Category Archives: Author – Matt Scott

The Two Matt’s race to the summit of Mont Ventoux! (video)

Hi Guys!

Here is the long awaited video of our epic ascent to the top of Mont Ventoux. Just watching this video is enough to bring back painful memories for the both of us. It was an incredible ride, up the same road that Chris Froome mounted his assault on the yellow jersey of last year’s Tour de France.

We hope you enjoy the video!

The 2 Matts’s

St Thomas Garnet’s School Visit!

Hello Guys,

Just a quick update regarding giving talks around schools/groups/local schemes. Matt 2 and I would be delighted to go anywhere to talk about our trip, promote cycling and leading an active lifestyle. If you would like us to come in to give a talk please feel free to get in touch using the “contact us” part of the website.
Thomas Garnets
A week or so ago I visited St Thomas Garnet’s School in Boscombe, a lovely school who have supported us throughout the trip! I gave a 20 minute presentation about the trip, answered some really great questions and even bought my bike in to show the kids…. oh and our tour mascot “G-Man” the giraffe. Visit their school website here: http://www.thomasgarnets.com/index.html

I would personally like to thank the school for being so supportive and for making a donation! It was also lovely to be featured on the front of the school newsletter!

Coming soon =
a general update about what we have done since life on tour!
the video of our epic battle up Ventoux is nearly ready!
hopefully upload some pictures of us going into local schools etc too!

Thanks for reading,

Matt 1

Days 75-77: VENTOUX

Hi guys, two mountain conquering Matt’s here!

As we haven’t put a blog out of the day before our assault on the fearsome Mont Ventoux yet, I’ll describe it here first.

We left Uzes and lazily made our way over the Rhône to a town called Orange. We found a Decathlon (great sport shop) where we could both replace Matt’s balding tyres, and buy a few warmer clothes for the coming months. The lady at the till happened to be British too so we had a quick chat before heading on our way.

The next 30km to Bédoin, the village at the base of the climb to Ventoux, was taken at a relaxed pace. As we eventually came into sight of the great mountain, we found it was shrouded in cloud. This only added to its mystique, we could both feel a kind of nervous excitement building.

Once again, we had problems finding a campsite! The first one we tried was up a devilishly steep climb, which we ground our way up only to find that the site was closed. They could easily have saved us the energy by placing a sign at the bottom of the path!

Eventually as the light was fading, we found a really nice site closer to the village. We set up camp, grabbed a bite to eat, set up a few things for the morning and went to bed. The next day would hopefully see us tackle arguably the most fearsome climb in the Tour de France.

We awoke. The weather had deteriorated overnight and we had a cold, overcast day with scattered showers to deal with. This only added to our excitement. To a degree, we’d be battling the elements, as well as the mountain, and each other! The atmosphere was crackling as we prepared ourselves and our bikes for the climb. It would be our first day with no pannier bags. Matt was coming off the back of his stunning ride into France and was keen to test how far his fitness had come since day 1. I was the experienced rider, expected to do well but worried about this new animal I’d had a hand in creating. It would be no easy race for either of us.

Our ground rules were that we’d try and notify the other person if one of us got a puncture or other bike problem and the person who reached the top first would attempt to time the difference on a stopwatch (if the gap between us would allow it). Eventually it was time to ride thought the village to kilometre 0.

The climb starts gently as the road weaves through some other villages before hitting the base of the mountain. We kept the pace slow too and allowed ourselves to take in the markings on the road still clear from this year’s Tour de France stage. A guy on a very light, very expensive road bike cruised past us. I was trying to spin my legs fast to warm them up without putting too much power down and wearing myself out. Before we knew it, the road turned left and into the Forest that covers much of the climb. The road ramped up to about 7% average incline and we knew that the easy part of the ride was over. This was where the games would begin.

I had decided to sit on the front of our duo and drive the pace at a tempo which I hoped would allow me to stay fresh while slowly seeping the energy from Matt’s legs. Over the past few weeks I’d learned that he loves to explosively jump off my wheel in an attempt to break up my rhythm and force me out of my comfort zone. After about 5km, he made his first move.

Matt leapt off my wheel and darted up the road. Quick as a flash, I jumped up a couple of gears, got out of the saddle and reeled him back in. My legs felt good. I didn’t know how Matt’s legs felt. The first skirmish had ended in a draw.

I settled back into my tempo and Matt fell back onto my wheel. Up the road we could see the roadie who’d cruised past us earlier on. We were matching his pace on significantly heavier bikes! Over the next few kilometres Matt tried a few dummy-attacks, to which I raised my cadence in an attempt to show my strength. We rode through kilometre after kilometre of incline that was never lower than 7% and had sections of up to 12%.

