“I Accidentally Ate Horse Cheese”: Josh Reid On His Gravel Bike Ride From China To The UK

Wednesday 4th December 2019

SPONSOR: Jenson USA

HOST: Carlton Reid

GUEST: Josh Reid (YouTube vids and Instagram pix “joshreids”)

MAIN PIC BY: Juan Bettoli

In this episode of the Spokesmen Cycling Podcast supported by Jenson USA I interviewed my intrepid cycle-touring son who is now back in the UK after his four-month journey from China.

Josh picked up a carbon gravel bike at the Giant factory in Shanghai, China, so I thought it would make a good story arc for Josh to almost finish his trip by visiting the Giant factory in the Netherlands. I rode across to Lelystad to meet him, and, after a factory tour, we cycled the 70 or so kilometres to Amsterdam where, the next day, I started the interview while we were riding on the famous cycleway that cuts through the National museum of the Netherlands. The rest of the interview was conducted in our living room at home.

TRANSCRIPT

Chinese cycle tourist 0:02
That’s called the Wonderful World? It was written in World War Two.

Chinese cycle tourist 0:07
Very beautiful.

Chinese cycle tourist 0:30
Okay, Do you recognise the song? Yeah.

Carlton Reid 0:34
That rather unorthodox opener was by a Chinese cycle tourist who spotted my son Josh in the Shinyiang province of China and decided to serenade him by the roadside with his little guitar to entertain his three fellow cycle tourists, all of whom were recording the episode on their phones. I’m Carlton Reid and in this episode of the Spokesmen Cycling Podcast supported by Jenson USA I interview my intrepid cycle-touring son who is now back in the UK after his four-month journey from China. Josh picked up a carbon gravel bike at the Giant factory in Shanghai, China, so I thought it would make a good story arc for josh to almost finish his trip by visiting the Giant factory in the Netherlands. I rode across to Lelystad to meet him, and, after a factory tour, we cycled the 70 or so kilometres to Amsterdam where, the next day, I started the interview while we were riding on the famous cycleway that cuts through the National museum of the Netherlands..

Josh in the Giant factory in Shanghai, China

Carlton Reid 1:47
So we went to the Giant factory yesterday, Josh, and you got bits and bobs on your bike. So what did you get sorted?

Josh Reid 1:53
I’ve got two new tyres. Quick look through my gears

Carlton Reid 1:57
Okay, so you left Shanghai — we are going to hear some music as we’re coming through the coming through the cycle path of the Rijksmuseum here. And Josh, you got some new tyres Why do you need new tyres?

Josh Reid 2:10
Because the delamination of the tube and the tyre on my tubeless tyres was coming undone of it and it has getting a bit of

Josh Reid 2:20
bloating. Okay,

Carlton Reid 2:22
We’ll go round Josh. So the tyres in fact, we’re just carry on going round, Josh. We’ll just go through that.

Carlton Reid 2:32
So the tyres delaminated for the tubeless tyres, you had no punctures in effect.

Josh Reid 2:37
Now I had my rear tyre was going down a little bit but it’s put more sealantand they seal.

Carlton Reid 2:42
So from now on, would you use tubeless tyres?

Josh Reid 2:44
Oh yeah, definitely, I’m a total convert.

Carlton Reid 2:47
So what you got on here? You got two front panniers.

Josh Reid 2:50
Yeah. Arkel. Yeah, brilliant brand.

Carlton Reid 2:55
And then you bodged on your front bag. You’ve got a you basically you’re carrying Northface

Chinese cycle tourist 3:01
duffel bag,

Carlton Reid 3:02
and you bought that to being a bikepacking bag.

Josh Reid 3:05
Yeah. So I just cut it up and zip tied o. It rubs on the tyre sometimes, but just tighten zip ties. It

Unknown Speaker 3:11
works. All right.

Carlton Reid 3:12
So what you got on the front there and what’s actually in there,

Josh Reid 3:15
Just clothes and my bivvysac.

Josh Reid 3:19
on the front, and then you also GoPro on the front.

Josh Reid 3:23
Yeah. And I’ve got a Restrap frame bag with

Josh Reid 3:29
And a Giant toptube bag.

Carlton Reid 3:32
And do they give you that at the factory?

Josh Reid 3:33
No, Giant they gave me that in Urumgi in Xinjiang. I was at a bike shop but they just gave me that and a load of oil and sealant.

Carlton Reid 3:42
Did you visit lots of Giant shops?

Josh Reid 3:44
Yeah. So all the way through China. I visited

Josh Reid 3:46
lots of Giant shops. In every big city there’s a Giant shop in China.

Carlton Reid 3:51
Let’s squeeze through here, Josh, get away from the traffic

Carlton Reid 3:54
Everybody else is squeezing through I think we ought to to.

Unknown Speaker 3:58
Of course the cars just get stuck when we go we get very nicely

Unknown Speaker 4:09
stuck by a traffic jam

Unknown Speaker 4:13
go right, follow the cyclists, go on

Unknown Speaker 4:16
We’re riding aimlessly around Amsterdam it’s nice to go through with all the cyclists.

Carlton Reid 4:22
And then on the back Josh, well, apart from the bags you’ve got a memento you’ve got, what’s that?

Josh Reid 4:29
I’ve got a Vietnamese hat which I got on the border of China and that’s lasted quite well cuz you’ve been in the back of your bike all that time starting to fall apart a little bit but gives more character.

Carlton Reid 4:43
You’d be wearing it as well or was it just decorative?

Josh Reid 4:45
No, I’ve been wearing it in the desert

Josh Reid 4:48
when it was very hot, but then it’s got cold so I’m not wearing it,

Carlton Reid 4:52
Why’d you want to do what you did? Why did you even think, where did it come from? Where did the idea come from? And why did you want to do it?

Josh Reid 5:03
Well, I’ve heard stories of your cycle tours. I want to do big one on my own. And what a better way to do it then cycling home you always getting closer rather than going away you if you cycling away from home, you always like thinking I’ll just go back now. Whereas if I’m always going home, so I’m always getting closer.

Carlton Reid 5:24
Yeah, so most people kind of the route you did we’ll go through that in a minute but you did you were kind of going the opposite way that most people would would would do it so people would normally cycle to Shanghai to China. Yeah. And you from Shanghai from China. So you’re going the opposite way to most cycle tourists. Did you see many in China?

Josh Reid 5:42
I saw two go in the opposite direction. Well, Western cycle tourists anyway. They were both going towards Beijing. Yes, I didn’t see many Westerners in China part from a few tourist spots. Terracotta warriors. There was a few in Shanghai not wasn’t many, many tourists at all. I saw more in Tajikistan along the Pamir highway. There was a lot of cycle tourists because

Carlton Reid 6:13
Pamir Highway is now like a magnet, fly in.

Josh Reid 6:16
fly into Djumbe which is the capital of Xinjianng. Then they cycle Pamir highway. There’s there’s three routes you can take, you can take one, the Wakan corridor, which I didn’t do was it was really sandy. And a lot of people push their bikes along that. But it’s it’s beautiful. Like the mountains are incredible.

