all over the place.
So, it's been 1 week, i backcombed last wednesday, i washed them in baking soda mix on saturday after playing a very long rugby match and have just washed them again today. as you can see in the photos i've put up... i have come out the other side of the sideshow bob look but i feel like they're starting to come undone and loose hairs are popping up all over the place. i stil play with my hair and make sure it looks presentable in the mornings (i sleep in a wool tam i crocheted a few days ago) before going to lectures. i dont know if this helps or hinders the locking process so hopefully i'll find out and as i have a 5 week holiday starting on friday (oh the hard hard life of a student) i dont need to worry about how it looks.
Thats my 1 week update, i shall continue documenting whats going on and i hope, provide some interesting and maybe even amusing reading for some lovely people in their moments of boredom.
stay safe lovlies x
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