Matt began to say to me that he was not feeling good and wasn’t sure how long he’d be able to hold my wheel. I kept the pace the same, deciding to make a decision if he dropped off. Despite his worries, Matt remained glued to my wheel, even as we cruised past the roadie, who’s technique had fallen apart and looked to be starting to struggle. This told me that I should never write Matt off, no matter how defeated he may say he was.

As the treeline thinned, I upped the pace again very slightly. We were nearly at a key part of the climb and I wanted to be sure that Matt was working to stay with me. Together we rode out of the forest and onto the barren, rocky landscape that signalled the last 5km. This was where the fireworks would happen.

I was biding my time when Matt jumped off my wheel again and tried to power up the road. I quickly reeled him in and made what I hoped would be the decisive move in our race.

This is how the rest of the race panned out in my mind.

I sat in the saddle, opened my lungs and put as much power as I could through the pedals without burning out. Matt 1 shouted up the road that he was finished, but I was taking nothing for granted. I had engaged beast mode and was intent on building up as much of a lead as possible over the last few kilometres.

For me it was a mental battle with myself. Was I going too hard to maintain? Was I riding fast enough to stay in front? Would Matt 1 be able to bridge the gap and pull off a stunning victory? All I told myself was that I couldn’t ease up, I mustn’t slow down. My heart was pumping, my lungs were screaming, my legs kept spinning.

It became torture. I kept glancing over my shoulder. I had convinced myself that Matt would be turning himself inside out too and would be closing the gap I had pushed myself to open. A split second of relief would surge through me when I saw him further down the road. I was maintaining the gap but I still couldn’t let off.

As I crossed the final two kilometres I felt bad. My stomach felt ill (probably from the slight cold I have) and the weather was beginning to chill me. My pace dropped ever so slightly as I passed Tom Simpson’s memorial. Some riders never made it to the top of this mountain. Despite the whirlwind of pain that I was in, I had to think about his tragedy.

I looked down to the road. 1km to go. Pro cyclist, Jens Voigt’s catchphrase “shut up legs” spurred me on. The road ramped up viciously once more and I stole one last glance behind me. Matt 1 wasn’t there. I was so relieved. As I crossed the line which marks the top, some French tourists cheered me on!
I looked down the mountain for Matt. I could see that he’d slashed the gaping gap that I had once had. I started the stopwatch as I caught my breath and resisted the urge to be sick. 1…2…3…4………. roughly a minute passed and I screamed “ALLEZ ALLEZZ ALLLEEEZZ MATT! CHAPEAUUUUU!” as he crossed the line. We’d both done it done it!

(If you’ll rewind in your mind to the “decisive” moment, Matt 1 is now going to talk you through the last km’s of his ride)

So I had just made my big move, knowing after a series of dummy attacks that Matt 2 would attempt to get straight back on my wheel. After leaping away from him a week or so ago I saw this as one of my only tactics. This was the first time on the ride I felt pain, my plan here had failed. Knowing this I let Matt 2 get away, pleased with what I had achieved…. Then it hit me, you are not letting him get away that easy! I chased him down hard, even getting on his wheel again at one point just after the 4km to go sign. This yet again hurt, I just could not keep a tempo to match and so was dropped again.

It now became a compensation game, I could see Matt 2 in the distance and found myself willing him on. I had managed to get back into a good rhythm. Matt 2 had the gap, but that did not mean I could not really push on myself and try for a good time. In the last 2km I really upped the anti, spurred on by helicopter images of Chris Froome riding strongly on this exact same section in my head. I knew I could not catch him but was severely lowering the gap. At the beginning of the day I told myself I would be happy to finish 5 minutes behind Matt 2, so when it transpired that It was only 50 seconds or so that separated us when I finally came over the line , I was delighted.

I think the ending could have been different if I had not wasted my energy on attacking when I did…. Ha what a powerful friend Captain Hindsight is. Matt 2 fully deserved the win and I am proud we made it up together.

(Back to Matt 2 now!)

It was so amazing to see us both on top of this mountain. We’d both made it up with no mechanical issues and were able to push ourselves both mentally and physically to the limit in the process. We snapped some photos, then as the cold became more and more biting, we headed in to the cafe to grab a hot drink. In the midst of our euphoria, we’d cheered another road cyclist who we passed on the way up as he competed the final stretch. Timo joined us in the cafe (his girlfriend later drove up and joined us) and we chatted about everything from the climb, to his job and our tour so far.