Carlton Reid 6:35
You do that with a fat bike?

Josh Reid 6:37
Yeah, that’d be cool. It was very there’s a lot of corrugatations on the road because of all the trucks on there. And you’ve got the just the normal Pamir Highway which is the route I took. And then you also have the Botang Valley which the person who actually told me first about the highway in China. They did the Bontang Valley, which cuts off a bit, but like goes into the middle of nowhere. And is you need to take a lot of food with you. And I didn’t take any cooking equipment. So I decided to just stay on the main-ish road, which is still full of potholes.

Carlton Reid 7:15
And the Pamir ighway is is an attraction because it’s the second highest kind of road you can get to and it’s just beautiful mountains around why why people going out to do the highway.

Josh Reid 7:27
It’s just it’s beautiful scenery. It’s like next to Afghanistan for 300 kilometres.

Carlton Reid 7:33
The border Yeah, you can see over the river.

Josh Reid 7:36
And it’s like the roof of the world. People call it is beautiful. It’s very tough. You go up to I think the highest point I was on that trip was 4600 metres.

Carlton Reid 7:46
You mentioned Afghanistan. So before you did this trip, and you were sitting there on your phone or an iPad researching the geopolitics of the region. You’d ask me, can I go here? Can I go there? Answer was not really because it was war there, and there’s fighting here. So has this trip, giving you a better appreciation of geopolitics, then the fact that you can’t really go there? And here’s the reason why you can get go there?.

Josh Reid 8:13
Yeah, definitely. I also realise that there’s this friendliness everywhere. And in the news, you hear a few bad eggs, but generally, people are very kind. Yeah, I went to a lot of countries that probably wouldn’t have I didn’t even know Tajikistan existed until until I decided to cycle there. Originally, I was going to cycle through China into Kazakhstan. You stay in Kazakhstan, all the way across, but then this cycle tourist in China, and told me to go to Panir Highway, so I did.

Carlton Reid 8:45
So that was a detour? Yes. It wasn’t like being your route.

Josh Reid 8:48
Yeah, I took quite a few detours. Yeah, it wasn’t a fast and out route.

Carlton Reid 8:53
So let’s just stress that this wasn’t a record breaking attempt. This wasn’t raising money for charity, you weren’t doing this for a bet

Josh Reid 9:04
This was just fun. It was just enjoyment type two fun.

Carlton Reid 9:08
Yeah. So you could in other words detour so if you want to record breaking attempt you’re not detour you’re going to be no down. But did you do head down days as well?

Josh Reid 9:19
It’s not fun if you don’t do head down days. Yeah definitely push myself but I didn’t have lights that lasted long enough. So I do 260 kilometres and want to keep on going. But the lights are dying.

Carlton Reid 9:33
That’s a good point about equipment for a future trip. What would you take different

Unknown Speaker 9:38
to what you took on this trip?

Josh Reid 9:39
I definitely take better lights that lasted longer. Dynamo I’d get a dynamo. That’s that’s pretty much it though. I’d go a lot lighter.

Carlton Reid 9:47
Josh but you were light and you have no cooking equipment. You didn’t have a tent.

Josh Reid 9:52
I had a lot of souvenirs.

Carlton Reid 9:55
You had more souvenirs in your bag than anything else, you’re right. So the things that you You would maybe take different Europe because your electronics you had you had a fair bit of electronic you had a phone. You had a GPS tracker, you had a drone and GoPro

Josh Reid 10:08
I a GoPro two pros.

Carlton Reid 10:11
So that’s a lot of electronic equipment. So you were a bit stuffed there if you couldn’t get electricity. So how are you coping with no electricity,

Josh Reid 10:19
I had two battery packs. And then I’d stop in a hotel or hostel every week or two. And people offer you a combination or times you just charge up when you could.

Carlton Reid 10:31
But what about solar power? Do you have a

Josh Reid 10:35
Yeah, you can power a lot of people did like the cycle tourists on the Pamir highway had solar devices. But if you got Dynamo you don’t need that

Josh Reid 10:44
just allows you to keep on going a lot longer if you haven’t got a dynamo.

Carlton Reid 10:47
So that’s something you consider the future. Future trips will be just different ways that are powering you. Yeah. And how you gonna have you going to go lighter. I’m trying to understand

Josh Reid 10:57
I wouldn’t have the two front panniers on the front. I’d have just a frame bag, one on the handlebars, the rear, rear saddle bag,

Carlton Reid 11:08
but the I mean half of that front bag was probably the drone, wasn’t it?

Josh Reid 11:11
Yeah. and an air mattress.

Carlton Reid 11:16
Yes, it’s a very comfortable air mattress. Yeah, yeah.

Chinese cycle tourist 11:19
So that is that is

Carlton Reid 11:20
that’s your one big luxury isn’t it?

Josh Reid 11:22
It’s very, very comfortable. But when especially when you’re tired, sometimes too tifed to pump it up. It takes like three or four minutes to flow into it. And especially when you’re at altitude, this is no way you want to do that.

Carlton Reid 11:37
And just because you’re so knackered, you kind of you you’re falling off your bike and you just falling into bed

Josh Reid 11:42
you don’t want to be pretty much I was pretty lucky where my lights died most of the time that there was times where my lights would die and I’d be at look across the road and they’d be a watermelon stand. And I’d go up to it and they’d give me a watermelon for free. And then they have a like a bed in there and they just say I could sleep for the night.

Carlton Reid 11:58
Let’s talk about. well, let’s talk about the route. So we’re not looking at a map here. We’re not looking at your GPS tracker. Let’s just go from memory. So you’re in Shanghai.

Carlton Reid 12:09
Yeah. Do you know remember provinces

Josh Reid 12:11
Well, I beelined for Xijianng in like pretty much centre of China. It’s just on the way, way up to towards Xijiang It’s where the Terracotta warriors are. It was the old capital city of China.

Josh Reid 12:29
It’s where the

Unknown Speaker 12:32
the Silk Road starts.

Josh Reid 12:37
So I wiggled my way out there

Unknown Speaker 12:39
If I remember correctly the descend down into Xijiang was incredible to see like mountain mountains and through gorgeous, yes. Beautiful. That descent

Carlton Reid 12:52
and you only had a set time. I mean, you did get an extension but you only had like that was it 30 days visa to originally get out of China and 30 days, which is

Josh Reid 13:00
pretty tough. Yeah, so I got my Chinese visa in Bangkok, which saved me a lot of money. It was, like, half the price of what it cost me in the UK. And then I cycled from, like 20 days. And because I was I probably could have cycled through China in 30 days, if I’d been pushing it and like, going every day with because I was doing a few detours to different tourist sites across the last few days doing that, so I was like, I don’t want to risk having to pay a fine. And the border. I’m not I’m not racing, I may as well just and where I did get the, the visa renewal was where the Great Wall is. So I was like, I was spending a few days looking around here.

Carlton Reid 13:44
Okay, so you successfully didn’t go into Mongolia. That would have stuffed your whole trip, wouldn’t it?

