Hello and welcome. My name is Matthew Blake and on the 29th April 2008 I left my home in Banbury, England with the aim of cycling around the world. I successfully returned nearly four years and over 46,000 miles later on April 7th 2012 and have since written a book about my ride which can be purchased here, whilst pictures from the journey can be viewed here. From March to August 2013 I shall be cycling 10,000 miles across North America in attempt to watch a Major League Baseball game in every Ballpark. Please follow me on Twitter here and like the Facebook page here. Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoy the website.
19/4/2013 - Right, there has been one thing that has become abundantly clear over the past month and that is that as I only have a tablet computer, I'm simply not going to be able to keep this site up to date (even relatively closely) as typing is proving too much of a hassle. But to keep you up to date I landed in Seattle and started cycling on the 24th of April. The official start point was Safeco Field, home of the Mariners, and from there I went through Oregon to Oakland, to San Francisco from where I have moved on to Los Angeles. Last night I went to the Dodgers and am headed to the Angels at some point this weekend. The ride has been fun, the weather has gone from mild in Washington, to snow on the high passes in Oregon, to torrential rain in Northern California, to heat in So-Cal and I'm gradually adjusting. Otherwise on the baseball front the games I've been to have been:
- Oakland Athletics 8 - 2 Seattle Mariners - the first game I went to, on a Thursday afternoon in Oakland. I was one of about twelve spectators but had a great time.
- Seattle Mariners 3 - 0 Houston Astros - after the Oakland game I had to fly back up to Seattle to watch the Mariners game (the rules are I have to visit a park before a game, so on this occasion I visited Safeco two weeks before the game and going back was also an excuse to see friends in Vancouver). The home opener, so a lot of fireworks and I went along with Josh, a guy I rode in Mexico with! The only downside was the next night Houston won 16-9, so it' obvious which game I should've been at.....
- San Francisco Giants 9 - 6 Colorado Rockies - Tim Lincecum on the mound and he walked the Rockies pitched in four balls twice. The Rockies went 6-2 up and the Giants came back. A sold out ballpark in a city that is the most impressive I've seen in the US. They had a sing along to 'Journey' and after the game, as the seagulls descended on the leftover rubbish, 'I left my heart in San Francisco' played out to the crowd.
- Los Angeles Dodgers 1 - 7 San Diego Padres - Was this game memorable for seeing three more impressive home runs which bought the total I've seen to 8? No. Was it memorable for seeing these scored off of Clayton Kershaw, one of the top pitches in the game? No. Was it memorable for being the first time I've seen the home team lose? No. Was it memorable for the good company I enjoyed in the great seats courtesy of my hosts? No. This game will only ever be remembered for, after I'd spent the evening explaining how we in England don't need wimpy gloves to catch a hard ball, a foul ball came straight to me and I........f*#king dropped it. Someone else got the rebound and I'm not bitter at all. Definitely not. Humph.
Right, that's enough of that but to be honest whilst those have been the games I've been to there's been so much more going on and since being on the road I've met some incredible people, seen some awesome things and also had a great time - however I'm not going to have time to keep this site too up to date, but what I am staying on top of is the Facebook Group - link - so for the latest info on the ride please sign up to that or get on the Twitter as well -@mattonabike1 - right, I'm off to the Angels this weekend and need to get riding. From there it's San Diego, Phoenix and Denver before the long stints to Texas and Florida.....
21/3/2013 - Greetings all and welcome to a page that is nowhere near as planned as I'd hoped! Over the last few weeks things have got in the way but all that needs to be said is that tomorrow I fly out to Boston, before heading on to Seattle - from there I'm going to be cyling around 10,000 to ever Major League Baseball Ballpark. There's a map below of where I'm going, however there won't be a proper blog of this trip as I won't have enough time to keep one going so instead here are a few FAQ's to get the ball rolling.
What are you doing?
I'm cycling to every MLB Ballpark and shall also be watching a game in each stadium over the coming season. The trip - I think - will be a little over 10,000 miles.
When are you doing it?
I will land in Seattle on the 23rd of March and start cycling south on the 24th. I have to fly home at the end of August to go back to University, so I'll finish in Boston on the 31st of August.
That sounds like a lot of effort, will you cycle the whole way?
I aim to, but accept that with the time constraints it may be tricky and some cheating may have to take place - but if nothing goes wrong then it's possible.
Why are you starting in Seattle two weeks before the season starts?
As I've got the timescale issue, I'm starting in Seattle on the 24th and will arrive in Oakland on the 4th of April to watch the A's take on, ironically enough, the Mariners. I'll then fly back to Seattle for their opening home game on the 8th, before flying back to watch the Giants on the 9th before heading south to LA and onwards. It's not ideal but it's the trip is going to be difficult enough timewise, so this was the only possible way to cycle and watch a game in each ballpark. I 100% blame the Mariners for this.
Who am I watching the games with?
Anyone who'll go with me! Want to come to a game with me? Then e-mail me via this link it's always the people who make a trip, so if you'd love to show me around, I'd love to go to a game with you.
Who is my team?
I began watching baseball in the year of the home run chase of '98 and so, for my sins, follow the Cubs. I should hit Wrigley Field around the 5th of July so am looking forward to that day!
Where am I sleeping on the road?
I'm camping, youth hostelling, seeing friends from my last trip and staying with anyone who'll put me up! Again, want a smelly cyclist in your home? Then mail away....
Did I do much fitness training for the ride?
I've worked out that I'll need to do about 90 miles per day. I'm three and a half stone heavier than when I got back from my last ride and eat poorly. The first few weeks will not be fun.
And finally, can we see your route?
Of course you can - this crudely drawn map and the idea are pretty much the whole preparation I've for this trip. In less than 24 hours I leave for the airport. This could go horribly wrong......