One man, one bike?

This tour was billed as being one man’s epic/silly challenge, but in reality, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to do this without the help of a huge number of people. I was just the pointy (and rather sweaty) tip of a very big arrow.

So, a gigantic THANK YOU to the following people. If I happen to miss you out, consider it down to my tiredness, and inability to remember names (particularly of all the awesome open mikers,  rather than lack of gratitude!

General

Mum, Dad and Liz for all the love, support, and tireless promoting. All of my friends for all the spreading of the word, generous donating,  support, putting up with the endless facebook messages and hearing me talk about nothing else for the last three months – at least. Pete Hunter from Apples and Snakes for providing some initial advice and an all important list of contacts. Allie and Robin for the big box of bike clothing – you made my journey a whole lot more comfortable than it might otherwise have been! Ali for the waterproof trousers, Lindsey for the overshoes and care package of sweets that greeted my arrival home!

Southampton

Jani and Bik and all at the Art House for all their help, providing such a lovely venue and allowing me to start my adventure at home. Matt West for doing a grand job of hosting and promoting the evening. Stewart Taylor and Ricky Tart for doing such a great job in supporting me and all who took part in the open mike, and expressed such concern for the state of my testicles. Rob Casey, I’m looking at you. Hannah for manning the door and collecting the money and All who turned up and donated, helping us to raise £140 for No Limits. The Tart family for hosting me for the night, feeding me and sending me safely on my way – then chasing after me with the dayglow tabbard I’d forgotten. Last and not least, thanks to Jane the astoundingly brilliant sound engineer!

 Bristol

Thanks to Stef Mo for being a great source of advice on all things poetry related in Bristol, his support and promotion in the weeks leading up to the gig and doing a great set on the night. Rebbecca Tantony for stepping in at the last minute and doing such a great job of hosting the evening, Jenn Hart for all her help, and offer of a bed and food, even if that didn’t work out in the end! Thanks to all the Open Mikers for being so intimidatingly good. Alix Thorpe for being an absolute star, coming to my rescue when I was suddenly stranded and stopping me from getting too stressed! Thanks to Duncan for the offer of the angle grinder that was thankfully not needed! Andy and all at The Arts House Bristol for providing such a great venue and the astonishingly good cheesecake that was about the only thing that got me through the evening! All who came along, and helped us raise £150 for Womankind Bristol.

Oxford

A massive thanks to Tina Sederholm for all the hard work of organising the Oxford gig, and who was one of the first people to reply to my request for help. Her positivity helped me to start believing this tour might actually be possible. Neil Spokes, Kate Walton and Lucy Ayrton and all the open mikers for strutting their awesome poetry stuff. Dennis from the Albion Beatnik Bookstore for providing such a lovely venue for free and all the cups of tea. Marie for the bed for the night, lovely food and yummy leftovers for lunch the next day. Carole and Alfie for coming to the gig twice (sorry), and all who packed out the venue and helped us raise £193.09 for SeeSaw – fantastic effort everyone.

Birmingham

Beth and all and the Urban Coffee Company for the venue and some poetry contacts in the area, All at BeatFreeks, especially Alisha Kadir for all the advice, promotion, finding me my PA system, my hosts and performers! Jasmine Gardosi for the poems and stepping up to host the night at the last minute, Lorna Meehan again for the fab poems. Tom, the best dressed poet in Birmingham (some would say the world) and Jess (who I pestered into performing) for being fab open mikers. The lovely receptionist at Travelodge, who tried her best, bless her.  All who came along and generously helped us raise £80 for Open Door Youth Counselling.

 Manchester

Jack Dixon and Stephen Quinlan and all the open mikers were brilliant. All at the Three Minute Theatre, what a lovely place and lovely people (and other animals). Matt at the service station in Macclesfield for giving me such a warm welcome to the North, and who really set the tone for the rest of my stay. Big up Kieren King and Ella Gainsborough, who went way beyond the call of duty, not only hosting and organising the event (having only just moved into their new home) but looking after me from the very second I arrived at the venue (I’d not even got off my bike), feeding me, watering me, housing me and generously donating not only book sales on the night, but proceeds from their previous gig to the charity. It’s largely thanks to them, alongside the generosity of all who turned up, that we raised £115 for MASCS.

