Day Nineteen: Brazil
After an exhilarating cycle down the Death Road yesterday, the team finished off the rest of the day with a cycle of 1424km out of Bolivia, across the border and into Brazil.
As we reach the end of the 3rd week, there are some signs of flagging from the group, which is understandable. However, with another proposed group ride out on Day 20, will we see us return to the dizzying heights of 2000km plus tomorrow?
A big shout out to Kimberley Langley at this point, who is leading the way on distances. Day 18 was the first time she hadn’t done at least 100km in the whole challenge, so she came roaring back yesterday with 150km to make up for it! Steve Smith has also been posting regular big totals (100km yesterday with Ian Tennant) and we’ve got consistent performers like Harry Winch, Becky Harvey, Dale Walsh and Darrell Ball, who are still doing great efforts with their regular 50-75km rides.
Thats just a few mentions of people and we’ve shouted out a couple more on Instagram, but everyone is putting in a brilliant effort, so we will try and highlight a few more before the challenge is out. Thanks to everyone who has taken part, its been a great effort and we’re nearly there with the fundraising on the Just Giving page here
(Of course Dan and Foxy have both been producing huge daily efforts, but we weren’t expecting any less of them!)
So, to our current destination. When thinking of Brazil, what springs to mind? The Rio Carnival? The Amazon Rainforest? Christ the Redeemer? Brazil is famous for all of those, but for a very large number of people they think of football, or soccer, as our transatlantic cousins like to call it.
An old adage in Brazil says, “The English may have invented Football, but we Brazilians perfected it” and we might have to agree. Pele, Ronaldo, Kaka, Garrincha, Zico, Cafu and Ronaldinho. Quite simply some of the greatest footballers to ever grace the pitch (and thats just a few). Brazil has produced a myriad of footballing talent and it’s no wonder the sport is huge in Brazil. They are the 5-time winners of the World cup making them the most successful team of all time. What factors make the Brazilians so football mad?
- With 206 million people, Brazil is the 5th most populous nation on Earth. More people equals more footballers.
- Due to the climate in Brazil, there are less grass football pitches as they would be too hard to maintain due to biodiversity of life. This means football is often played in the smaller spaces of the cities. Allowing the honing of ball control, and other close control skills over rough terrain.
- Due to the lack of outdoor pitches, many Brazilians play football in 5 aside hard floor courts called Futsal. Futsal uses a smaller, heavier ball, which again encourages good control.
- Many families who are too poor to afford a football use anything they can find from coconuts to eggs. These unconventional balls help condition the players as they tend to be more difficult to play with.
- Football is the national sport and is absolutely loved by nearly everyone – Brazilians call themselves, o País do Futebol – The country of Football.
Football is a fantastic way of keeping fit, from the sprinting to prolonged running and jogging. Its a great cardio workout and a sociable activity aswell, just like our classes! As always, you can take a look at our livestream page to keep updated on the daily classes we’re doing alongside the challenge.
Distance Travelled: 1424km
Journey Finished: 78%
Money Raised: £8,024
Countries Visited: 21 Countries
Day 19 Leader Board
- Kimberley Langley – 150km
- Steve Smith – 111km
- Darren Fox – 107km
Find out more
We’re certainly getting close now – within 10,000km. Do you think we can do it? And when will we finish? Please support us and donate to the Just Giving page here.
Keep updated along the way with Instagram here and track our daily progress on our map below too.