32 days, 3000 miles, 11 States and 1 Continent later… The story is complete…

28 08 2011

The final day was one to remember, not at the start though, but the end, from the moment I could feel the fresh Pacific Breeze hit me about 15 miles away from the Santa Monica Pier. When I felt it I knew that this was it, the end was coming. The road just seemed too last forever, every hill brow I was anticipating that I would see the sea, but time after time I was teased. But every story has its end, and finally in the distance after smelling and feeling it for miles I could see the Pacific Ocean! Suddenly the Pier was in sight and I went straight for it, so many people were around but I didn’t care, I rode up and saw Arturs and Becki there with the banner, the joy was unbelievable. Went onto the beach, savoured the moment and in my cycleAMERICA2011.com cycling top I dived in. I just had to do it. There wasn’t the big parade, or anyone that cared we were there, but it didn’t feel like an anti-climax. The four of us had done it, we crossed the United States of America. The moment was ours to have, nobody elses but ours…

But as with everything that concerns me, the story didn’t finish. We were going for a celebratory beer, so innocently I went into an English Bar and went to the toilet. (I hadn’t had a piss for 30 miles) Anyway, I came out where 5 cop cars and a dozen policemen targeted me out, and forced me out the bar to arrest me. I was basically a victim of mistaken identify, and they thought I was a guy who had just stabbed someone. So the people of Santa Monica watched on as the LAPD screamed at me to put my hands behind my back and search me for a weapon. Pretty intense moment, until they realised I was the wrong person…in which they apologised and thanked me for my co-operation. Co-operation? I had no choice…

So another run in with the authorities of America, they just seem to hate my face.

It’s been 32 days since we started cycling, I’ve been chased by dogs, got caught in Thunderstorms, slept in a Church, sheltered in a Hospice, been in Jail, been rescued by a Pastor, almost been flattened by a truck, got lost in the middle of nowhere, rode the Interstate and even managed to land myself into Hospital…but I have got myself across the Continent of America!!! One way or another, I have got myself and my bike across, both in one piece… just about 😉 The weather has burnt me and made me sick, I’ve been soaked through, sweated enough to fill every swimming pool in America and had a really sore arse. The terrain has punctured my tyres more times than I can count, and put my body through more than I ever imagined I could cope with, but it also gave me the most thrilling cycling I have and ever will do… Some miles were easy, some were hard…but everyone was worth it… and I will remember what I went through 50 years from now and have some amazing stories for the grandchildren one day…

Through this trip we have all come so far and we reached both highs and lows. The four of us have looked at each other every day and night for 5 weeks. We are all young and constantly hope and dream for more, trying to find ourselves, trying  to make our own history in life. We dreamed of cycling across America and we went for it. We planned, prepped and trained. We could have sat at home and talked about how great it would be to do, but we didn’t. We lived our dream… and I hope that one day, all of what we have done, will become someone elses dream…

At the beginning of this, the first time it was mentioned I was never going to cycle across America. I was stubborn and said I wouldn’t do it, I wanted to come, but I wanted to drive. I always wanted to road trip across America and this was my chance to do it! But I dwelled on the idea and thought it through and I realised how much more epic it would be to say that I cycled across America rather than drive. So after not even riding a bike for 6 years, I decided to commit to it, and I trained for only 6 months. I am so glad that I said “Yes”. I’ve achieved something that very few will be able to ever say they have done. I wasn’t a cyclist, and I’m not a fan of Coffee (It’s just not my cup of tea) But I am so happy with what I have accomplished and hope that the donations and funds I have helped to raise for Coffee Kids will do some good for people who won’t ever have the opportunities and chances in life that I have. Because what I have done, was my choice. So I hope more will donate and give the Families and Children that Coffee Kids support a better chance at life.

Thank you to everyone who followed and supported me. I love all of your faces… Please donate (I’ve done it! That has to be worth some pennies!!! :)) to coffeekids.org (add cycleamerica to the note) or through us at crowdrise.com/cycleAMERICA2011. Catch up with our journey at cycleAMERICA2011.com or through facebook.com/cycleAMERICA2011

So here I am, Santa Monica, Los Angeles… 32 days, 3000 miles, 11 States and 1 Continent later…  🙂





The final day tomorrow, we’ve come so far and all we have left is 72 miles…

27 08 2011

So tomorrow is it, the end. Everything we have gone through, the preparation, the plans, the journey, the stories all comes down to the final chapter that we will ride tomorrow. We’ll get to Santa Monica Pier at 4pm (Midnight GMT) and I have no idea how I will feel. Some days I want it to be over, especially with the Heat, but other days I want the adventure we have gone through to keep on going… I also have no idea how it will end, I’m hoping there will be people there to cheer us on at the end, because otherwise we will reach the end. Stop. High five. Then what? Pack up the bikes and go home? What an anti-climax that would be… I want something to remember…I hope it will be 🙂

