HOT, SORE AND TIRED – BUT STILL CYCLING TO AFRICA
ACYCLIST riding across Europe has revealed that he has been sleeping rough and getting by on one meal a day. Edward Beverley-Jones was hoping to follow migrating swallows as they made their annual journey to Africa.
Now in Spain, he has ridden nearly every day since leaving his home in Chepstow at the end of September.
Until then he had barely ridden in 20 years.
In videos on Facebook he described his progress across the continent.
“I’ve bumped into some people and they have taken me in and let me have a bed and given me some food,” the 43-year-old said.
“In return I’m doing some work for them.”
But he admitted the exhausting daily routine had taken its toll and he needed a break.
“I was getting slower and slower and, apart from one day, I have cycled every day, all day, since September 27,” he said.
“I’ve been sleeping rough and had one to two meals, usually one meal, a day.”
Ed’s ride is to raise money for St David’s Hospice Care and so far he has made more than £2,500.
“I’m absolutely exhausted, and I’m a little bit sore in my derrière, so I need to do something different for a couple of days,” he said. A family had let him use their shower, which he dubbed “heaven”.
It was the first time he had used one since arriving in Spain. He did some work for them in return. “They asked me to do some clearing under pomegranates,” he said.
He said he was developing a “bit of a taste” for the fruit and the “ruby-like gems” inside.
He has been surviving by fishing and foraging.
“There is a river here that is flowing with some water in it, so I can do some fishing,” Edward said.
“And there is some reedmace growing along the side.”
In one video he showed off a fish he had caught, joking he’d also find chips in the river.
He said the changeable weather had made progress difficult. “It’s bitterly cold at night, I’m shivering, and it’s too hot in the day,” he said.
“I take my shoes and socks off and try not to sweat because I don’t have access to a bathroom to wash in. “I wash my clothes in ponds. “It’s so hot – these shorts are too thick. “So I’m changing into my swimming trunks because they much more air in.”
So far the European roads have proven dangerous, too.
“There have been a few instances where I have nearly come off my bike because of draughts from lorries,” he said.
“And I nearly got hit cycling at night by a couple of deer which ran straight across me.
“I hit wet clay one day. That was slippier than ice. That was so scary.
“I put my leg out but how I stayed on I don’t know.”
He said the roads were littered with holes.
“I’ve seen a few of those. Cycling at night you’re not going to see that.”
Now he’s getting ready for the next part of his trip.
He said: “I’m getting a bit of rest before the next phase, the rather taxing and possibly dangerous phase, of my bike ride to Africa and then back.” Edward made an appeal to his friends. “Would any of my followers do me the favour of going to Sports Direct and buying me a new set of Mr Men socks?” he said.
If you want to donate to Ed’s fundraiser visit www.justgiving.com/ fundraising/ed-jones4 let
Edward Beverley-Jones is cycling to Africa