The Route So Far - Google Maps

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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 4, 2010

A day of new things...

...some good, some bad. We set off early-ish today, leaving at 9.30. I had bad feelings about it - despite some great waffles and good cereal in the motel, Alex's legs were knackered before reaching the 2 mile mark. We are aiming towards Knoxville, Tennessee, but keeping one eye on the weather channel - there has been widespread flooding in that area recently.

We had only managed 30 miles by 2pm, 4.5hrs later, due to an enormous climb up into Christiansburg. We went up more than 1000ft - uphill for 3kms, taking 20 mins. This has been the first proper hill, and for us marks the real start of the Appalachian mountain range that will stay with us for a while. Although this means that the scenery is amazing, it is without doubt one of the worst things as a bicyclist to be looking upwards no matter what direction you look - a common occurence today.

We stopped for lunch at 2, in a Macdonalds - the first of the trip. We went all out on their $1 Cheeseburger, and ate 5 each! This was over 3000 calories, and had the effect of slowing us down for the next 20 miles, although it nearly doubled our burger count.

As we waddled out of MacDonalds, we found an even more unusual sight than our reflections; we have been waiting to find another person cycling across America, and today we finally did! The only catch was, while we are doing it on two wheels, he is doing it on 1! But he is going a similar speed to us nonetheless, and we are now camped 10 yards from him in a park in Wytheville, VA.

By the end of the day, we had managed 72 miles, and are now happily lying in Patsy (our tent's first night out) - using some seriously random wifi, having eaten a massive pizza.

One other new thing - other than the tent and the burgers and the mountains and the unicyclist, was that I am now taking video's on my camera which may appear up here shortly - filmed while riding with no-hands - a feat I managed for a 3km long single stretch today.

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