Carlton Reid 13:48
Yeah, I’d gone into Mongolia because then you can’t get into other countries. But where did you go from from from China?

Josh Reid 13:55
from China. I went into Kazakhstan, and then into Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and then Uzbekistan? And then I went back into Kazakhstan.

Carlton Reid 14:05
Uzbekistan, were you not allowed to fly drones yeah

Josh Reid 14:07
So like so I smuggle some of my drone into Uzbekistan

Carlton Reid 14:11
If any of those Uzbekistan secret police are listening to this No you didn’t you didn’t have your drone at that point.

Josh Reid 14:17
They were very friendly at the border.

Josh Reid 14:20
They didn’t they didn’t scan your bag but they did. They there was there’s like one guy was like, no you don’t discount and let’s just go but this one army guy really wanted some bags count. So you just said awesome two bags. So I gave him the two bags that didn’t have the donor. So that that was pretty lucky.

Carlton Reid 14:41
Because you’re on a bicycle and yet yet, you’re really not very threatening. If you’re on a bicycle. Do you think you are given more leeway on searches on on just in general, in all parts of the world you’ve been in because you’re a crazy cyclist and you bet and of course you’re by yourself and you’re young. Giving you’re given a lot of leeway

Josh Reid 15:02
probably that definitely scan some countries definitely scan the bags like properly especially going out of China although they didn’t find the drone so

Carlton Reid 15:12
because you also had to GoPros you said so you what you were doing videos and you got more and more followers as you’re going along so people like to the like that 10 minute travelogues basically have you on the I’m assuming it was the iPhone you’re holding it

Josh Reid 15:30
down those things on the iPhone.

Carlton Reid 15:32
And then you are doing the video the cutting the video including dropping footage in from all on the iPhone. Yeah. So that is travelling light in that, you know, not carrying a laptop that you’re doing everything on the iPhone. Yeah, and that worked. Okay, could you had lots of extra time to be able to do that sort of thing. I’ll just

Josh Reid 15:51
when I got darker and spend a few days, like an hour or so every night. Where was the last one you’ve just said that

Carlton Reid 15:58
Tajikstan. So we’re from there?

Unknown Speaker 16:00
into Uzbekistan

Josh Reid 16:04
Yeah, and the buildings out there are really beautiful, lots of light blue mosaic mosques This is Yeah, the roads still pretty bad though all Central Asia, Asian roads are pretty bad. Yeah, the food is terrible. This is terrible. Yeah. Out there I was pretty much living on bread and tomatoes.

Carlton Reid 16:24
Because I want to say Here you are – at least you attempt to be – vegan. Yeah. So you’ve been a vegan for how long?

Josh Reid 16:31
Four years.

Carlton Reid 16:33
Okay, and how vegan was this trip?

Josh Reid 16:37
Like, almost the whole way. Like just there’s only a few occasions where I accidentally ate horse cheese.

Carlton Reid 16:45
How did you accidentally eat horse cheese, Josh?

Josh Reid 16:47
I was going down a descent and I saw these like balls and they look like date balls or something. Something like that really sweet and I was craving something sweet. So as I all I’ll try one of those Then I buy into it is really sour. And then a few miles down the road. I see someone milking a horse. Oops. Okay, yeah. And then when you eating with local families and you don’t speak the language and they’re quite poor, and like in Central Asia, you tend to have just one plate with lots of utensils around and you share the meal. So you just got to eat around the meat, but he actually might have a little bit

Carlton Reid 17:34
So when I’ve been touring in exotic places and you’ve been exactly that situation, and I’ve had like goats killed for me all sorts at you often find that you’re given the choicest cuts of meat, and they’re almost saying like, No, no, you have this is the best bit of meat we’ve got. You have this? Yeah, you didn’t get any of that. You could avoid eating meat?

Josh Reid 17:55
Most of the time. In Tajikstan we were invited – me and a German guy – were invited to for a meal with a family and we didn’t ask for any food they just set off a tea and then loads of soups were brought out. And I thought it was just vegetable soup but it was actually liver in there. And that night I was sick seven times. So I’ve been cycling all day dehydrate anyway and then being sick all night really dehydrated in the morning and like really dehydrated, like pissing brown.

Carlton Reid 18:29
That was the worst day or an awful day cycling after that. Is that the day you broke the glasses?

Josh Reid 18:34
Yeah, so I was leaning over to grab a plastic bag that is about to fly away and landed on my glasses. Cuz I didn’t want to get up as I was so out of it. And then the roads that were terrible as well. So I’ll just hang potholes constantly all day with a banging headache and then had food poisoning.

Carlton Reid 18:52
Was that you lowest day, mentally?

Josh Reid 18:56
Yeah, probably. That’s all you can do. No, it’s going to keep on going. Yeah. Especially with a German guy at that point yeah so I was just following this guy and just trying to hold on to the wheel

Carlton Reid 19:09
so you have cycled with with people here and there

Josh Reid 19:11
yeah i think that cycle with three people in total all along the highway me at the end yeah right damn yeah

Josh Reid 19:20
yeah so most of the cycle tourists on the on the Pamir highway and then not really many going through Europe either

Carlton Reid 19:27
so it’s off season yeah you’re coming through and really the back end of the

Unknown Speaker 19:31
season

Carlton Reid 19:33
not many cycles I mean we we we got the ferry from Amsterdam to Newcastle I mean there’s no other bikes no bad and there will be lots of bikes normally on that ferry service so yeah the season is finished for cycle tourists Of course

Carlton Reid 19:48
so which country we got to now well most cycle turn I think we got to where

Carlton Reid 19:55
we encounter the Caspian Sea yet.

Josh Reid 19:58
No. Okay. So where go backwards and where are we, um, I’ve been cycling through the desert and Uzbekistan and then I slept in a few abandoned buildings which was good. Give me a shelter was it gets cold and at night and then I’m cycling with a German guy still a different different German guy cycled two German guys and we we get to the Caspian Sea and we get to the ferry port and no one knows when the last part left no one knows when the next one’s going so we just I blow up my blow up and just sleep for three days while I’m waiting for a ferry to turn up.

Carlton Reid 20:34
So it’s not like the DFDS ferry were not

Josh Reid 20:38
can’t really call it a ferry. It’s more like a freight ship.

Carlton Reid 20:41
Ship that’s that happens to be taking people but it’s taken goods.

Josh Reid 20:45
Yeah, pretty much just taken. It was it was a new train on they’re going across. So I think Kazachstan maybe was shipping and then you were on the ferry for quite a while but you’re on so we left at night. And I went to sleep expecting to be almost in Azerbaijan by the morning. I poked my head out the window and I could still see Kazachstan. So we were stuck at sea for 30 hours just anchored up next to Kaxachstan because there was a storm out the sea apparently. So what should have taken 30 hours to 70 me got more food, but it was rationed. The food is good, but then I had to fill up on bread and tomato ketchup.

Carlton Reid 21:30
And then you got off the boat and where are you then?

Josh Reid 21:33
in Azerbaijan, which is good. Lots of good pomegranate.