Today was random. We had our final big challenge left, which was a 2000ft climb up a mountain, which turned out to be a bit funny. As both Steve and I was going up the same mountain, but up different routes…and it took the support car to re-unite us haha! But the best thing about today was finally getting of the Interstate for good! I admit, in my joyful glee, I stuck the two-fingers up to it…I hated the thing 🙂 Also up there in the “Best” category is the fact that the temperature has now dropped dramatically. From 120F to 80-90F. I actually felt cold… :/ So gonna be perfect conditions tomorrow, cycling through Hollywood, Bel-Air .etc Maybe I’ll see Sandra Bullock watering her flowers or something…

I guess I’ll build myself up for my most epic blog post for tomorrow! Gonna be a big day and I want to enjoy and remember it 🙂

72 miles





Day 30 and California tried to cook me…

26 08 2011

I thought after yesterday that I wouldn’t have to go through any temperatures hotter than that from the Arizona Desert, but I was horribly wrong. It didn’t take long until we left the incredible roads of Arizona for the Orange County. Crossing over the Colorado River which is the State Line, I was very good, the feeling that we were in the final state of our epic journey was incredible but I was yet to encounter what the day was to bring.

Not far over the border I started to feel the heat, which reached to 120F which is 49C and it caused my skin to actually BUBBLE! :/ I was literally being cooked in the Sun…So unfortunately to save my skin and my health I had to sit out of it in the middle of the day. At which point Arturs and Becki had a go at some pedaling. Becki managing 11 miles and Arturs 8. Which given the heat was a good effort and allowed me to wrap cold towels around my arms and hydrate my skin with After Sun. The skin has already peeled away and I’m looking forward to getting out of this heat tomorrow…about 30 ish miles I reckon until we’re over the mountains and get caught by the breeze from the Pacific… Also I’m happy to be getting to the end now because I’m unsure how much more punishment my body can take…any longer and I’ll be able to eat my arms, throw in some veg and It’ll be a tasty meal…well, I reckon I’d taste like chicken? Everything else does…

Anyway, after putting on some sleeves and having a good meal hit the road once again on yet another Interstate (I hate these things) and bashed out another good 30ish miles before it got dark… Tomorrow is the very last day I’ll be cycling on an Interstate EVER…not going on one ever again…lol

So yeah, a mixed day. Awesome to start with crossing into California, shame it wanted to toast me up… But it’s the final full day tomorrow…so close to the end…!

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Day 29 and after cycling through a Desert, I’m sleeping in a Caravan…

25 08 2011

To be fair I spent most of my childhood sleeping in a caravan. Back when I was a little nipper and the most important thing in the world was getting a new game for my Mega Drive II my grandparents owned a static one in Tewkesbury. (Yes, I’m talking about my childhood instead of cycling! Just keepin’ thing fresh) Anyway, every other weekend and the Easter holidays I went with my parents, brother and our dog Charlie, and the 6 of us would cram inside this little caravan (obviously my brother and I were subjected to the uncomfy sofa seating instead of the beds) but it was great. I use to go fishing with my dad, brother, grandad and sometimes my uncle(s) and this is where I use to go on bike rides, with my second-hand Mountain bike that wouldn’t change gear…doing a couple of miles that would take hours to a nearby pub on the canal…great memories, well until I hit 14 and then it wasn’t cool to go…

Anyway, back to today and the ride I had. I have to thank Arizona for some of the most incredible cycling I will ever do in my life…truly amazing. Like yesterday going down the mountain range is just an unbelievable experience. However today became tougher than what we anticipated. Unlike yesterday with all the tourist spots where the Chinese were posing for pictures with their Cheeseburger and Fries giving the “thumbs up” and the coach loads of confused old people with name tags on, just incase they got lost, we were going through the Arizona Desert…and all there is for miles, is sand, cactus’ and mini twisters (which were pretty cool to look at to be fair). But really suffered with the heat, the skin on my arms have actually “bubbled” which is never going to be a good thing, I can’t begin to explain how intense the heat got…but I got through the day and look forward to tomorrow where in the morning we will by crossing the Colorado River into California! The final state…

So I’m lying on my bed in a caravan, in pain, covered in After Sun… the abuse I have put my body through with this trip is pretty intense and I can’t even have a cold shower to cool down. Because of the desert, both the Hot and Cold taps are hot water, which does make me question why they have a cold tap to start with…but this is America…and that explains that. So gonna paste another layer of After Sun on me and get some much needed sleep, as it’s another day of pedalin’ for me tomorrow 🙂

