On 10 June 2012 Luke's housemate from his University of Manchester days, Ben Foster, set off from his home in Hawkhurst (in Kent) to start his 4 month journey cycling around the coasts of England, Scotland, and Wales. He is doing this approximately 5,000 mile journey as a fundraiser for Help for Heroes, a charity that supports wounded servicemen and women.
I couldn't be more excited or proud of Ben for doing this in aid of such a worthy cause. He has kindly allowed me to write about his adventures so that all of my lovely readers can be entertained by the trouble he gets himself into along the way and hopefully be moved to sponsor him. Here is a recap on his first three days of adventure!
|Source: Ben Foster|
Day 1: Hawkhurst to Camber
At approx. 10.25am on Sunday 10 June, Ben set off from the Eight Bells pub in Hawkhurst on a mostly uphill journey to Hastings where he would be joined by his family, friends, and well-wishers for one final good bye. His bicycle chain fell off after the first two miles, but thankfully he was able to fix it and move on past Fairlight, Pett Level, Winchelsea, and Rye before finally arriving in destination for the evening - Camber. Not a bad start for his first day - 35 miles!
Day 2: Camber to St. Margaret’s
After spending the a sleepless and rainy evening in his tent, Ben set off Monday morning. "I headed out of Camber towards Lydd, the roads were nice and flat so before I knew it I was sitting on the tip of Dungeness. I always wanted to visit Dungeness, not sure why, maybe I just liked the name. It’s full of rusting metal things, rotting wooden boats, pimped out sheds used as bungalows and a massive power station. Not a pretty place but interesting!"
|Source: Ben Foster|
Continuing on, Ben hoped to view the famed White Cliffs of Dover but unfortunately was greeted with a thick mist that made visibility impossible. The cycle through Dover had a hardships along the way (read Ben's blog for more detail) but in the end Ben made it to his stop of the evening St. Margaret's.
Day 3: St. Margaret’s to Whitstable
Battling through a strong headwind, rain, and cold "I arrived in Margate after 2.30pm and was started to doubt if I’d make it to Whitstable before it got dark. I was hungry again and needed internet , so I found the nearest Wetherspoons. I parked my bike outside, found a table where I could still see it and ordered a beer and burger.
The wind that had been my enemy before Margate became my friend as I left. The combination of a tailwind, burger and beer gave me wings as I flew across the north Kent coastline. Soon I passed through Reculver, Herne bay and arrived at Whitstable with 48miles done and only 2 more to the camp site. Whilst cycling through Whitstable high street I could feel something on the bike was not right, my back tyre was flat. The culprit was a flake of broken shell that had become lodged in the tyre. It took me about 50 minutes to fix the tyre, mainly due to fact I didn’t have the proper tools to remove the tyre from the wheel rim. Happy with the job, I carried on towards my stop for the night. A couple of hundred metres later the tyre was deflating again. Now I was a bit annoyed with myself and the idea of fixing it all over again did not appeal to me.
After 2 miles of pushing my heavy bike I arrived at Primrose Cottage Caravan Park where I was greeted by Brian. I told him about my day and what I’m doing and he generously let me stay the night for free, so I promised him I would donate the money he saved me to Help for Heroes. It was a good end to the day."
|Source: Ben Foster|
To date Ben has raised £249.00 for Help for Heroes and he's only on day 11! Come on Quintessentially English people, let's get that number higher! You can help out Help for Heroes on Ben's fundraising page http://www.justgiving.com/Ben-Foster0 and be sure to tell him who sent you!
If you would like to know more about Ben and his adventures please follow his blog, Bengine (www.bengine.tumblr.com/). Or follow him on Twitter - @foster3389!