Carlton Reid 21:36
Okay, so we’re now you were the pomegranate in Azerbaijan. Where’d you go from there?

Josh Reid 21:42
In a cycle through all of Azerbaijan, into Georgia. I get to Tblisi.

Carlton Reid 21:48
Christian now?

Carlton Reid 21:50
Yeah. So that was your last Islamic country?

Josh Reid 21:53
Yeah. Food is good in Georgia, huh? Lots of root vegetables and other stuff. Like that the Russians like really liked Georgian food. It’s like an Italian. They’re Italian basically, it’s Georgian. And then I went into Turkey after that. So I wasn’t in Georgia for too long for like a week. Right last

Carlton Reid 22:17
and then yet the north of Turkey Yeah, coming down south Mamaris anything you’re staying at the top. I stay.

Josh Reid 22:24
I hug the coast of the Black Sea all the way along and dissemble is great. You always always got tea in every place you stopped.

Carlton Reid 22:33
And tell me about the bike shops.

Carlton Reid 22:35
Yeah, you’ve, you’ve been to because you had to go to bike shops here and there for

Josh Reid 22:40
Yeah, for running repair. So China was brilliant. In every, every city there’s a Giant shop. So always just if I needed something, I just stopped in a Giant shop and they were always able to sort me out. So like my bolt broke in China. When I was in, in the desert in the Gobi Desert

Josh Reid 22:59
by Was cycled like 300 kilometres and in I think it was

Josh Reid 23:07
happy that

Josh Reid 23:10
they were able to drill out the bolt as they knew they know what they’re doing. And that was solid, but then it broke again on the border of Afghanistan and I tried a few times for people to drill out but because they don’t know what they’re doing and they’re using way too big drill bits and they’re not mechanics they didn’t do a good job and I was I was pretty scared for the bike. So I always got them to stop but then it like this you can’t see where that hole is anymore. So I just had to zip time and bodge it but ended up all right.

Carlton Reid 23:48
And then you had a bike shop in just outside Istanbul again, another Giant bike shop.

Josh Reid 23:52
Yep, they were very good. So I just turned up they were a bit curious. Well, why is doing with all the And where I come for come from explained and they gave me one of them mechanics in there. Let me sleep on the sofa for two or three days really helped me out

Carlton Reid 24:11
Was in Georgia where there was a was a restaurant called Bicycletta?

Josh Reid 24:15
That’s in Bulgaria

Carlton Reid 24:16
That was in Bulgaria yeah okay so I haven’t got there yet okay, let’s let’s let’s talk about that in a second.

Josh Reid 24:20
Okay, so you’re still in Istanbul.

Carlton Reid 24:22
And how do you get from because Istanbul we’re now Asia across across the Bosphorus and then you’re kind of Europe. Yeah. So how did you get across the Bosphorus?

Josh Reid 24:31
I got a ferry just the easiest way just a quick ferry Yeah. 10 minutes. Okay, so

Carlton Reid 24:40
10 minute ferry and all of a sudden you’re in your you’re in Europe, you’ve come across cycle Asia.

Josh Reid 24:44
Yeh, all the way across Asia into Europe.

Carlton Reid 24:49
And is that see across the Bosphorus and you saw in Turkey for a little bit?

Josh Reid 24:53
Yeah, so I was in Turkey for another two days. But it really rained quite hard that I didn’t quite get Rain day. We just had a few rain days along the Black Sea coast is known for its rain there. So I’ve gone through the whole of Central Asia without seeing any rain, and then going to take in getting rain again. It wasn’t so nice.

Carlton Reid 25:17
You were racing against the weather in many respects, yeah. You know, if you’re still coming through Europe in December, you’re gonna get lots of rain days. Yeah. So there was that aspect to it you were trying to get

Josh Reid 25:28
well, there was there’s lots of places in Turkey I’d love to go to. And that kind of Yeah. Along the Mediterranean, cool. But is getting cold in Europe. So I decided to skip it. And the issues with Syria at the time, as I said on the Black Sea coast, I can come back at some point.

Carlton Reid 25:47
So you’re in Turkey, where do you go from Turkey?

Josh Reid 25:50
I went briefly into Greece. I was in Greece for about an hour maybe. So I went across the border at 11 o’clock at night, and then cycle I was going to maybe sleep In Greece, but I just decided to keep on going. And then I went to Bulgaria. I slept under a service station that was closed for the night

Carlton Reid 26:11
to get Wi Fi there because getting Wi Fi in some odd places, are you? Yeah. service stations have got WiFi. WiFi cafes have got Wi Fi so you are ringing up on FaceTime and

Josh Reid 26:22
Yeah, so I don’t I don’t have as a never had a SIM card the whole way across.

Carlton Reid 26:26
You’re now in Bulgaria.

Josh Reid 26:27
Yeah, I didn’t sleep outside too much. Actually. I always was gonna sleep outside. And then people would just offer me places to say people you’ve just met in the evenings and yes, I was one night I was camping in a field while setting up my tent and then a guard dog started barking at me. And then this guy comes over security. I just asked me a few questions. He can’t really speak English but kind of understood I’d cycled from China. And then he gets a pad of paper out through the house. Draws person once at me, like, basically measn come to my house. So there’s a there’s a better open his loft or a warm shower. And he feeds me.

Carlton Reid 27:11
So were you worried at all that any of these people you thinking on these can be mass murderers and I’ve got no idea,

Josh Reid 27:19
I suppose but you just got to trust people sometimes.

Carlton Reid 27:23
Well, they’re trusting you, you could be a mass murderer. Yeah. So it’s trust on both sides, isn’t it?

Josh Reid 27:28
I didn’t experience anything, anything bad. So people are generally kind and you were sleeping in mosques. In Turkey I slept in a lot of mosques that you just turn up to a mosque, knock on the door and they’ll they’ll help you out.

Carlton Reid 27:40
Tell us about the village where you were where the guy said look, anybody in this village

Carlton Reid 27:46
will put you up.

Josh Reid 27:46
So in Tajikistan. I was

Josh Reid 27:50
cycling towards the Afghanistan border. I’ve not reached it yet.

Josh Reid 27:56
It was getting dark. And I was cycling through this village and there was a lot of guys and girls going to pray to the mosque and then one of them just comes up to me and asked him so I was all right. And I was asked to be Is there any way to camp around town? And he said there’s if you ask anyone in this village, you can stay in their house. So it takes me up to theseyobs you in like Europe, you wouldn’t not even go up to and he says, You got anywhere for this guy to stay. And he takes me to his grandma’s house and gives me an Uzbekistan kind of like Central Asian just basically sleeping on the floor. But it’s really comfortable your warm building I’m used to sleeping outside so that’s nice. And then feeds me all night and gives me a tour on around the area in the in the morning. And then sets me oh I see I need to be exotic. In

Carlton Reid 28:58
in land such as that beautiful Pretty exotic even into Europe, you’re still getting that people helping you out and you’re you’re no longer just a cyclist. Yeah, you could be anybody. And you’re still getting this kind of help from people that you’ve never met before. Yeah. Who were just that, you know, the kindness of strangers, even in Europe.

