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Cycling to India

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Read about cycling to India for the B2 First Reading Part 5 which practices reading for detail, opinion, tone, purpose, main idea and the implication of the idea.

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B2 First Reading Part 5 Set 2 (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 round the world and raise money for charity." A big "ahhhhh" resounded around the school hall. "So sweet."

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 way 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 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


 

More exercises available:

B2 First Use of English and Reading Section

For this part, you practice vocabulary by using words with similar meanings, collocations, linking phrases, phrasal verbs, etc.

For this part, you practice vocabulary word-building by changing different words using a base word.

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

B2 First Listening and Speaking Section

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. You will also be asked a short question about your partner's 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.

Available soon.