Eventually though we had to brave the cold again and head down the mountain. On our way down we took time to pay our respects properly to the Tom Simpson memorial. It is customary for passing riders to leave an item at the memorial, so we decided to leave the remaining links of Matt 1’s original bike chain. Tom’s tragic story is one that should never be forgotten by cycling, and he memorial stands as a grim reminder to all sports that illegal performance enhancing drugs should never be allowed to be abused.

Shivering now, we descended carefully off the mountain. As we re-entered the forest and the weather warmed slightly , we were able to have a little more fun on the twisting corners. We both flew back into Bédoin on a massive high. We had just had the most amazing day.

After looking at the data on strava, my official time was 1:57:17 (meaning matts was around 1:58. To put this into context, strava’s number one time of 1:00:55 was set by pro-rider Lauren’s ten-Dam. My time was ranked 2,639th out of 5,608. For riding up on a heavy steel touring bike with small wheels and fat tyres, we are both very proud of our times!

The next day has been spent reminiscing our epic ride, eating vast amounts of food and lazing around! Matt has bought the official Mont Ventoux jersey from the village, so keep your eyes peeled for future pictures of him!

That’ all for now guys, thanks for reading!

The 2 Matt’s

How can I donate?

Hello Matt 1 here!

Just a quick blog post to say that we have finally managed to set up a donations page! It has taken some time due to various paper work needing to be filled in etc. On this note, I thought I would write a blog post regarding donations and the different ways you can help the Tour of Europe.cropped-2_matts_logoii.jpg

Virgin Giving – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Tour_Of_Europe

This money goes directly to Mustard Seed Communities and is a very simple way to donate. This page can also be used to keep up to date with us and how much we have raised so far! Raising money for this charity is the main aim of this trip and all donations made on this page go directly to the charity. As I mentioned in a previous blog, Mustard Seed really is one of those charities where the money goes straight to helping the residents of the charity.

Donate towards Equipment/Accommodation etc – 

If you would like to support us using a different method then you can by donating money directly towards our equipment, accommodation and living costs. Equally, if you would like to support the tour by discounting any prices on equipment and accommodation it would be greatly appreciated.  This would severely help us achieve our goal of cycling across Europe and is massively important to the Mustard Seed Communities Charity; because as previously stated one of the main aims of the tour is to raise awareness of this charity. We are meeting some important people on the way around Europe, holding various interviews etc. The trip could not go ahead without these donations, and we are so grateful for every bit of support.

What can we offer you in return? –

We massively appreciate every single donation. In return for specific donations we can offer you something in return:

1 – Write a blog regarding how important your contribution has been, showing you where it has specifically gone to help the tour (this is specifically aimed at the second method of donation).

$T2eC16dHJHEE9ny2srK!BRZ!Bbyb!g~~60_352 – An opportunity for your business/logo/name to be put on our cycling jerseys. This could be great publicity for specific businesses etc due to some of the media coverage we are receiving. Newspaper articles etc.

3 – An opportunity for you to cycle with us, if you would like to cycle with us during any part of our journey then simply get in touch and make a donation. It would be fantastic to meet so many different people and allow you to grab your own piece of the Tour of Europe.

How could we get in touch with you regarding the above? – 

Message us on either Facebook, Twitter of WordPress  We will try to get back to you as soon as possible. We will be setting up an e-mail address soon, which will hopefully, work alongside the website we are currently constructing.

Thank you so much for your continued support,

Matt 1

P.s – we will hopefully be writing blogs more frequently. The past month has been unbelievably busy for both of us and we apologise.

Q & A With The 2 Matts

Q-AThis 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 This took us so many takes!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

Mustard Seed Communities Official Charity for the Tour of Europe

Matt & Kimone MSCThis blog post is all about the charity that we have selected to raise awareness and money for by doing the Tour of Europe.

Background Information on the Charity:

Mustard Seed Communities (MSC) is a non-profit organization. MSC began in 1978 as a home for abandoned and handicapped children on the outskirts of Kingston, Jamaica. Through the years Mustard Seed Communities have spread across the Caribbean nations and recently into Africa, building additional facilities in Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Zimbabwe. Committed to providing not just for our children but uplifting the marginalized and forgotten of society as well, MSC has involved itself in numerous outreach programs. The majority of communities are dedicated to the care of children with serious physical and mental disabilities such as Down’s syndrome, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. MSC also cares for children affected by HIV/AIDS and pregnant teenagers.

In addition to the care of children, MSC is dedicated to the improvement of the communities in which they are based. MSC employs over 300 local workers, offering jobs, training and economic viability to people who would otherwise have no opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty which grips their lives. MSC strives to introduce skills into the community and to empower its people to become more self-sufficient. When they build each of their new MSC facilities the local community has to be involved in building the home, furnishing it and eventually working in it as caregivers. The home then belongs to the community and the community derives a sense of pride and satisfaction knowing that it can look after its own children with disabilities.