Unknown Speaker 29:19
Now, in

Josh Reid 29:21
Bulgaria, again, I was cycling past an Italian restaurant, and one of the waiters jumps out, says you want to try some pizza? And like, sure. And then the owner comes up to me, like, just me a little bit. And then he just says, the meals on the house have a three course meal. And then I’m about to leave and he asked what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna I was gonna sleep outside of town. And he’s like, No, no, don’t do that. I’ll get your hostel. Leave your bike here. Come back in the morning. And you know, we’ll make some breakfast, and you can have a coffee and he can he also told me a route to go in the morning. So follow that the next day. So, but we go out the restaurant and walking towards the hostel. And he’s like, I’ll just put you in this hotel. So he puts me up in a hotel for the night. Which is really cool.

Carlton Reid 30:10
Because we were also, you know, we were keeping tabs on you were bringing you and you were bringing us and stuff. We were trying to get you in hotels, and using booking.com look Josh we’ll get you in this posh hotel here. And you ever often actually said, No, I don’t want to stay there. I want to stay in a hostel. Yeah. So why do you want even though we were willing to put you up in a place, nice, comfortable hotel. Why do you then say no, I want a hostel

Josh Reid 30:37
Because when I’m cycling, hours and hours and hours in my own head and a hostel way easier to go and talk to someone. So it’s nice to like speak to speak to other people, especially through China and Central Asia where not many people speak huge amount of English. So it’s nice to speak to other travellers and usually find people who speak English in a hostel.

Carlton Reid 31:00
So in a hotel, you’re a bit more isolated, anonymous and isolated, you kind of shut yourself away.

Josh Reid 31:05
Yeah, I’m isolated all day. So yeah,

Carlton Reid 31:08
yeah. Okay, Bulgaria so this was a the restaurant was called Bicylterra. And where was that in Sofia, Sofia so that if anybody’s in Sofia. There’s a fantastic restaurant called La Bicicletta Trattoria — https://sites.google.com/view/labiciclettatrattoria

Josh Reid 31:25
Yeah, yeah.

Carlton Reid 31:26
Cool. Okay, so from Sofia, we’re in Bulgaria. Where do we go? Where’d you go next?

Josh Reid 31:31
From Bulgaria and to Serbia. And the drivers were dreadful. I got hit one point by wing mirror – I cycled on like, not the highway to start with. And there was trucks and so much traffic on there, coming very close to me. So I decided to go on to the the toll road which just opened and there was like one car every minute. And I had a massive hard shoulder and I felt way safer.

Carlton Reid 31:59
So let’s let’s talk about that then. So what kind of roads have been on? Obviously in the desert there’s not a lot you can do you and I do on a corrugated road probably under a dirt road a lot of the times, but what about in China with a bike paths?

Josh Reid 32:14
The bike paths in China were very good. The roads are really good as well. You always if you didn’t have a bike path, he had a massive hard shoulder there was there was times where I’d cycle from one city to city and it would be a bike path all the way along. So there was a lot of mopeds on there and like little farm, yeah, pretty fresh. And I drafted them quite a lot of the time.

Carlton Reid 32:35
So the tractors were on the cycle paths?

Josh Reid 32:37
Not the tractors but like you’ve got little tuk-tuk’s kind of thing. So I’d cycle on them quite a lot.

Carlton Reid 32:43
And then the next time where you got just a tonne of bike paths basically the Netherlands or those you got all right and Austria.

Josh Reid 32:50
There were some good bike paths in Austria.

Josh Reid 32:53
You’re following the river. Yeah, the Danube

Carlton Reid 32:56
you if you were following parts of the the Euro velo route But in Hungary,

Josh Reid 33:02
it was way too wiggly. I didn’t like it. So I just took to the roads. And the bike routes went like that. Anyway, Austria got pretty good. So these are the bike paths your Eurovelo routes next to the river. Yeah. Yeah. And Austria and Germany. The route was good. But in Hungary and Serbia wasn’t so good.

Carlton Reid 33:20
So we were in Bulgaria. Where do we go after Bulgaria, Serbia? Where do we go after Serbia?

Josh Reid 33:27
Into Slovakia, and then into Hungary. So Budapest? Actually, no, I went into Hungary first from Serbia, and then into Slovakia and then into Austria. And then Germany.

Carlton Reid 33:42
And these are the countries are going you know, the the contrast to this.

Josh Reid 33:45
Yeah. So I was going to like, sometimes three countries in a day, so Austria, so you in Budapest. I spent a day off there, had my birthday in Budapest. So I went to the Budapest baths on the birthday and actually met another traveller from Vietnam, and he happens to be in Budapest at the same time. So it was nice to go just

Carlton Reid 34:06
by accident. You met in the baths or?,

Josh Reid 34:09
He messaged me on Instagram and like, said, you’re in Budapest. And I was like, yeah. And then went to the baths.

Carlton Reid 34:16
Wasn’t there somebody in Centeal Asia that I follow on Instagram. And you kind of somehow worked out.

Josh Reid 34:26
No, there was someone in

Josh Reid 34:30
Uzbeckistan.

Josh Reid 34:32
Some account that follows you on Twitter. They saw me when they were cycling around, and we were chatting for a bit. Yeah, very for me the couple cycling from England around the world.

Carlton Reid 34:46
Okay, so Okay, we’re now in Vienna. Yep. So the baths are in Budapest?

Josh Reid 34:53
Then I went to Bratislava. And then Vienna, and then my gears stopped working in Vienna, which is probably have been better if they stop working somewhere in Central Asia is cheaper, cheaper?

Carlton Reid 35:03
All the bike repair starting to get very expensive.

Josh Reid 35:06
Yeah. So I had to replace all my gears cables in Vienna.

Carlton Reid 35:14
Giant shop or was this just a

Carlton Reid 35:16
just a random shop?

Josh Reid 35:17
Probably should have gone to a Giant shop. It was closed at the time. I think

Carlton Reid 35:20
Vienna is where you also popped in to see Tubolito?

Carlton Reid 35:23
Yeah, that was cool.

Carlton Reid 35:24
So these are the guys who have got the very, very light, robust orange

Carlton Reid 35:32
tubes, inner tubes, yeah?

Carlton Reid 35:34
So you popped into there for me so you can take some photographs and stuff. Yeah,

Josh Reid 35:37
They were very friendly.

Carlton Reid 35:38
I’ll do an article on that at some point. Yeah. And that’s coming up.

Carlton Reid 35:41
So anyway, they are in Vienna.

Carlton Reid 35:42
Yeah. So they then because that was when we said Oh, Josh needs a bike shop. So they advise you where to go for the bike shop. Yeah. And only that was pretty rainy day wasn’t it was pretty

Josh Reid 35:51
Yeah. Yep. That was a good day to have off. You’re in Vienna. Where do you go from Vienna.

Josh Reid 35:56
from Vienna. I headed towards

Carlton Reid 36:02
To Germany? Salzburg you go through so yeah.

Josh Reid 36:05
So I went on a bit of a detour into Hallstadt.

