CycleAmerica2014… The Story continues…

13 08 2014

With Steve in hospital bed bound with his injuries, Nathan and I had to sort ourselves out! Unfortunately at near midnight there isn’t a lot of options available to you… so after finding ourselves out of the hospital we drove around for a little while trying to figure out what to do… and turned to our hero Ronald McDonald. Say what you like about McDonalds but there advert about them always being there when you need them is the truth! Ever get in the shit, head to a Maccy Ds, grab something to eat and use the wifi! Plus they didn’t have issues with the horsemeat scandal… their beef is beef.. take note, unlike Burger Horse King and Kentucky Fried Mutant.. but yeah, the relief seeing those golden arches…

Out of options we decide we’ll sleep in the car.. we were in an area called Kent off the I-5… but fearing for our safety from the obvious crackheads tripping (the intense staring was creepy) and the wheels on the car (didn’t fancy waking up to being up on bricks, though impressive that would have been) we headed back to where we stayed the night before and slept in the carpark of a motel… the irony! No room at the inn, so the car was the stable…

Rough night for us and with little sleep we headed back towards the city at 5:30 in the morning straight to the nearest McDonalds to the hospital for a bit of breakfast and the wifi! We stayed at this McDonalds for a couple of hours as we waited to hear when we could get Steve (the hospital told us the day before he would be released in the morning) after being up for almost 5 hours we call them only to be told that Steve isn’t being released..

Annoyed and tired, we desperately needed to shower and change clothes which wd had been in the last day and tried contacting motels with no luck. Our best idea at this point was find a park and get an hour or so sleep.. so we turned to the most unhelpfully thing in the world… our Sat Nav (GPS) keyed in a local park to which the bastard thing directed us to a Park and Ride! Refraining Nathan from ended it’s life by driving over it… we just stayed there, got out of the car and slept on the side of the grass verge like bums… i was half expecting to wake up to quarters and dimes thrown at me..

So after getting a nap on an ants nest we headed to back to the city once again to find a McDonalds to use their wifi (gonna have to write Ronald a thank you note) and try again to find a place to stay… but wherever we tried no luck. So out of ideas I asked our friends and followers on Facebook for any suggestions… The response we got from that was overwelming and i do deeply appreciate the efforts friends and strangers a like put in to helping us out, so from myself and also Nathan a massive thank you!

From the help Steve’s cousin Jeremy put us in contact with a friend he had in Seattle called Andre, and it was with him who we got to stay with. Andre’s house is possibly one of best homes I’ve ever been in! He lived in a boathouse, which is basically a home that floated on the water, this one on Lake Union. Fitted with a boat and a number of inflatables Nathan and I was soon diving into the water for a swim! Even the neighbour was the house used in the Tom Hanks movie Sleepless in Seattle! Amazing what you discover.. As we floated peacefully on the lake on inflatable chairs it was such a difference from the night before sleeping in the car. We had a shower and changed into clean clothes and went out for something to eat that wasn’t provided by McDonald’s… good old American bar with American sized portions… happy.

It had been a rollercoaster 48 hours.. but with the help and genorosity of strangers we went from feeling like paupers to kings… and puts faith in the human race that we are still willing to help each other regardless of whether we know them or not… Google couldn’t help us or laterooms and neither could expedia and the others.. but you guys did! So simply… Thank you.

We got ourselves in this situation by trying to embark on a challenge to raise awareness and money for the charity Coffee Kids that help children and their families to have a better life.. I hope our sacrifices and what we put ourselves through for these people we don’t know and will never meet are not lost, and with the help and generosity of others the world can be a better place for a few people more…

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CycleAmerica2014.. Game Over.

