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

Edmonton, KY

Today was a day where a lot more could have gone wrong. Luckily it didn't, so we are now lying in our comfy sleeping bags on Austin's lawn in Edmonton, Kentucky.

It started out well, an early start and a great all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet for $3.99 is a close to perfect beginning to the day. We rode at a decent pace up and down many hills, until at the bottom of one we came across two other guys with bikes. These guys had 3 times as much stuff as us, and on their bikes were all the possessions they had. They said that they aimed to live in the same manner as the early christians - sell all that they own and trust that the Lord will provide for them. We talked to them for a long time – a fun discussion about all things from learning Hebrew to stealing seatposts for bicycles.
We crossed the border from Tennessee to Kentucky at lunchtime today, the ninth state that we have visited on this trip. I should also mention that the clocks have changed, a very unusual occurrence – but good in that it means we are definitely moving west.

We rode on, along roads where there were more animals than cars (which makes a nice change). I saw a snake and some deer as well as another woodpecker, and there are now fields of cows and horses wherever we look. Our first obstacle was called Subtle Rd. The subtlety of this particular road became evident soon after we entered it, without the sign, it would not be called a road, more like a Himalayan trail for Tibetan Yaks. The locals said that they had never seen anyone bicycle up it, so I did. It was tough – and I finished all my remaining water going up it, in constant danger of falling off and of a puncture – it was an extremely steep hill, covered in gravel. Once we had made it over that hill, we had some pleasant views, and a nice run down along a more agreeable, less subtle road. The lucky bit was being forewarned about the subtle hill by the locals, if we hadn’t, we probably would have turned round on seeing it and done a 30 mile detour to get past it.

On the next hill after the run down, Alex’s chain came off and jammed extremely firmly between the cassette and the spokes. Despite a lot of yanking and levering and pulling, we couldn’t get his chain unstuck. Given that we were 1 mile away from a garage – Alex hitched a lift in a pickup, and I cycled up to meet him at the garage in Edmonton. It took a while, but we managed to fix it, and then headed off to find some food and some wifi to find a place to go. – note here how lucky we were to have a good supply of pick-ups to hitch with and a friendly garage with stacks of tools, open at 7pm on a Sunday.

We found the food, but no wifi access, so after a couple of burgers and yet another $10 massive Pizza, we were abit stuck. This is where things could have gone wrong again; we had nowhere to stay – the GPS said the nearest campsite was 20 miles, and the motels office was empty. Luckily, I got chatting to the employee’s of pizza hut, and sourced us a place for free and with wifi, Thank you so much to Austin for all your help.

Tomorrow we will ride 60 miles to Clarkson, then plot some new maps, and try another 20 miles. We have ridden 1570 kilometres, eaten 37 burgers, and I have a new top speed! 41.3mph or 66.4 kph. See below for what I say about yesterday, and what Alex says for the two days.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see that you are making good progress to the west now. Sorry to hear about Alex's tumble and his chain.