Carlton Reid 36:08
Oh, yes. Yeah, yeah. And

Josh Reid 36:11
then to Salzburg where I stayed with my first Warm Showers. It’s just basically it’s like couch surfing.

Carlton Reid 36:21
Should we do this? Is it something, you know, to feed back into the global machine?

Josh Reid 36:28
I definitely I’ll definitely do it when I get my own place.

Carlton Reid 36:31
In Germany. You then tell me that tale about waking up in the morning.

Josh Reid 36:37
Okay, so

Josh Reid 36:38
the train passes. I was

Josh Reid 36:41
really tired and I was sleeping at 11 o’clock at night. I go down to to reach my bottle to get a drink. And I grabbed my tyre. So I’m like, maybe I should stop cycling. So I go in the next field set up my bivi .

Josh Reid 36:58
sleep Then get up in the morning.

Josh Reid 37:02
I go to the toilet. And as if in slow motion a train come past as I’m going to the toilet. You have no way basically. Yeah. In front of the train line. Yeah. And then I just basically panoramic a train. I continue packing all my stuff and then a police car rocks up and two policemen come out. Question me in German, I don’t I don’t speak German, sorry. And then they asked if that’s my bike, and what I’m doing sleeping in a field. I tell it tell my story, then they get very chatty after that. But basically someone had called up and said, it looks like there’s been an accident as a bike in a field in a body bag. In a field, but it was all right. So as soon as they realise your’re tame?

Josh Reid 37:48
Yeah, you’re free to go. Yeah, no problem.

Josh Reid 37:51
Yeah, police have been very friendly on the trip. Once they realise what I’m doing in Xijiang, like the the Muslim province of China. You can only stay in certain hotels in a town with foreigners aren’t allowed in certain hotels. But I was I was going to count this night but I went there’s a checkpoint in Xijiang every 40 kilometres that you’ve got to basically get get your passport out and like spend an hour telling them what you do and they don’t talk to each other so it’s like you’ve got to do it over and over again to the police forces in each cell each different area yeah talking to the elders of each 40 kilometres go tell the same story they don’t know you’re coming but I think China do that on purpose just to give it a control. But I go through this checkpoint and they escort me into town with flashing lights and if they can’t get my bike into the into the police car, so they get me to follow but they they take me they say I’m if I’m hungry, and so they take me out for dinner. So they basically brought me into this restaurant with two policemen and I’m sitting down, I’m eating with chopsticks not very well, and they’re not eating at all it is watching me. So I don’t know what these cooks are thinking all these people in the restaurant like this guy is getting arrested in that and the police are paying for his meal. But it takes them like an hour and a half before they find a hotel that I can sleep in. We tried a few that they the police didn’t even know today, which is the thing is there’s no tourists in this part China. Start booking this hotel it’s about to pay. And then two more police cars rock up and 10 SWAT guys jump out of these cars with bulletproof shield guns and batons and rush into the hotel and like, like saying, what are you doing here? Why are you in this town in the middle of nowhere in the province that China don’t like you go into and they start taking me away and put my bike violently, which I wasn’t too happy about into their into their truck and are about to whisk me away. And then one of them gets on the radio. No, you can actually stay there. So reassembled my bike, get out of the van and go back into the hotel. But it still takes like, an hour and a half, two hours before I get a hotel room.

Carlton Reid 40:08
Isn’t it two in the morning

Josh Reid 40:09
in the morning, I found this very funny to start with when they all rock up and it’s just me in the Lycra really smelly. Just like really wanted to sleep and they’re trying to like it’s really funny to start with and then it just didn’t happen you don’t get a hotel room till 2am It’s not funny anymore.

Carlton Reid 40:27
Was that the night when because President Xi was there in your you’re in one place where you were you didn’t actually know why the SWAT team were there. But was that the day the day that the President was there because it was not at the Rainbow mountains that the President next day and that’s why there’s loads of SWAT around

Josh Reid 40:46
no no this was further back. But this before I went into Xijiang this was in its there were the sand dunes are in

Josh Reid 40:55
Oh, I forgot. It’s

Josh Reid 40:59
It’s where the The Grotto. These are the really famous grottos in China with all the paintings on the wall. And that’s where the President Xi, there’s lots of police about but I didn’t went on a big detour to go I went on a detour in a Sunday in a sandstorm to get to these sand dunes and this these quarters, and then on the way back.

Carlton and Josh Reid, near Lelystad, Netherlands

Josh Reid 41:27
I slept under the road because they don’t like camping. So I generally went to set up camp when I was getting dark. So people wouldn’t see where you’re going. And then wake up when it before it’s like.

Carlton Reid 41:39
So we’re still in. Like, that’s where we’re back into China. Now. Let’s go back into into Germany. So you waiting in the morning this train passes. You’re in Germany. So where are you after Germany? How much of Germany even?

Josh Reid 41:58
So I stopped off in Munich.

Josh Reid 42:01
I have my second Warm showers, that very friendly couple from America who show me around Munich, which is really cool. It’s always nice when you have a local to show you around, they know where to go. And then I went towards Luxembourg

Josh Reid 42:20
and the Vennbahn.

Carlton Reid 42:21
On that note, we will stop there for a quick commercial break and we will cut across to David

Chinese cycle tourist 42:28
Thnakd Carlton. Thanks so much and hi everybody. It’s David, and I am here, you know why I’m here, I’m here to talk about our longtime loyal and fantastic sponsor, Jenson USA at www.Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Remember, that’s jensonusa.com. Now, what’s Jenson USA Well, if you don’t know by now you should. Jenson usa.com is the place where you’re going to find all the things that you need for your complete Cycling lifestyle complete bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, gravel grinders, everything in between components, apparel, accessory, tools, shoes, really gifts, everything you can imagine that you would need for your cycling lifestyle. We’re not talking about off branded stuff. We are talking about name brands that you know, love and need for your cycling lifestyle. You’re going to find those name brands at incredible low prices. And that’s all going to be coupled with unparalleled customer service. If you haven’t been to Jenson USA before, I urge you to do it right now and every time you need something for cycling because they’re going to have it at great prices, and you’re going to be very, very satisfied with their customer service. Go ahead and check them out. That’s Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Our thanks to Jenson USA for supporting the spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast, and our thanks to you for supporting our sponsor, Jenson USA. Alright, Carlton, back to you.

Carlton Reid 44:08
Thanks, David. And we are back with Josh Reid, globe-girdler-extraordinare, as they used to say in the 1890s when people were cycling around the world at that point, so just you remembered

Josh Reid 44:22
So the detour I took was to Dunhuang, whether the big sand dunes on its Mogao caves where the

Josh Reid 44:31
Chinese president was.

Carlton Reid 44:33
Okay, so President Xi was there and you didn’t know at the time. Now there’s lots of lots of

Carlton Reid 44:38
security forces they were they were following you on an angle and that’s where the President’s just been, it’s always going to be a day or something. So that’s why there’s lots of security presence.

