March 7th, 2011
Having just emerged from 3 months cyber blackout of China, a couple of young pommie rugby fanatics have just passed the halfway mark of their epic 28000km journey cycling half way around the world from Twickenham to Eden Park in NZ, for the RWC2011 Final.
In doing so, Tom Hudson & Jodie Burton are raising money for two children’s charities along the way – one UK based and the other international.
Since leaving London on 1 May 2010, they have been on the road 10 months and have already passed the halfway mark arriving in Ha Noi on 2 March 2011.
On Monday, 7 March, they leave Hanoi to cycle 5000km down through Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia to Singapore.
Taking a ferry across to Jakarta they will cycle across Indonesia to East Timor before getting to Darwin late May.
Then they will cycle 1000km east across Australia’s north then 3500km south down east coast through Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra to Melbourne.
Next, after flying across the Tasman Sea to Dunedin, they will cycle 1200km north through RWC NZ’s ‘Stadium of 4m”, timing their ride to attend as many local rugby clubs and RWC games on the way plus attending the 20 September Re-Enactment of the first 1870 rugby game in Nelson, the 24-26 September Charles Monro Reunion and Re-Opening of the NZ Rugby Museum (ED: some new thing called “smartlinks” is attempting to hijack this link – its the NZ Rugby Museum I am talking about in Palmy) weekend in Palmerston North, before they leisurely cycle up the North Island to arrive in Auckland, to deliver their official Gilbert RWC2011 rugby ball and a ‘World in Union’ Scroll to Eden Park for the RWC Final on 23 October 2011.
All the way from London they are touching as many rugby communities, organisations, players and fans in each of the 28 countries (16 so far) they cycle through collecting rugby memorabilia and signatures of key rugby people for their World in Union Scroll, to be gifted by them to the new NZ Rugby Museum at its re-opening in late September 2011.
Having cycled 28000km from Twickenham to Eden Park, via the South Island and Nelson, they then very much hope to enjoy standing, jumping, shouting, anything but sitting to watch England beat Namibia in the RWC Final on 23 October 2011.
However, in the event that either NZ or Australia win the RWC2011, they will then seek ‘rugby asylum’ in the winning country and stay on until RWC2015 in London, when they may well lead RWC2015 tour groups back to London…but definitely not on bikes but perhaps on a solar-powered plane or fast yacht!
The Journey Starts….(NZ Tourism article)
Brits show true grit on World Cup ride (NZ Herald article Feb 2011)
Rugby World Cup?.. On your bike! (IRB – International Rugby Board news article)
Rugby Times news article
further media coverage is detailed here