Nottingham

Big thanks to all of the Mouthy Poets for letting me take part in their wonderful show, what a talented bunch. It was an honour to share the stage with you all and you made me feel very welcome. Not to mention the food! Wish I could have stayed for Saturday, I’m sure you smashed it. The Djanogly City Academy for the amazing venue, I’ve never performed in such an impressive space before, with such a large audience! Special thanks for Debris Stevenson, for making it all happen, Hayley for the intro and work with Harmless, and Charlotte and Alasdair for hosting me and looking after me so well. Thanks to everyone who donated, helping us raise £115.19 for Harmless.

Cambridge

Gigantic thanks to Fay Roberts who pulled a Cambridge shaped gig out of the hat at the last minute, fulfilling my 10 gigs in 10 days and making my inner OCD demon very happy. Malgo and John and all at the lovely Espresso Library for letting us stage a poetry take over. Abi Palmer, Leanne Moden, Tim Knight, Emma Ormond and Daisy Thurston-Gent for performing, sorry for the ones I missed/disrupted with my late arrival! Paula and Mark, Katie and Neil for looking after me in my tired state and force feeding me food. John and Hema, Zoe and Ava for giving me access to the Linsey wing and further topping up my carb levels to the MAX. Thanks to all who donated, together we raised £108.80 for Centre 33

 London

Thanks to The Oxford, for the venue, and their admin error(s) that meant I didn’t have to pay the deposit – result. Huge thanks to the bar staff who sorted out the chaos on the night, especially Selotape Man and the dude who got a microphone delivered by taxi! Sorry I can’t remember your name! Amy Mcallister and Rob Auton’s words really made the night as did All the open mikers. Steve Pottinger did a fantastic job of hosting (and not rubbing in England’s defeat), was a stalwart promoter of my tour on the twittersphere and beyond, and was a great source of encouragement from day one. Vybra from CCIWBS for helping to promote and her help on the night, Peter Cat for the intitial contacts. Luke and Katie Collier who lent me their flat for the night. All at London Fields Cycles for repairing my gears in record time and all who turned out (and some who didn’t) who helped us raise £290 for the Bereavement Service. Great job everyone!

Brighton

Huge thanks to Louie Syred who put his hand up all those months ago at a random open mike in Brighton and said “I’ll help with that.” and then proceeded to organise the lot, host and smashed it on the night. Natasha  Moskovici for her sublime, sexy words (and tits), and coming down from London for the night. Djembe Man for the drums in support, the  awesome guitar skills of the man who played guitar all the amazing open mikers. All at the Blue Man for providing the lovely venue, Persephone Pearl and family for the bed and breakfast! Bambi Pom for forcing the encore! All who packed out the place, donated and raised £140 for The Clock Tower Sanctuary.

Reading

Will and all at The Global Cafe for being my poetry home, letting us take over the night and giving us a cut from the bar. Tutu for the Dave Allen Special. Gulliver for helping to organise, doing a grand job of hosting the night and being the catalyst behind all this poetry nonsense I seem to have got involved with. Becci Louise for starting off the evening so well, all the open mike performers, particularly those from Launchpad. Everyone who came, especially those who came so far! All who put so much effort into singing the happy birthday remix -probably my highlight of the tour. Lizzie’s family and friends for supporting my crazy endeavour. Liz for vacating the double bed and making the cake, Mum and Dad for the excellent hotel service. Everyone who donated and helped to raise £374 for Launchpad and No5.

And Finally

A massive THANK YOU to all who’ve donated via Just Giving. At the current count we’re up to £1326, which, combined with the gig totals means we’ve raised £1123 for No5, £577 for Launchpad and in total a stonking £3032 for charities around the country.

Awesome, awesome, awesome everyone.

And Lizzie, thanks for making the waves we surfed.

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