Josh Reid 44:49
So I, I go along the sand dunes but it’s fenced off. So I try and find somewhere where I could kind of climb over the fence, and I’m about to climb over this fence. And then a Chinese guy comes up to me and says, follow me. So I follow him. And he shows somewhere I can camp. And then he has a key to a gate. So he lets me through the gate and says, you can go up there if you want to take some pictures of top of the sand dunes. You can put the sand dunes or do you like come to the bottom of them. But he’s had Be careful because people have wandered in there and never come back.

Carlton Reid 45:22
That’s my funnest thing of cycle touring was going into place like the Sahara, and sleeping on sand dunes. And then you’ve got the sky. Yeah, and that’s one of the benefits when people think of sleeping in outdoors. We haven’t got a tent, but yeah, you just look up in the sky.

Josh Reid 45:40
Yeah, I slept under the stars every night. It is

Josh Reid 45:42
amazing just sleeping under the stars is just unbelievable. So I went from China. When it was at night it was still really humid. So I’d be in my bivvisac and I’d be sweating to go in through Central Asia and it’s actually all right it’s quite pleasant. Sleep in the baby except when you up on 4000 metres. It’s bloody freezing. And then into Europe when your toes are cold every night. I didn’t carry any warm socks, only thin cycling socks. So my feet were always freezing.

Carlton Reid 46:11
So we have reached the Vennbahn, because that’s how it’s spelled, but it’s called it’s the fen. It’s actually an F. It’s the it’s like the Fenlands, the Fenway. So you’re on the Vennbahn, which is this fantastic cycleway through Luxembourg. So you hit Luxembourg, basically. Yep. And there’s very cute photographs, which you kind of pre researched.

Josh Reid 46:36
I did my first cycle tour with you in Luxembourg when I was six or seven. So I asked you to find those photos. You send them across, eventually found them. And by accident, I go past the like little town that we got some of those photos in so I recreated them.

Carlton Reid 46:56
Yeah, that was really cute. So the photograph of you as a seven year old In front of this or the castle behind, and then you’ve you’ve asked somebody to take the photograph. Yeah, there you are in the exactly the same place. That’s amazing to see it. So it’s basically a press trip, but I

Josh Reid 47:12
did all those years ago. I didn’t try and go there though. That was just an accident. Okay,

Carlton Reid 47:17
so you’ve you get to Troisverges which is the start of the Vennbahn and you got 125 kilometres to do which goes into Germany and turned yep to Belgium. So describe what you’ve been doing on that route and

Josh Reid 47:36
Basically cycling and then taking footage for you.

Carlton Reid 47:41
Yes, to get me some drone photographs. I’ve got a Guardian piece coming up. So yeah, took some photographs. Good. I didn’t see Monschau in daylight.

Josh Reid 47:48
Yeah, that was that was highlight of that little stretch. Yeah.

Josh Reid 47:52
I did actually cycle past it. And then I had a nagging thing in my brain saying, My dad said that was that was the cute town. I was like, fine, I’ll go and then I’m really glad I’m really glad I went down there. But it was down into a valley coupled climb up back up. Yeah. Which was my legs are already hurting so I wasn’t too That’s why I wasn’t too keen to go down there and a lot of days it was a nice Christmas market down and cute village. Yeah,

Carlton Reid 48:19
yeah, yeah Monschau was nice. So mancell your then your next destination is basically Arkan

Josh Reid 48:28
Yeah. And then what did the next night? So wherever I would probably say an arc and I probably slept in a field in our can.

Josh Reid 48:37
Yeah, Yeah, I did. That was no, I cycled all the way into the Netherlands that day

Carlton Reid 48:44
to Heelen.

Josh Reid 48:45
Yeah. So I I wanted to get into the Netherlands which is my last country until England, really? Yeah. So I wanted to get into even though I did a little stretch into Belgium the next day. I wanted to get into another country, a little finger.

Carlton Reid 48:58
There is a tiny little bit isn’t Maastricht.

Josh Reid 49:00
Yeah, so I got into the Netherlands that day and then had my last night coming in, in the Netherlands. So I think I slept out in the open in every country went through.

Carlton Reid 49:10
And you stayyed with somebody in Utrecht?

Josh Reid 49:13
Yeah. An old school friend.

Carlton Reid 49:15
So from Heelen to Utrecht in like a day? Or two days?

Josh Reid 49:24
One day, just one day.

Josh Reid 49:27
One day, basically, yeah, that was my last day over 100 miles.

Carlton Reid 49:31
Yeah, that’s a good point to actually ask what kind of mileages are you doing? What’s your top mileage? What’s your lowest mileage? Your average mileage?

Josh Reid 49:41
My biggest days were in China. I was doing 260 kilometres.

Carlton Reid 49:46
You could do that or you had to?

Josh Reid 49:48
I just fancied it.

Josh Reid 49:50
I could have gone further but my lights always died.

Carlton Reid 49:53
Because you got more daylight at this time of year. So that helps

Josh Reid 49:54
and then Tajikistan. It was down to like 60, or 70 kilometres a day was just up and down. At 4600 metres altitude is good and bad food poisoning some days. Yeah. And then Europe is like 180 kilometres around the hundred and 50 to 200 kilometre mark that was doing each day for four months.

Carlton Reid 50:17
So the way you’ve described it is your your base fitness is really good now. Yeah. So you’re looking to go racing again and you’re thinking well, long distance races are not going to faze you really at the moment.

Josh Reid 50:28
Yeah. Well, the world feels much smaller now.

Josh Reid 50:31
You can get to China in four months.

Carlton Reid 50:34
True. So you are now in Utrecht? Yeah. And you’re staying with a friend from school. And then we’re now coming to where I meet you.

Carlton Reid 50:46
Yeah, because you leave Utrecht

Carlton Reid 50:50
In the whole of the Netherlands you’re on bike paths, yeh?,

Josh Reid 50:52
Pretty much. Yeah. There was a time when a mountain biker past me and then took me on some trails just by nature. So then I didn’t have to look at the map. I did have to back in Europe, I had to look at the map a lot more. I took a few lot more wrong turns, whereas in China Central Asia just

Carlton Reid 51:12
One road.

Carlton Reid 51:14
You can’t be wrong. Yeah. Okay, so you’re Utrecht, you leave. We then meet up on this this coastal bike path where, you know, it’s we I can’t miss you. And we’re going to be passing at some point we’re getting closer and closer. We meet up and then we go to

Carlton Reid 51:33
see the Giant factory.

Carlton Reid 51:35
In Lelystad. So basically, you’ve gone all the way from Shanghai, Giant factory to the Giant factory in Lelystad, which is the European hub where they’re making bikes, you know, they they’re shipping the frames. Yeah, sometimes they paint them, but maybe they’re shipping them in and to sell its factories. And that’s not just you know, it’s not jyst a warehouse. It’s actually in fact making bikes.

Josh Reid 52:01
So that’s pretty cool. And then Frank,

Carlton Reid 52:04
the second in command of that place takes us around. And then we he, he lives 25 kilometres away in Almere. And so he then takes us. Yeah. On his nature route and then of course that’s where we are in any crash. Yeah. And bring you down. break your legs. Yeah, that was that was going to be dodgy because it was a cattle grid. Yeah, it was a cattle grid. And he didn’t know is there is I didn’t know

Carlton Reid 52:37
you went into it sideways.