12 08 2014

The first day of cycling had come after having a fantastic few days in Seattle. We were up early as we were going to catch the ferry at 8:30 in the morning! Bikes were ready, the lycra on, we headed to the Space Needle to begin. Took a few “promo” pictures with the banner… I was happy it was really early in the morning as I felt like a bit of a tit, and not to many people were about to stare at us.. and we set off towards the ferry port.. all we did was a mile and a half and we were there… but Nathan wasn’t! Driving on his own for the first time and he got a bit lost! Which resulted in us missing the first ferry! Disaster… but I just figured it’s a great time to have breakfast. There is always a silver lining 😉

After insulting my digestive system with a “breakfast sub” that contained steak and cheese the next ferry was arriving an hour and a half later and we boarded en route to Bremerton. The ferry ride was awesome.. as we sailed away we could see the Seattle Skyline and it was a beautiful sight.. with fresh sea air, jellyfish and a dog on the boat trying to sniff my leg it had it all… but an hour later we arrived into port and it was time to get back on the bikes. Hour and a half behind schedule Steve and I got a good start on the day and soon smashed out the first 37 miles.. to a town called Shelton. Here was our meeting point with Nathan and we were 40 mins early! We really got a great start on the day… We insulted our digestive system again this time with a “meatball sub” and refilled our bottles with ice… Steve was keen to get going to make up for the time we lost at the ferry port and so headed off on his own, while I waited on Nathan to turn up and would catch him up. Nathan arrives and shortly after we headed down the route to catch up with Steve… but we couldn’t find him…

We went up the route all the way until we reached a point where the road had been closed off, unsure whether Steve had gone this far we tried contacting him, but America cell phone signal is shocking and had no signal.. Unsure we tried both of the alternative routes he could have gone, but again no sign of him… The closest was a redneck on his bike carrying his scooped up roadkill for the BBQ later.. so we back tracked thinking he may have stopped somewhere and we missed him. Still no luck and nothing from phoning and texting him, we started to worry and after a few hours decided it was time to head to a police station.. As we followed the scent of coffee and doughnuts to the nearest one we got a call from Steve’s mobile and it was the hospital…which we learned the fate of Steve, in that he had been hit by a car that swerved into him at about 40mph. Arriving at the hospital all the way back in Seattle that took us 2 hours in the traffic we saw him… A broken wrist, broken bones in his lower back and 6 broken ribs he isn’t in the best of states, but luckily nothing that will be long term! His face looked better though.. 😉 But unfortunately it meant that less than 40 miles into the trip, it is game over for CycleAmerica2014

Thank you to everyone who has supported us and maybe what has happened shows the risk we put ourselves at doing these challenges. Our first trip it was me that landed in hospital.. But I didn’t hurt myself as bad and was released in half a day.. So maybe what has happened to Steve could pull on the heart strings a little and donate to our charity Coffee Kids. Many thanks.

 

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CycleAmerica2014.. Chapter 3: Can I buy a fish, a puppy and a big shoe…

10 08 2014

After getting over the disappointment of not seeing a Mountie riding a Moose yesterday I got to instead see whales pushing trolleys around in Walmart instead.. The sites you see in that place…

Got to pass the car keys over to Nathan today as he takes over the driving for the next 11 days.. It was nice to be sat in the back being chauffeured about and doze off, as Nath takes over the swearing and having to do u-turns because of going down the wrong road.. I’ll be back behind the wheel once we get to San Francisco though..

Once we escaped Walmart and sorted ourselves out with the car we headed to the Pike Place Market.. rated as the best tourist attraction in Seattle, even before the Space Needle, a place where you can find anything.. from fish to puppies to the biggest shoe museum… Very quirky market and by chance we stumbled across the first ever Starbucks! So after waiting for the Chinese tourists to take their pictures outside the coffee shop, we got our own done in the few seconds they took to change their memory card and joined the 3 hour queue (slightly exaggerated) Now I’m not a fan of Coffee and the amount of times I have been to a Starbucks you could count on one hand and still have fingers left., but one of them is the original coffee shop that started back in 1971.. and all it did was sell coffee beans.. so that was pretty cool…

