All the Baths in the World (by bike)
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How the World Bath Tour helped fight cancer

In January 1999 Rob's father Tony Ainsley was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died of the disease on 8 April that year in peace, at his home surrounded by his family. He was well-known in East Yorkshire as an outstanding baritone singer and club comedian, but also as a wonderful, generous, cheerful man who made friends everywhere he went.
Cancer Research logoWhich is why the World Bath Tour has raised money for Imperial Cancer Research. Cancer affects one in three of all adults in the UK and kills one in four of us. Tony was the inspiration behind this project.
Cancer Research logoThe total final raised was over £7,800. To donate, please contact us by e-mail below, or call Imperial Cancer Research direct on 0207 242 0200 (from outside UK, +44 207 242 0200). Cheques can be sent to Imperial Cancer Research Fund, 7400 The Quorum, Oxford Business Park North, Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2JZ.
Cancer Research logoOn 15 November 1999 a fundraising Memorial Concert was held at Willerby Manor, Willerby, East Yorkshire, presented by the Hessle Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society - the society Tony performed with and eventually presided over. Among those taking part were world famous comedian Norman Collier, Mike Lodge, Mike Baker, and members of HAODS. Presented and masterminded by John Ainsley, Tony's other son, the concert raised over £4,100 for Marie Curie nurses, who provided wonderful assistance during Tony's final days..
Sign for Bath (on London Road)

All the world's Baths

Have you ever seen those 'Twinned with...' signs and wondered what those twins are like? Or found places in other countries with the same name as your home town?

So did Rob Ainsley, a writer and journalist from Bath. From May 1999 to August 2000 he visited all the 'Baths' in the world: four twins, one sister and one partner city, plus two dozen places of the same name. Most of this was done by bicycle, including all the European and Japanese legs.

It was an eighteen-month journey that included Holland, France, Germany, Hungary, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand, America, Canada, Jamaica, Barbados, and St Kitts-Nevis, and Scotland.

Rob and the bike that did London-AthensRob also visited places which, like Bath, are World Heritage sites - Venice for example - and some of Bath's counterparts in the Urban Forum for Sustainable Development, such as Delft and Vienna.

With the launch of Bath's Millennium Spa project coming up, which will see Britain's only thermal waters again open to the public, the trip also took in many hot springs around the world which have helped inspire the city's remarkable project: Rotorua in New Zealand, for instance.

The trip, prepared with the help of Bath and North East Somerset Council, will be written up in a book - coming sometime soon. Er, maybe.

Rob's dozen books to date include the humorous guides Bluff Your Way in Japan and Bluff Your Way on the Internet. He has also written for various newspapers (The Independent, The Guardian) and magazines (including Cycling Plus, Total Football, and Classic CD). He also wrote a regular humorous guide to living in England for the UK Japanese newspaper Eikoku News Digest

His previous cycle tours have included Land's End to John O'Groats (Britain's 'end-to-end'); and London to Athens.