This weeks blog post is in the style of a simple question & answer session. We have both had a ton of questions asked ever since the hype around the Tour of Europe has been growing. We thought this would be a fantastic opportunity than to answer some of them in a blog post! The first few questions are a real mixed bag; some are about the trip, others about cycling and the rest just general questions about us. As always, Matt Scott is Matt 1 (M1) and Matt Wallis is Matt 2 (M2).
What does the Tour of Europe mean to you? (Hannah Byrne)
M1 – Personally, I see the Tour of Europe as an adventure that will severely push my body to the limit. It gives me an opportunity to travel, witness an array of cultures, meet new people and see the fantastic continent of Europe. It presents me with an opportunity to re-connect with the charity that I care so much about (Mustard Seed Communities). Realistically, the trip also gives me another year before I have to go back into the real world and actually get on with my life!
M2- Over the past year or so, cycling has pretty much taken over my life! Coupling this with wanting to travel seems like the perfect way of seeing Europe. As with Matt 1, immersing ourselves in the cultures of each country will be an amazing experience, especially on two wheels. Finally, I’ve always wanted to test myself on some of the epic climbs that the pro riders conquer in races such as the Tour de France, the Vuelta a Espania and the Giro d’Italia, so am looking forward to the 7 deadly ascents!
Why have you decided to cycle the whole trip? (Gordon Scott)
M1 – To be honest I am huge fan of Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor’s long distance motorbike trips, like the “Long Way Round”, and stupidly wondered whether it would ever be possible to do a trip similar to theirs on a pedal bike. After stupidly mentioning the idea to Matt 2, I sit here months later writing this blog in preparation for the trip of a lifetime. I also decided upon cycling because it has always been a big part of my life, I understand that this tour may not be as risky as some of Boorman and McGregor’s trips but you can’t fault it for distance and physical strain due to the cycling. My real love of cycling began at an early age when I was introduced to the Tour De France in the lower years of primary school, for me it really will be the best way to experience Europe.
M2 – Pretty much hit the nail on the head there, Matt!
On that note, what is your favourite Tour De France memory? (Gordon Scott)
M1 – One of the moments that always springs to mind is when fan favourite Thomas Voeckler managed to first take the Maillot Jaune, in 2004. No one expected it at all, Voeckler managed to gain the race leaders jersey in a breakaway which finished 9 minutes ahead of the nearest rival. Not only that he then went on to hold it for a further 9 days, at one point holding on to it by the skin of his teeth with what I seem to remember being a single second. That moment completely captures the true fighting spirit of professional cyclists. Another favourite moment of the past few years is the obvious victories of both Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins in the Green and Yellow Jersey competitions, real British sporting role-models!
M2 – Pretty simple for me, Mark Cavendish being lead out by the yellow jersey of Bradley Wiggins to win for consecutive years in last year’s Tour. To think you (Gordon) were there makes me pretty jealous!
Who is your sporting hero, Matt (1)? (Jamie Sandhu)
M1 – Surprisingly, my sporting hero is relatively unknown. I have always been a huge AFC Bournemouth fan and have watched them my whole life. My all-time favourite player is John Bailey. Bailey was a tiny midfielder who really used to throw himself about and despite his size was a huge physical presence in the team. I always looked up to him has a player as he always gave 100% effort whenever he had the opportunity to, something any sports person can look up to! He is still the only Bournemouth player to ever score at Wembley, a huge game to decide the prize everyone wants in football…. The Auto Windscreens 1998 Shield.
Will you be documenting the build up to the departure more frequently? (Various)
M1 & M2 – Yes! We are both keen on trying to document as much as we can regarding the build up to our trip. It is quite hard at the moment simply because Matt 1 is in the final stages of finishing his degree, so is quite busy. However, it wont be long till the work stops and the build up to the Tour can be fully presented at all angles. Matt 2 has already been preparing for this by buying various gadgets and by practicing his video recording skills, so videos will not be far away! We have also been getting better informed regarding the editing of videos and which will hopefully allow us to get loads of videos and information regarding the trip out. Subjects we want to cover are training, equipment, building our bikes, general planning, and a few videos you may not expect!
And finally, why are you going with each other? (Phyllis Scott)
M1 & M2 – We have both known each other since the first day of secondary school. We have pretty much experienced a lot together and share the same passion for cycling. By working together we really believe that we can make the most of this Tour, make it as high profile as possible, raise a significant amount of money and awareness but also enjoy it as much as possible. There will definitely be times where our friendship is tested but we are both pretty laid back really and I can’t think of doing a trip like this with anyone better…. We aren’t gay… honest!
That is all for now, hope you enjoyed reading as much we have enjoyed answering the questions! Feel free to leave more questions in the comments section, or on our facebook or twitter accounts. Please also remember to subscribe to us here on wordpress! The donations page is being set up in the next few days, we are only waiting on a bit of paperwork from Virgin Giving to confirm Mustard Seed as an acceptable charity for the trip.
2 Matt’s x