Early night tonight as we start cycling tomorrow, bright and early from the Space Needle… Looking forward to it, especially as we do one single mile then we catch the ferry for the next 10! 😉 We do have 77 miles to smash the granny out off after that, but a great start… So yeah, I’m over here again in America cycling a bike, in what I hope will be another series of adventures and events! I’m doing it for charity but I’m also doing it for shits and giggles too… I enjoy the experience rather than the miles 🙂 it doesn’t seem like it has been 3 years since I was last doing this across the width of America… 3000 miles from North Carolina to Los Angeles, I feel like I never left and just carrying on…

Again… We are doing this to support the charity Coffee Kids, so please check down your sofa and donate what you find (money wise, not half of a digestive biscuit) be much appreciated!

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CycleAmerica2014.. Chapter 2: Superman lives in Canada

9 08 2014

After the weirdest night “couch surfing”, which is not riding a sofa on a huge wave like something out of Big Wednesday (film worth watching) but the bizarre world of turning up at some strangers home and sleeping on their couch for the night, jolly handshake next morning with a goodbye and off you go… Yup, that’s how it went…

So today we headed to the border for Canada! Unlike the Mexican border where it’s a fortress we casually drove up handed our passports over answered a few questions and off we went to seek out a Mountie riding a Moose.. But that wish didn’t come true but we did however find where they filmed Smallville! Armed with my Superman t-shirt I looked like a geek out of The Big Bang Theory but there I was getting my picture taken outside the Kent Farm and Talon in various Superman poses because I am that cool.. However it was Steve’s turn to be the kid on Christmas Day as he couldn’t contain his excitement of seeing the farm… joyfully explaining every detail of it while Having his picture taken against every possible angle… Bless 🙂 and then (by chance) coming across an Esquires Coffee House! Possibly one of his best days in his life… 

So headed back to America where again got crossed examined at border control and asked if we have any weapons… I wanted to state just the one in my pants but best not… I drove for about 200+ miles today and I’m not a fan of American roads.. the speed limits are far too low… though did drive through some beautiful scenery!

The day has been brilliant and we finished it off by going up the Space Needle for dinner! Even though we have gone bankrupt to pay for it, it was a fantastic time with fantastic food, service and scenery! The restaurant itself actually spins and as you dine you get a full rotation of the skyline every 47 minutes… It was a great evening spent with two fine gentlemen… McDonalds Dollar Menu tomorrow night I think 😉

One more day and then we start cycling!





CycleAmerica2014.. Chapter 1: Literally, Sleepless in Seattle…

8 08 2014

As I write my first blog post of the cycleamerica2014 adventure, I am sat between the sleeping Nathan and the sleeping Steven, that both sound like they’re breathing through a harmonica but with the few hours sleep that we have had over the first few days I can understand it…

Not much to say with the travelling over here, Nathan is a good omen! Smooth run the whole way and my old friend Bubba was no where to be seen.. I’m not the best traveller, I always find getting to and from somewhere a ball ache, but I had first time traveller, first time tourist, first time flier Nathan with us, who quite frankly was so excited by everything it was like watching a kid on Christmas day 🙂 Armed with his camera you can’t stop the boy… Bless 😉

I have been driving since we arrived here which has been interesting. I’m driving an automatic for the first time in my life and trying not to drive it like a go-kart is one thing, but trying to remove my only driving experience in America being from Grand Theft Auto is another… but so far so good I think..

Already on the tourist outbreak.. went to the Space Needle today and the plan is to go up it tomorrow night for dinner… So looking forward to that! Also been to the local human zoo, which are known as Walmart’s here and went to a bar… any bar… just your average American bar, where some legend in his American flag bandana and leather jacket got on the piano… He was brilliant! Exactly how you want an average American bar to be like 🙂

Well it’s getting late and Steve and Nathan now sounding like a full on orchestra… We Are staying at a random apartment in Seattle, with a nice lady called Diana who has put us up for the night 🙂 up early to head up to the Canadian border and have a look where Smallville was filmed! Better fish out my Superman t-shirt!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook cycleamerica2014 and spare some pennies for Coffee Kids, the Charity we are doing this for 🙂

It’s now time for me to join the band, and get some sleep in Seattle… Goodnight!





