The Route So Far - Google Maps

View X-America by Bicycle in a larger map


We are doing this ride to raise money for Research Autism. We are aiming to raise £20,000.
We are supporting Research Autism because my cousin Jamie is severely affected by the disease, and I have seen its effects not only on him but on the whole family." He is 13yrs old, but cannot yet talk.
Just take a moment to imagine not being able to talk.
Imagine understanding everything going on around you, but not being able to comment.
Imagine having to be dressed every morning in clothes you don't choose, and then hurting your parents as you try to tell them you wanted the blue shirt today.
Imagine being swamped by having to hear everything that everyone is saying around you, and not being able to listen to just one thing at once. Jamie loves being in a swimming pool, just floating, legs held motionless by the weight of the water, while he keeps his ears underwater to just relax, hearing nothing.
He understands everything - he appears to have a photographic memory - but can’t get his thoughts out.
Frustration leads to despair, and anger, which is just one of the many things that his family has to deal with.
He has extremely specific eating requirements and requires round the clock supervision. Jamie is at the severe end of the autistic spectrum, but given that one in 100 people suffer from the disease (with varying severity), and that everyone has some autistic traits, it is shocking that so little is known about it'.
Click here to support our cause and donate to Research Autism.
Read the "Meet Jamie" post - the only post in February, for more information about Jamie, and a poem - painstakingly slow for Jamie to type, but ultimately incredible.

Photo Video - New York to St Louis

May 10, 2010

Anyone got some stabilisers?

A lot has happened since our last blog. As we move further and further to the west, it is becoming increasingly more rural, thus less opportunities to use MacDonald’s free wifi! On Saturday we set out with the aim of covering the 500 miles to St Louis in 8 days, one of those being a rest day. That averages at about 72 miles a day. However, having braved the worst of the Appalachians, 70 miles a day is not too strenuous at all. We didn’t get off to a fantastic start, as the very late night we had in Knoxville, made things come Saturday morning very slow. We only left at 12:30, but we covered really good ground and had done 60 miles or so by 6:30.

Now to explain my title...I thought it would be a good idea to have another tumble. Trying to experience G-Force, on a touring bike, going round a sharp corner, at the end of a steep hill = NOT A GOOD IDEA. Only minor cuts and bruises. I have to say; in the last 2 months I have fallen off my bike more times than I think I have in my entire life!

This morning there was a big drop in temperature...although sunny it was only about 8c. In the morning we ran into two fellow cycle tourers. We chatted to them for about 1 hour. They were both devout Christians, who cycle round the country for a living. They have no income and no credit cards, however leave it up to God to provide for them. How is this possible you may wonder? We asked the very same question, but they do it and it clearly works, as it became apparent that one of them had been on the road, not necessarily cycling, but living off no income since 1984. Eventually, after a good teaching of the Christian faith we got on our way and by 6:30 we had done roughly 70 miles. With only a couple of miles to go till Edmonston, my chain somehow got ridiculously stuck and tangled as I was changing down a gear. So we tugged and pulled for about half an hour, trying to yank the chain out...however no joy. The chain was stuck in a way that the back wheel could not go round, so I couldn’t even walk with the bike at all. I hitch hiked the last mile into Edmonston where I sourced out a car mechanics. There Will and I finally sorted out the problem (with a little help from a local southerner). We couldn’t find a wifi, which we really needed, not only to write a blog but also so we could work out where we would spend the night whether it be a motel or a nearby campsite. So we headed to pizza hut. Fast food always solves our problems. Whilst there Will chatted nicely to the employees and managed to get a place to stay, in the form of a front lawn. One of the workers at pizza hut kindly said we could camp on his front lawn. So after a bit of searching in the dark, we found his house and I am currently sitting in the tent on the lawn, writing this blog! All in all we covered the distance we set out to do and have got a place to stay for the night so it has been a good day.

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