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 20, 2010

More spoke issues -May 18th

1 broken spoke, 53 miles - totals: 61 burgers, 8 broken spokes, 12 states, 2230kms

I was right when I said that starting again after our long break would be tough - we only set off after many hours of sorting, and a great breakfast (again many thanks to Tom) at 11.20am. We made it a mile and a half, before exactly the same thing as had happened to Alex, happened to me. We thought that it would be good to have the same bikes because our problems will be the same, and they have been - but the problem is that whenever we get one problem, we are almost guaranteed to get two. Another bit of copycat problems came this morning - both of our pumps are broken - after not much use. Luckily Tom had a spare and very good one, which we hope will treat us well for the rest of the trip.

My chain got caught in the wheel, which ripped up my spokes - as happened to Alex last week, and one spoke even broke on the impact. We limped back to the bike shop that had rebuilt Alex's wheel (twice) - Big Shark Bicycles of St Louis - and asked them very nicely if they would do the same to mine! Luckily they weren't busy, and they fixed my wheel while we enjoyed a reviving hot chocolate from Starbucks. Apparently the problem came because the derailleur may have been bent a bit which puts the gears out of line so we sorted that out too. We eventually set off again at 2.20pm, 3 hours later after a quick check back at the house to see if Alex's parcel had arrived (it hadn't).

We then cycled 15 miles up to the Katy Trail before heading west along it - along the banks of the Missouri River. The Katy Trail is a converted railroad - that has had tightly packed, small gravel poured over it. Many thanks to Megan who helped us find it - it made the start of today a lot easier than it could have been - tired and wet and frustrated as we were. We were tired and frustrated by having to fix bikes, and wet because of the flooding we had to go through to get to the Katy Trail - where all others turned back, we had no option but to plough through a deep section of flooding - having a great time in the process, but soaking everything below the level of a foot and a half.

We then had a casual 35 miles up to Marthasville on the trail, going at a decent pace, and arriving at just after 7. We are now camped beside a baseball pitch where there has been a competition all evening - the annoying thing is that we haven't yet got to sleep - the floodlights are still on.

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