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Snakes, Badgers, Bribes, Tribes, Wild Swims, Wild Hippos, Interviews and Great Views: Cycling To The Ashes By Numbers

July 29, 2010

Highways don’t mean highlights. The past couple of weeks haven’t been the most eventful of my journey so far. Plenty of ‘highway time,’ as I race south to make sure I have enough time to cycle across Australia, has meant long days in the saddle, long sleeps, late starts and late finishes. So I’ll just let you tuck into this feast of statistics as I approach 10 months on the road. Any more stats you’re after, post them in the comments section. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

* Approximate figure

Days since I left Lord’s on my bike: 292

Days until The Ashes get going at The Gabba in Brisbane: 119

Days I have spent solo on this journey: 268

Number of countries I have cycled through: 19

Number of countries still left to cross: 3 (Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia)

Most days spent in any one country: 64 (India, with Australia to come…..)

Most consecutive days cycling: 12 (Turkey)

Kms cycled on my longest day: 172 (Sudan)

Kms cycled on Saturday into Hua Hin: 164

Kms cycled today into Chumphon: 153

Kms I feel like cycling tomorrow: 0

Kms cycled: 13,000* (my odometer was broken for most of Turkey and Syria, so I don’t know exactly how far I have cycled)

Kms cycling until I reach Brisbane: 5,500* (4,000kms across Australia)

Number of cycling companions from France to Chumphon, Thailand: 8 (Happy, Kazu, the Cycle To The Cup team, Syd and Becca)

Highest Point of the tour: 1,600 metres (Taurus Mountains, Turkey)

Lowest Point of the Tour: 422 metres below sea level (Dead Sea, Jordan)

Longest Climb: 8 hours (Bulgaria)

Longest Descent: 1 hour (Thailand)

Top Recorded Speed: 65 kph

Highest Recorded Temperature: 56 Celsius, 133 Fahrenheit (India)

Lowest Recorded Temperature (celcius): -9 Celsius, 12 Fahrenheit (Turkey)

Longest stretch without a shower: 7 days

Number of punctures: 25

Number of days on which i have had a puncture: 10 (well not me, my tyres)

Number of punctures in Thailand: 6

Number of punctures I have repaired in Thailand: 0 (it’s called delegating)

Hair-raising episodes directly following an exploded tyre: 1

Heaviest bike: 68kgs (Europe)

Lightest bike: 47kgs (now)

Games of cricket on tour (not including India): 16

Games of cricket on tour (including India): 312*

Highest score of the tour: 32* (a surprisingly serious game of corridor cricket at Jadavpur University, Calcutta)

Wickets taken in an over against the American International School in Dhaka, Bangladesh: 3

Number of nations represented in my cricketing encounters to date: 26

Days until my next formal game of cricket, at ‘Baldy’s Ground’ in Bogor, Indonesia: 45

Number of internationally renowned body builders I have slept on a floor next to for a week: 1

Number of weird stares I have been on the receiving end of: 765,309*

Number of wild swims (not including the sea): 5

Number of days since I wore a pair of boxer shorts that weren’t my nice blue pair: 292

Mosquito bites inflicted on tour: 4,178*

Most mosquito bites on my left foot at any one time: 72

Tropical diseases caused by a mosquito bite: 1

Number of meals a day through Thailand: 6 (the portions are for ants)

Number of Thai people I have managed to get more than a passing “hello” from: 3

Days spent ill in bed: 11 (including Christmas Day!)