Mustard Seed a Personal Affiliation?

Matt 1 has a very personal affiliation with MSC after previously volunteering with them for 4 months in Jamaica. His aim was to Bocciabring sport to the children of the charity and to leave a sporting legacy for the charity to stick to once he was gone. In his time out there he managed to introduce a number of new sports to get everyone involved, the biggest success was Boccia; a game for disabled athletes which is based around throwing balls at target balls, with a very simple to follow scoring system. It allowed children who had never experienced sporting achievement to feel it for the first time. An emotional experience to say the least…

During his time in Jamaica he was lucky enough to join in with various MSC events, like sports days and P.E lessons which evidenced the clear talent of many of the children/young adults whose lives had been touched by the charity. One of the most surprising moments of his trip came when he was challenged to a 100m race by a 14 year old HIV positive girl….. to his absoluteMSC Sports Day disgrace she absolutely slaughtered him… He has still not got over that race to this day but did learn through experiences like this that the children were better at expressing themselves through aspects like sport, art and performing arts. This is why it is his firm belief that donating to this charity really can give the children the opportunities to actually express themselves.

Ultimately, Matt’s time out in Jamaica was a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and experience the excellent culture of the locals, something which the Tour of Europe is all about. After having an unbelievable time out there he eventually had to undertake the hardest day of his life and leave the charity and the children, but promised that he would return and always choose MSC for any future charity events he had planned. And this is where the Tour of Europe comes in! It is a fantastic opportunity to get MSC well-known as a charity over Europe and who knows even world-wide! Any support you can give would just be fantastic. A donation page for the trip will be set up very soon (within the next week).

Thank you for reading,
Matt 1

Links:

To find out more about Matt 1’s trip to Jamaica check out his gap year blog:
http://mattscotty.wordpress.com/

To find out about Mustard Seed visit their website at:

http://www.mustardseed.com/site/PageServer?pagename=mustard_seed_index

This is the wheel deal

So here it is, post 1 of our blog!

In this post, we intend to let you know:

  • Who we are
  • What the Tour is
  • What this blog is for
  • Why it is “the wheel deal”

Who are we?

2 Matts – 1 Passion

We always been keen on all types of sport and have had a big interest in cycling throughout most of our lives. We both grew up and moved on to different sports, but still maintained a burning passion for cycling. We both attended university, studying for sport-related degrees (Sport Rehabilitation and Sport Management respectively).

What is “The Tour of Europe”?

Travelling Europe – By-Cycle

After deciding to go travelling following graduation, we thought we would do something a little different. Both of us obviously have a love of cycling, and this love has only been stoked by Team GB’s massive success in the velodrome at the 2012 London Olympics. We thought we could combine our passion with cycling and our longing for an adventure by cycling across Europe whilst also being able to raise money for a suitable charity, starting in the summer of ’13.

After many people said this was a pretty extreme idea, we decided to see how far we could take it!

We have drawn up plans to cycle through France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Germany (among many other of the smaller countries- we haven’t forgotten you!).

Throughout the tour we hope to meet new people, see amazing things and raise awareness of our chosen charity, Mustard Seed Communities.

Along the way we will be videoing, blogging, tweeting and facebooking so you can follow us through every up and down of the tour.

What is this blog for?

Before – during – after

Before this we leave we intend to document our preparation, from creating websites and getting support, to getting in shape and maintaining our bikes.

During the tour we will write about everything, from the people and places we see to punctures in the pouring rain, miles from anywhere.

Following the event, we don’t have much planned, but even to have this blog as a relic of our epic adventure will be enough for us.

Why is this “The Wheel Deal”?

Distance, Dedication, Strain, Support – All of this is the wheel deal

After deciding to embark on our epic tour, we both decided it would be a great idea to involve a charity. This is where Mustard Seed Communities (MSC) come in. During the summer of 2010, Matt Scott carried out aid work in Jamaica for MSC. During his time there, he aided the local community by carrying out sport coaching at various schools, arranging sports days, and running sessions for the local children. This allowed the charity to reach out to some of the most deprived children and aid them in expressing themselves and having a good time! Matt wrote a great blog during his time in Jamaica, it can be found HERE.

Coming soon…

  • A piece from Matt Scott on MSC and his time in Jamaica
  • A piece from Matt Wallis on where we intend to ride
  • More content on our twitter- @wheeldealtour and our website – wheeldealtour.com

PS- Please like our page on facebook, all content will be tour related and we promise there will be no posts purely for “likes and comments” (though your input is always very appreciated).