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Cycling to India

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Mountain Bike, cycling to IndiaFor B2 Reading Part 5, this an exercise about Cycling to India at an upper intermediate level of English which focuses on reading for detail, opinion, tone, purpose, main idea and the implication of the ideal. It is practice for Part 5 of the Reading and Use of English section of the Cambridge B2 First Exam.

About 10 minutesStrengthening reading comprehensionCambridge English B2 First Exam

B2 First Reading Part 5 (Cycling to India)

For B2 First Reading Part 5, you are going to read an article about cycling to India. This text describes Danny Bent’s incredible journey alone by bike across India. This exercise consists of a text with multiple-choice questions. For each question, there are four options and you have to choose one of them.

Cycling to India

When I was 11, during a junior school leavers' assembly in front of all the mums and dads, my headmistress asked my class what they wanted to do when they left school. Footballer, doctor, film star, politician, came the replies. My answer? "I want to cycle around the world and raise money for charity." A big cheer resounded around the school hall. "So cool."

Little did they know that 20 years later, I would be setting off on a 9,000-mile journey to India. On my own. Carrying everything I needed on my steel-framed bicycle, affectionately known as "Shirley". I would like to say it was planned to the nth degree and that everything ran like clockwork. In reality, I was arrested twice, chased by wild dogs, beaten and wined and dined by the mafia and attacked by bandits.

On my last day, I was cycling through the Bandipur wildlife park in southern India. My flowery bike wasn't great camouflage and startled a number of elephants as I passed. They decided to charge. The advice is "if an elephant charges you, stand your ground, and bow your head to show respect."

What tosh! With 30 tonnes of muscle and bone crashing towards me, destroying small trees and making the ground vibrate under my feet, there was no way I was standing firm. I dropped my bike into third gear and floored it.

Another time I ran out of food and water in the desert and was woken one morning to find maggots in my hair and beard. Yet the greatest memories are of so many wonderful people I met in every country, who invited me into their homes to celebrate local festivals, play music, dance, sing, eat, and share each other's cultures, beliefs, history and ways of life.

After six months' cycling, I rolled into Chembakolli, a tiny village, my final destination. It was my 31st birthday – 20 years since I had first dreamed up the idea. I was greeted by a carnival of people playing the drums, singing, cheering, and waving banners saying "Happy birthday". All I could do was crouch down and cry tears of joy. I'd cycled 9,000 miles from England to India. I'd lived my dream.

Daniel Bent, 31, teacher, Essex
One man's journey

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Question 1 of 6

1. When did the writer tell everyone what he wanted to do?

Question 1 of 6

Question 2 of 6

2. What does the phrase 'ran like clockwork' mean?

Question 2 of 6

Question 3 of 6

3. Why did the elephants run after the bike?

Question 3 of 6

Question 4 of 6

4. How did he get to safety?

Question 4 of 6

Question 5 of 6

5. What does he remember most about his journey?

Question 5 of 6

Question 6 of 6

6. How did he feel when he finished his journey?

Question 6 of 6


 

Listen to the story about cycling to India.
Extra Free Exercises for B2 First Reading Part 5.

B2 First Reading Part 5B2 First Use of English and Reading Section

You need to be able to understand a range of texts, including how they are organised and the opinions and attitudes expressed in them. The texts will be from sources familiar to you such as magazines, articles, fiction and advertisements, but targeted at the interests of students. Students’ use of English will be tested by tasks which show how well they can control their grammar and vocabulary.

For this part, you practice how to understand the details of a text, including opinions and attitudes.

For this part, you practice how to understand the structure and follow the development of a text.

For this part, you practice how to find specific information in a text or texts.

B2 First Writing Section

You are required to produce two pieces of writing. The first piece is compulsory and will be an essay of 140-190 words. For the second, you can choose from an article, email/letter, essay, review or report (B2 First for schools the report is replaced with a story) of 140-190 words.

B2 First Listening and Speaking Section

Requires being able to follow and understand a range of familiar spoken materials, such as news programmes, public announcements and other sources, but targeted at the interests of the learners.

In this part you talk to the examiner about yourself and your life, e.g. your name, school, interests and future plans.

In this part, you talk about two photos on your own which you have to compare for about 1 minute. After you have finished, your partner will be asked a short question about your photo. When your partner has spoken about their photos for about 1 minute, you will be asked a question about their photos.

In this part you express ideas with your partner by looking at a discussion point that the examiner gives you.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you focus on general aspects of a topic with the examiner or you may involve your partner.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you will hear people talking in eight different situations.

In this part, you will hear five people talking about different things.

In this part, you will hear an interview.

Especially helpful are exercises that are focussed on a theme or topic as these provide word retention practise so you can be confident to read, write, speak and listen successfully. We have many activities to get your English up to speed in no time.

Customs and Traditions explores how we celebrate our cultural identity across the globe.

Entertainment and Leisure explores how we spent our free time.

Environment and Nature explores the way humans and animals live, adapt and change on our planet.

Exploring how different societies create roles for people to develop their skills and knowledge.

Exploring how we learn and adjust to the world around us. .

Exploring how we experience the world through our life journeys

The more words you encounter and understand, the broader your day-to-day vocabulary will become. Our word games and puzzles such as our films word search are an excellent way to help to reinforce spellings in your mind.
Level Links:
This free material is for students at an Upper Intermediate Level of English. This will probably be suitable for students in their third or fourth year of English studies. We add exercises on grammar and vocabulary as well as whole text activities on a regular basis. In addition, we provide test practice activity for students who are preparing for the C1 Advanced which is part of the Cambridge Assessment English Main Suite as well as the English Language B for the IB Diploma. The material will also support students studying for the Cambridge Advanced courses and IELTS examinations.

We also provide free resources across the full range of levels to provide the tools to communicate in English well.

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