Number of times I have locked my bike since Africa: 0

Number of bribes requested: 0

Number of genuinely terrifying moments: 1

Emails I need to respond to: 278 (sorry)

Litres of water drunk since leaving London: 2,510*

Most litres of water carried on my bike at any one time: 13 (Sudan)

Number of beers it takes to get me drunk: 2

Number of beers since leaving Europe: 50*

Number of times I have been offered a straw for drinking beer in Thailand: 2

Number of badgers run over: 1

Number of snakes run over (alive): 1

Number of snakes run over (dead): 13

Number of flies eaten / swallowed: 35*

Number of monitor lizards run over: 1

Number of human roadkill seen: 1 (India)

Number of wild hippos fed: 1

Number of dead dogs seen on the road: 4,385*

Largest pack of wild dogs attacked by: 7 (Turkey)

Number of times I have wondered about roadkill, “What the hell was that animal?”: many

Number of songs on my MP3 player during 2,500kms cycling across India: 2 (Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ and an unknown Hindi track that I didn’t like when I first heard, and that I now hate. Don’t ask.)

Number of MP3 albums I bought for $15 in Bangkok: 100 (The Smiths, Lou Reed, Josh Ritter, Chuck Berry, The Strokes, 12th Man, Devendra Banhart, Johnny Cash, King Creosote, Leonard Cohen, Manu Chao, Ryan Adams, Wolf Parade and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – they all keep me going these days!)

Number of interviews on alternative, and very funny (apart from when I’m on it) cricket radio commentary show Test Match Sofa: 1

Number of blazers being made by Cirencester tailor Tom Wharton for my ride into The Gabba: 1

And one final statistic:

Number of Naked Cycling Campaigns I have launched in the past couple of weeks: 1

It has been suggested that, alongside this campaign, I ask for donations from those who do not wish for me to cycle naked through part of Australia. Whichever group comes out on top, wins. So, if you want me to make a fool out of myself, get donating! And if you don’t want to see me look stupid, get donating too. Thank you  – remember, it’s not for me, it’s for charity…..!

One more thing – a number of you have asked who sings the songs in the Audio Slideshow I posted a few weeks back. I can tell you that the songs are:

“I Wish That I Could See You Soon” by Herman Dune and “For Emma” by Bon Iver.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris Austin permalink
    July 29, 2010 9:22 am

    Fascinating stuff Oli. But the world will want to know what happened to the blue boxers from day 1: where are they? who has them? how? and why?!

    • July 30, 2010 12:54 pm

      Are you being sarky Chris? I think you are. Of course they are the pair I’m wearing now, and have been for 292 days…! But realistically I rarely wear them as I’m on the bike or in bed..! New gold and green pair for Oz definitely

  2. Johanna Wrede permalink
    July 29, 2010 9:32 am

    Wow this is amazing. You cycled past my door here in Brussels (which must seem like yeeaars ago for you), I checked out your blog and have been reading your adventures since.
    You’re doing such a good thing! And having the trip of a lifetime. How very impressive.
    I wish you the very best- and less mosquito bites than mentioned above.
    God bless you!

    • July 30, 2010 12:56 pm

      Of course I remember you still…we never met but you said hello, and there weren’t many hellos through Brussels (my fault probably – end of a long day in the rain if I remember rightly!) Glad you’re still following my progress too…all the best Johanna, Oli

  3. July 29, 2010 10:45 pm

    You so rock!!!!!!!!!

    • July 30, 2010 12:57 pm

      thanks Andi, and thanks to Nomadic Chick too I guess!

  4. August 1, 2010 1:54 pm

    I have been silently following you since the time you arrived at Bombay (I saw your photo in a newspaper). It was heartwarming to see an Englishman toil hard in the Indian summer for a cause every Indian loves: cricket. That’s why perhaps you had such a good reception here (even though sometimes you had to contend with vacuous ‘completely brainless stares’ often.) I guess that also partly answers your Twit question: you find India addictive because you find cricket addictive and aren’t they synonymous?

    We (my friend Sanjay and I) are doing a three week cycling trip ftom Bombay to Delhi in Nov, perhaps followed by trips all over the world for a cause: positivity, mental and physical. We would like to salute you for the effort you are putting in and the energy with which you are doing the trip, reporting it to the world and making a difference.

  5. Edward Butler permalink
    August 10, 2010 11:42 am

    absolutely great stats oli!! you have done so well, can’t really believe it is 292 days since we waved you off!!

    looking forward to the next few blogs!

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