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 15, 2010

St Louis, Missouri

Nashville, IL to St Louis, MO – 65 miles, 2 broken spokes (1W, 1A) 1 Fall, 3 burgers, New State = Missouri. Totals – 3 punctures, 7 broken spokes, 3 falls, 51 burgers, 2136km, 12 states. 20 days – 18 riding.

Today was long. Although 65 miles is well below our average per riding day of 75 miles, the tough bit today was knowing we had a really long time to do it in – which means that “why not stop for just a little while!?” is a very hard question to say no to! We are also mentally drained – I haven’t worked for 18 out of 20 days since the Christmas rush at Black Mountains Smokery - – check it out – good food, delivered to your door anywhere in the UK. I think that we would have been in danger of really mucking up in the traffic later on in the day, had I not taken a tumble early on in the day.

Now falling off a bike is not perfect – the aim is to keep riding. But nevertheless, there is such a thing as a perfect fall. Today I managed to do a perfect fall. After 2hrs and 25 minutes of riding, your body has just gone into autopilot, your mind is relaxed. A bit too relaxed in my case – A gust of wind took my front tire into Alex’s back left pannier and pinned me there. Soon after – and I’m not clear how - I was somersaulting down a grassy verge on the right side of the road, my bike having flipped to a standstill. The perfect part of the fall, is that it took up no extra time – serving as a more dramatic way to stop for a loo break, it didn’t injure me or the bike, and it acted as a wake-up call that cycling is dangerous if you switch off. Although I have already ploughed through a couple of ditches on this trip – this is my first fall, the other times I stayed on my bike which means that Alex is winning the falls category and the puncture category 2-1, and the spokes category 5–2.

On arrival in St Louis, we went to the bike shop, after a quick visit to hold up the Arch; a huge monument, the biggest in America. We left Alex’s bike with the bike shop, for them to rebuild his wheel. I then rode on, to my uncle’s house where we will stay until Tuesday. Last week we shunted a rest day forward – so that we could wait long enough in St Louis to get Alex’s tire fixed. This made us more tired last week but means that I now don’t have to put on my Lycra shorts or get on a bike for the next 3 days – a thing you would also enjoy – after 2000kms of riding and 18 days of Lycra.

Time to relax, and read, and watch 20/20 cricket! But, we must also fix my spoke and plot the route up to Pueblo, Colorado.


As a side note – the picture is of a big red plane that we found hanging in the only cafe in a small town called Belle Rive. It has only 200 people, and the cafe doubles as the shop. It was a classic. To set the scene, imagine this: A pump action shotgun lying on the customer side of the counter, ready for action, a deer rifle by the till, and a massive bow and arrow (“take out a deer at 200 yards”) on the shelf. It is run by a husband and wife team - and they are not at all business minded - it was marked closed outside, and they would have a look outside at the few people who came past, and select even fewer to let in! On hearing of our mission, they plied us with chocolate bars and water, and told us stories of how dangerous the roads were. But, to me, the most interesting thing was the model aeroplanes hanging above us. My dad has always had a soft spot for model aeroplanes, which means that I take an interest, but these ones were so big one could not fail to see them. When I asked about them, the owner said that they all flew, they were remote control planes made by a local lad, crafted in wood and powered by the engines of old lawnmowers. Truly awesome machines. The plate is a standard size, which I made Alex lift up to give you a scale.

1 comment:

  1. Oi Oi!
    Did you see that twenty twenty last night?!
    Aus vs Pak!
    It was seriously cool, find highlights if you can..
    And keep it going, you are cruising!