The Final Blog post… It’s been one hell of a ride…

6 09 2011

I’ve been home now for a few days, slowly getting my way through the long list of things I want to eat, including English Breakfast, Lamb and Mint Sauce, Toad in the Hole, or basically anything that can’t be eaten in a bun, and trying to reset my now really buggered body clock. It’s good to be home, touch base as you were, and see some missed faces but I’m back to reality… and trying to except that the amazing adventure I had with all the stories is over… I want to be back out there, seeing what mischief I can get myself into and then enjoy telling the story of how I got out of it…

I miss the American people, sure they drove tanks with wheels, eat everything with mustard and couldn’t stand anything you say if you pronounce the ‘T’ but they were friendly, kind, overweight and generous… and made my experiences incredible… From the Pastor who took me to Hospital (who for the whole 20mins of the journey informed me of how I’m going to hell) to the families that took us in under their roofs. The strangers that gave us money, the randomers intrigued in what we were doing, even the Mexicans interested in how much our bikes were worth… all played their part in the adventure…

I also miss the landscape America offered, the scenery in places was beyond anything I’d ever seen, from the National Forests to the Deserts it was spectacular. The mountain ranges, cycling up 4000ft to be rewarded with the descent down…incredible… I don’t miss the weather though…

It was the toughest thing I had ever put myself through, the punishment I put my body through was beyond my limits, but I pushed on and everything that hurt became the price for the most amazing experience… and every ache and pain became worth it.

But out of everything, the most amazing thing was the amount of different and random stories that we have. Some of the stuff that happened to us you couldn’t make up… Taking refuge at a Hospice, being locked in a Church, being arrested by the LAPD… even the experiences, such as powering a boat through the river of a National Forest and attending a real full on Rodeo… made the trip. How boring would it have been if all that happened was we woke up, cycled 100 miles, showered, eat, bed; repeat. Sure, we would have had the accomplishment, but not the adventure that I wanted to seek…

This whole trip isn’t about me, me, me. I did this, I did that, I am great. As it was 4 of us that completed it together as a team and no one person would have done what they have without the other 3. I have to thanks Arturs and Becki massively. Without these guys Steve and I wouldn’t have managed and wouldn’t have experienced as much as we did. It was these guys knocking on doors armed with their cheeky grins and endearing accents that got us places to stay and experience even more within the trip. It was these guys that continuously rescued me from the side of the road whenever I got myself into trouble, before the Bobcats, Rattlesnakes or even the Rednecks noticed me as they went to shovel up some roadkill for their dinner… They were incredible the whole trip and so I thank them dearly for being there with us. I hope the footage that they captured throughout the trip will be incredible and that they will be able to create a documentary showing what an adventure it really was! A big huge thanks goes to Steve, who dreamt up the idea and somehow managed to persuade me to do it. Can’t thank him enough as through his planning and hard work (and sheer determination) I went through an incredible experience. I literally went for the “ride” and it was one hell of a ride! We have done many things together, including travelling around the World and Road Tripping through Europe. But this was biggest and greatest adventure yet… and I’m sure there is more to come…

Since I’ve been home, it’s become apparent that a lot of you guys that read my blogs really enjoyed them, and became popular with friends and strangers alike. I had no idea, how a quick blog post before I went to bed each night became the highlight to many following our journey. I thank everyone that has followed us and read my posts, and I really hope that they were enjoyed and entertained you : ) Sadly this is probably the final one for cycleAMERICA2011. With every great story, it has to end (Even the Neverending Story ended after 94 minutes…) It just means that I’ll have to start a new one. It doesn’t mean that this is it for cycleAMERICA2011. A press release has gone out today, and yesterday we did a Radio interview with BBC C&W (Forward to 1:22:42). Also there is still the anticipation of the documentary that will hopefully be completed within 8-12 months. So keep your eyes and ears out for all which is still yet to come.