Riding the penultimate day, with Giant’s Frank Veltman

Carlton Reid 52:39
I did my Okay, what you need kit wise we know what I need is a bike with disc brakes. Because within rim brakes, I didn’t really and because a lot of dirt around and you know, I’ve got a road bike on dirt paths and it’s like I had no brakes. I just I almost had to stare that way because I couldn’t have stopped Yeah, that was that was quite dodgy. We are nearly crashed and you would have crashed into me and we were going on a fair old lick weren’t we?

Josh Reid 53:08
Well, you two are both on really light road bikes. With no front panniers.

Carlton Reid 53:14
I’m looking behind, Josh is doing all right.

Josh Reid 53:17
Hanging on, sticking out, really wide, I’ve got two front panniers on the front with20 kilogrammes of weight on a bike. Yeah, I was keeping up but it was an effort.

Carlton Reid 53:30
But at that point we didn’t know where we’re going to sleep – were we going to sleep in Almere because I know you wanted to get to Amsterdam and after we had to get to the to the DFDS ferry, but we didn’t know where we’re going to stay but we just were so close we might as well just keep on pedalling. So we ride through the dark. We just pedal through into Amsterdam and then we did stay in a in a posh hotel. You’re with me, now. Yeah. So I’m not gonna sleep in a hostel anymore. I’m way beyond that. And my bumming out days are over. I’m gonna stay in a posh hotel. So we turn up a posh hotel with two incredibly filthy bikes.

Josh Reid 54:09
Yeah I would have just squealed them straight straight in you you didn’t want to

Carlton Reid 54:14
well they were incredibly filthy yeah they were they were something else.

Josh Reid 54:19
Uou went up to the to ask you for you and take the bikes in and I was still outside freezing shivering and then you come out and say all can’t stay there and they won’t let us bring the bikes and if we just pulled them in nothing It would have been fine.

Carlton Reid 54:31
Yeah, just pay for it and then just walk in with felt the bike and go to the room. Yeah. Okay, so then we are pretty much we’re now in Amsterdam, we’ll say the night and then we’ll try to get back to – and then you get a rainy day. don’t you?

Carlton Reid 54:50
you get a

About the board the DFDS ferry from Amsterdam

Josh Reid 54:52
Nice getting to the ferry. It wasn’t very far but it felt further because the bad weather. Yeah, a headwind and not very nice rain. Straight into our face.

Carlton Reid 55:03
Yeah, but then we got the nice ferry trip. And then you met at the ship who who met you at the ship [in Newcastle]?

Josh Reid 55:09
My mother. My grandparents.

Carlton Reid 55:12
Yeah. And then then we cycle so your mum cycled out to see us? Yep. And we then cycle back and then what do you what do you do? You didn’t you didn’t come straight back with us, did you?

Josh Reid 55:24
I went to the bike shop.

Carlton Reid 55:26
Which bike shop?

Josh Reid 55:27
The Backyard bike shop.

Carlton Reid 55:29
And that’s the one under the Tyne bridge, yeah? So what you’re doing there

Josh Reid 55:32
I went to see Nick and had a good chat is on the way home so I may as well

Carlton Reid 55:38
And then and then basically when your way home and what have you done since you’ve been back at home?

Josh Reid 55:47
Broke a bike, got a massage.

Carlton Reid 55:51
Yeah.

Josh Reid 55:53
When it’s on is it

Carlton Reid 55:57
right now because I mean, you just bought around not doing a great deal is that is that something you want to do just like to chill out to like do nothing for a while or you’re itching to get away again What?

Josh Reid 56:10
Well, I’m in the process of entering for the Transcontinental, whether I get in or not is another thing.

Carlton Reid 56:16
So describe what that is.

Josh Reid 56:17
It’s a bikepacking race across Europe, basically self supported and you just go as fast as you can. But I definitely need better lights for that, and a dynamo.

Carlton Reid 56:30
So I know when I came back from my trips, I definitely had itchy feet. Do you do you still feel like that you want to be still moving?

Josh Reid 56:38
There’s definitely places I still want to go.

Josh Reid 56:40
I want to go racing and a bit.

Carlton Reid 56:42
So you may get into the Transcontinental, when is that?

Josh Reid 56:44
It’s and July August. So we just to two or three weeks of just riding nonstop.

Carlton Reid 56:52
Again bivvying or do people go in B&B’s for that?

Josh Reid 56:55
Bivvies. Everybody bivvies. I’m not sure about the stragglers but the top five will be in bivvies.

Carlton Reid 57:03
So basically you just ride until you …?

Josh Reid 57:06
yeah, it’s self-supported. Yeah. You ride until he can’t ride no more, sleep for two hours and then you continue riding.

Carlton Reid 57:13
So you have got this plan for the transcontinental. Yeah.

Carlton Reid 57:19
Potentially if you get it if you get it and it’s a ballot?

Josh Reid 57:23
It’s like it’s like, highly contested, they choose.

Carlton Reid 57:28
But you know, because you’re 22 and said we’re going to stress it this is a pretty young age to be doing what you’ve been doing.

Josh Reid 57:35
Yeah, people ultra-endurance tend to be a bit older. But yeah, it’s something I like racing and I like bike touring so Transcontinental is right up my street.

Carlton Reid 57:47
Okay, so that’s coming up in the in the summer if you get into that good luck with that. When you were I was certainly posting on Twitter, your your exploits and your videos and stuff. And so the Leicester cycling campaign said you must come and give a talk. So you’ve got a talk booked down there. some point, you’ve also got a talk coming up.

Josh Reid 58:11
Yeah. For the Tyne

Carlton Reid 58:13
time trial awards.

Carlton Reid 58:15
Because you’re not really done that before, have you?

Josh Reid 58:17
I’m going to be more nervous talking in front of people than II was riding along next to Afghanistan for 300 kilometres.

Carlton Reid 58:23
Thanks to Josh Reid there. The videos we mentioned can be found on YouTube and I link to them on the show notes at the

Carlton Reid 58:31
-spokesman.com.

Carlton Reid 58:34
I’ll also link to Josh’s Instagram photos, he’s joshreids on that platform, which is Josh R E I D S.

Unknown Speaker 58:46
I’m really proud of his ride

Carlton Reid 58:47
and loving the fact that he’s sort of following in my wheel tracks. He’s now spent a couple of years riding and travelling and working abroad as I did back in the

Carlton Reid 58:58
ahem – 1980s

Carlton Reid 59:01
This has been show 231 of the spokesmen cycling podcast. The next couple of shows will be one on one interviews with American cycle advocate and academics. Meanwhile, get out there and ride!

Chinese cycle tourist 59:44
[Chinese audio …]

Chinese cycle tourist 59:49
That’s my point and I want to go to England one day to find you. It sounds good. Okay, give me five. Okay. Now okay. Hope to see you, Josh.

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