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 11, 2010

Leitchfield KY - Monday 10th May

The worst possible start to the day – once we’d finished packing up our kit, we discovered that yet another spoke had broken on Alex’s rear wheel; bringing our broken spokes count up above our puncture count. Spokes however are a much bigger problem than punctures, because to fix them, you need a tool (which we didn’t have) to take the cassette off (a cassette is what you call the thing where the cogs live on the back wheel).

We were well equipped, with spare spokes, but couldn’t put the spoke in, because we couldn’t get the cassette off. The really annoying thing was that before we worked that out, Alex had taken the air out of the tire, and the tire off the rim. Eventually we left at 11ish, far too late, and with a spoke still broken. Alex’s tire was wobbling away, so we had to unhook the back brake to stop it rubbing. We limped 60 miles into Leitchfield, KY to the nearest bike shop at very high speed – an average of 21kph, stopping only for short periods, eating leftover pizza from the night before.

The first bit of the day was tough – Alex constantly had the thought that every mile could be damaging his wheel, as well as the lack of a back brake to contend with and a not quite full tyre to slow him down. But, we made it through to Leitchfield at 5.20pm, having rung up the bike shop to ask them to close later if possible.

When we got to the bike shop, we were met by Rick, who was amazing. He fixed the spoke, and taught us how to, and gave us the tools we need, and some energy bars all for $20. Not content with that, he then told us that there were 20 cross-country cyclists meeting the local lions club of Leitchfield, and that they had put on a meal for them, and would happily have us too. We were extremely grateful to the Lions club for their help and the stacks of pizza. We are now camping in the fairground, beside the other cyclists. They are cycling the other way, and are supported by 3 vans. It’s amazing to see their incredible road bikes, and look at the logistics of their trip, all from the comparative sanity of our one day at a time routine. They are all medical students cycling to raise money for global health.

Time for bed – we will wake when they do, at 6.30!! Can you imagine... Then we will go as far as we can towards Evansville – which will be a mammoth 95 miles if we manage.

No comments:

Post a Comment