So, my final words, I want to be inspirational, I want people to be aware that if you have goals, dreams, even ideas, that you should pursue them. You have the freedom and opportunities to make all the choices with your life. What would you rather say about yourself 40 years from now? “I had the guts to do this” or you won’t remember because you didn’t do anything… We all have one shot at life, enjoy it, no one is going to get out alive so experience what the world can offer you, so when you become old, you don’t regret all the things you could have done, but tell the stories of what you did do…

We did this whole trip for the Charity Coffee Kids, a charity that helps Coffee Farming communities in South and Central America. Many of you drink Coffee and without these people, your addiction (let’s be honest) wouldn’t be possible. So please Donate through us (all details can be found on our site; cycleAMERICA2011.com) they live of very poor money in a seasonal time frame of 3-5 months. What Coffee Kids do is start up other methods (for example, Herbal Medicine) so that these people are able to support their families better and give them a more fulfilling life. So again, please donate whatever you can. It is most highly appreciated!

Also want to throw in a thanks to the Sponsors that supported us through this trip. CNP Professional for supplying us with all our supplements. Mike Vaughan Cycles who supplied us with our bikes and equipment. Esquires Coffee Houses who followed and supported us throughout the whole trip and also paid for our cycling Jerseys. Also to G4S and Matthew Algie who helped pay for our hire car. A massive thanks to these guys 

So again, thank you for following us through America. It’s been an incredible journey and I hope that you enjoyed it as much as we certainly did. In total of 12,000+ miles and 43 days, my bike and I went across America and came back home together. It doesn’t matter where you go, whatever you do, in the end, you always return home…





So what’s happened since? Well….

30 08 2011

After sleeping in a Church, Caravan, a Garage and many floors I have now expanded my sleeping locations to outside in a Hammock at a 70s Porn House… I will literally sleep anywhere…

So after my traumatising time with the American Police yet again… we been staying at different people’s houses…first night, we stayed at Karim and Ben’s (these guys we know from the guy we met from the bike shop when I went to get my free tyres, that’s how random it is). Very tired it was great to chill out there, and this is where my bed for the night was the garage, with boxes of “Stuff”, bikes and a hedge trimmer…

It’s the next night that I have the story for you. We went and met up with Emily (back in 2005 I first met Emily in Australia when I went travelling) and it was great to see her. She’s living in Hollywood Hills and so we went out partying in Hollywood! Pre-drinking with a few “Gin and Tonics” (Classy) we went out on a very random night. From what I remember (memory is a little hazy, got to admit) We somehow ended up in some random guys car, who drove us to a Tour Bus to meet an Actor and Model casting manager… now, the smell of Bullshit was strong, and I was sneezing a lot because I’m allergic to the stuff… I have no idea what these guys were going on about (Nice tour bus though) but we got out pretty quick before we got involved in some sort of “Blue” movie… haha So off to another club, where we saw Busta Rhymes and tried to get into his “Private Party” but they wouldn’t let us in… Party killers…So next we met Gary….Hairdresser by day, Taxi driver by night… (I remember eating donuts at some point) before being somewhere else, where I pissed of some girl because I wouldn’t have a drink with her. (I was pissed and she was still ugly and I was out of brown bags…) so all I remember next is going back to Emily’s which is a house that was used in a 70s Porn Shoot or something and spent the night sleeping in a hammock out on the balcony… 🙂 Then spent today, relaxing and getting a tour around L.A to film sets and Celeb houses…as you do…

I still don’t think the end of the journey has sunk in yet… I kinda just feel like I’m on holiday now… going to the beach for the day tomorrow (Santa Monica Beach) it’s a surreal experience at the moment, I’m just enjoying the few days we have until we come home to the real world…which will be a come down from the past 6 weeks…

I wonder what the next few days will bring, still have the Finishing Party to go!

Check out whats been going on at facebook.com/cycleAMERICA2011