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Down to the last few days…





Day 28. The 4000ft climb… and I smashed the granny out of it…

24 08 2011

What an epic day. Armed with my brand spankin’ new Armadillo tyres I was ready for the BIG day, the day we had to cycle up 4000ft in 15 miles… to get up to over 7000ft. Which also means that what goes up….has to come down 😉

Started the day well as we first had to go down to 3000ft before we started the climb. I know I keep saying how beautiful the scenery is wherever I go, but the ride from Flagstaff to Prescott in Arizona is the most breathtaking ever. It’s EPIC. To anyone ever wanting to ride an incredible and challenging 90 odd miles, then this is the stretch. Anyway, we get to a town called Sedona, a complete Tourist attraction to be fair, plenty of Chinese and their oversized cameras and hats and plenty of old people and their oversized sunglasses and flip-flops with white socks about the place, but it’s an unbelievable place…

Anyway after grabbing some food and Gatorade to fuel us up we had the mammoth task of cycling up the mountain. It is without doubt the toughest 90mins off my life, pedalling at like 8 miles an hour to get up this thing. But the views and the feeling of accomplishing it is hard to get across…it was amazing. At about 5000ft I cycled through a little town up in it where an old guy shouted at me that I have the easy part left….awesome I thought! He lied to me…the git 😉 lol But at the summit of 7023ft I knew what was coming next….

I had to get back down 😀 It took about 90 mins to get up, 9 mins to get down! We were hitting speeds of around 40mph when the speed limits in areas were as low as 15/20mph. We were going faster than the cars down this thing. It was exhilarating, fun and dangerous. One point I was too fast for the corner and went wide (and you can’t go too wide otherwise you’re going down an even faster way…via a sheer drop) So much fun turning the corners going down the side of this mountain…it really was the reward of cycling up it…I literally smashed the granny out of it

So it’s been a fantastic day, not a single puncture either. I said to the guy in the shop that I want two tyres that will get me to Santa Monica without a puncture….so far so good. Tomorrow is the other big one but in length, we are to hit 136 miles in one day…but it is downhill pretty much the whole way…so I’ll have some fun with that 😉

Where there’s a mountain, there’s a way…ride a bike up it

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Day 27. I got some free Armadillo’s…

24 08 2011

Armadillo? It’s an animal that’s crunchy on the inside, soft in the middle and a constant victim to roadkill…it’s also a tyre by Specialized. So finally got off the bloody Interstate, and after more punctures we finally arrived in Flagstaff, a city that has bike shops! So after going to one place called AZ Bikes, they tipped me off that I could get my tyres changed at a Specialized dealership for free (and upgraded) if I wasn’t happy….so off I peddled to the dealership and sure enough (with a bit of cheeky blaggin’) they agreed to upgrade my tyres free of charge saving me like £100!! Well happy 🙂 They are some epic tyres, having 3 layers of Kevlar (like you care but I’ll continue…) going through them, they’re not gonna puncture unless I run them through a crater of nails and razor blades.  We also got talking to the guys back at AZ Bikes who also agreed to put us for the night, so Steve and I stayed with Korin and her 3 dogs Mogrey, Nash and Izzy (seeing as you were wondering what their names were) It’s always cool staying at a random house with people we don’t know… 🙂

I also had Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner….





On Day 26 we crossed the border into Arizona…and so did the storm…

22 08 2011

I swear there is one storm in America and the bugger is following every move we make. We are in one of the most driest states in America, in fact we’re heading to the desert, yet the lightning, thunder, winds and rain are right there with us…well they haven’t left us since South Carolina…

It was another day on the Interstate and it was another day of punctures for me. It has got ridiculous the amount I have had, it ruins my days sometimes as getting stuck on the side of an Interstate is not a place you want to be…so again I got rescued by the Support Car, fixed my bike (on the state line lol) to only start cycling again as the storm hits…to start again, to finally get another puncture 4 miles from our destination of Holbrook. I’m getting really frustrated with them and incredibly bored repairing my tyres all of the time. The condition of the I-40 isn’t a help (In New Mexico the road is a disgrace…and thats being nice about it). So tomorrow morning it’s a trip to Wal-Mart to buy a silly amount of inner-tubes because can’t keep patching the ones I have. Some of them have 3-4 patches on and they’re not holding…so it’s been a pretty bad day really, I feel a little disheartened. Still covered 130ish miles but it was downhill the whole way, the shame is, it was on the Interstate…would have been awesome on a quite and scenic road…can’t wait to get off the thing, will be on it tomorrow upto Flagstaff and then we’re off, can’t wait…it’s been horrible…

But hey, not everyday is going to be great and even though I’m glad today is over it won’t deter how awesome this trip has been! Was thinking and chatting to Steve about how we are coming to the end, and even though I’m looking forward to getting to Santa Monica, it’s also going to be hard to know that our journey will be done…though I will not miss the punctures, that I will be very happy about… 🙂