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"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."
— Ernest Hemingway
At the beginning of July 2011 Matt Downing will take to the roads of France and Spain on one wheel.
Starting in Calais and ending in Gibraltar he will traverse the entire trip on a Unicycle. That's roughly 2000 miles! He expects to meet many people along the way and ask them nicely to contribute to his cause - raising money for Cancer research UK.
His rough route will go though Paris then will follow the west coast of France until reaching Spain. Once in Spain he will cross over to Barcelona, then follow the Mediterranean coast until crossing the border into Gibraltar - the finish line!
He will travel light and live a vagabond existence, albeit with a modern twist; he will be updating his progress on a blog that you can read here - www.1newheel.wordpress.com
"All I will have is one bag with the bare essentials, a unicycle and a lot of determination to power my legs to the end." Says Matt, uncertain whether at the end of the trip his legs will be like tree trunks or just jelly.
Riding a unicycle is unlike riding a regular bicycle - as well as expending energy on turning the peddals, you have to use all your core muscles to remain balanced at all times also there is no freewheeling - that means pedaling the whole time!
Although he has never had any formal training, circus skills have been a hobby of Matt's for many years. He first learnt to unicycle when he was 13 and soon was able to unicycle and juggle at the same time. This venture requires a specialist unicycle designed for long distance... his Unicycle is a Nimbus 29'' road Unicycle. Since April 2011 Matt has been getting accustomed to this steed, regularly going for 20 mile cycles. Once setting off on the real journey he expects to cover around 30 miles every day.
Along with raising money for a good cause - he also hopes to draw attention to the benefits of traveling overland as opposed to flying, people fly from England to various destinations around Europe when they could easily get a bus or a train. If he can cover 2000 miles on one wheel maybe considering taking a bus or train wont seem like such a challenge? Environmentally flying is the least efficient means of travel at the same time making the world smaller - So travel overland, meet more people, experience more things all while helping the environment on your adventures.
All Sponsor money will go directly to Cancer Research UK and will be greatly appreciated. Donate online at www.justgiving.com/onewheel-acrosseurope.
Press, Advertising Opportunities, Sponsors or anyone wanting to offer Matt any assistance along the way please contact him directly:
e-mail: [email protected]
tel: +44 (0) 78 58 25 47 98