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

June 12, 2010

One long hill and a waterfall


Day 45 - Torrey to Calf Creek Campground, 50 miles, 4 more burgers, 6 hours riding, 12 more waves - totals 106 burgers, 45 waves, 4708kms

We battled for hours to get up Boulder Mountain, taking 3 hours of riding, but 5 hours in total - any excuse to stop, we stopped. We had some great chats with several cyclists and some motorcyclists from England at a viewpoint. It took us such a long time to get up because the wind wasn't being helpful, and we were just too tired. We have gone since Pueblo without a rest day. This hill reminded us that its not possible to go that far for that long. Your mind thinks you can, but the legs say stop.

Once over the top, at 4.15 having started the day at 10.15, we stopped in the little town of Boulder, for lunch/supper - a huge burger each, for a huge price. After relaxing in the restaurant for a couple of hours, we set off again, aiming for a campground 13 miles away and mostly downhill. After about 8 miles, you come to a section call the Hogback. Our maps describe it as either the Terror or Highlight of the route; a thin section of road with sheer 1000ft drops either side, and no guardrails or shoulders - "Ride Carefully and Defensively". When you combine this with the steepest gradient we have faced in Utah: 14% downhill, some hairpin bends along the ridge and 50 mile winds, you get an epic 4 miles. It was AWESOME. When I come back to America, I will make sure I come back to the Hogback, and if you go, you should too. It is pretty hectic even in a van! They call it the Miracle highway - and you can understand why, it is impossible to imagine how it was built.

Calf creek campground was underneath the Hogback, a noisy but nice campground in the gorge. It is amazing how the energy comes back as soon as you get off your bike - we had seen pictures of a waterfall accessible from Calf Creek in some of the postcards we've seen, so we thought we had to go have a swim. It was also the only shower in 15 miles. This meant quickly popping up our tent, and then going 3 miles to the waterfall and 3 miles back, apparently a 3-4 hour hike, in the last remaining hour of daylight. I took off, running along in my flipflops, while Alex walked steadfastly in his riding shoes (we sent our trainers back in St Louis). I got there at 8.30, and had a great dip and took some pictures. Then I started on the long run back. A little way back I got in amongst a herd of deer and stopped dead still because they hadn't moved. I watched them for 5 minutes, until suddenly they all took flight, and Alex appeared! I had sent a message back with the only other person on the trail to tell him to go back - after 20 minutes of running, I was still a mile away, and I knew we might regret this little escapade after about mile 30 of 80 the next day. But he had carrried on, so we turned back and went for another dip, before finally heading to back to bed in the dark. Luckily Alex had his headtorch, and the stars were bright, so we got back safely at 10, and went straight to sleep.
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