Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Stateside Snaps!

At last an opportunity to load down ... or is it up ... some snaps? So, after months of being deprived of any images you now have a deluge of them. Unfortunately, I have had a problem with my memory card, so at the moment I can only retrieve a few of my American pics.

I have just cycled into Georgia from Alabama and within twenty three miles I will have cycled out again into Tennessee on my way up Highway 11, which runs all the way north for about 1000 miles to New York State.

New Zealand - Breathtaking At Every Turn!

Adelaide to Melbourne!

Now that I am in America it seems only natural that I should take the opportunity to post some Oz pics from Adelaide to Melbourne, along 'The Great Ocean Road'.

Resting at Ronnie's. Ronnie, who was kind enough to 'put me up' and to 'put up with me' once I reached Adelaide has just released her latest album. She is an excellent singer/songwriter but you can judge for yourself. Have a peep at:

Sunset at St kilda, Melbourne where I caught up with my cousins Ryan and Emily, who are enjoying a one year jaunt across Australia!

Soothing my complaining calves in the cool, frothy ferment.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Weathering The Storm!

Enjoying a couple of rest days in Springville, Alabama where the wild weather has eventually caught up with me. Fortunately I have the lovely company of five and a half year old Christina and her snow sculptures to keep my mind off the cold.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Please Do Not Adjust Your Screen!

Due to mounting email requests and perpetual pressure from my parents I have taken this rather extreme measure of actually writing something on my blog.

Not having much access to the net in the States would be a poor excuse for my months of blogging bankruptcy - my blog was already in a state, long before I reached any of them!

However, as there is always a positive side to every situation, perhaps I could patent my blog and corner the market in maintenance free blogging!

In my defence, on the rare occasion that I have passed a public library, I have not been allowed to download any photographs and have only been allocated thirty minutes of time which has been rapidly used up by responding to essential emails and/or frantically checking football scores!

I am currently sitting in a lovely louvre like lit structure of a library in Trussville, Alabama. The smiling winter sun is streaming through but unfortunately still floundering in its efforts to lift the outside temperature above freezing.

My Stateside cycle ride started six weeks ago in San Francisco and found me winding my way down the wickedly beautiful west coast and Big Sur to north of Los Angeles.

I then edged my way east through the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico, rejoicing in the remoteness of the roads and the resilience of the solitary saguaro cacti, standing proud and defiant, despite the desolate conditions.

A burst of energy saw me tear through Texas with over five hundred miles in five days breaking the back of the lovely 'Lone Star State' - my own one remained surprisingly supple!

Louisiana and Mississippi saw speed and temperatures drop, along with plenty of precipitation. My spirits were dampened too by a continual cat and mouse game with the State Troopers (traffic police) who gave me contradictory advice regarding riding on the interstate - whilst 'debating' with one officer he threatened to impound my bike if I continued to argue with him! We eventually parted on good terms with me leaving him and the interstate to hare along highway 80 under a full moon. Stopping for a late night caffeine kick I started chatting to some youths who were covered in colourful tattoo's. However, a couple of guys were tattoo free. Whilst asking why this should be, they simultaneously turned around, dropped their drawers to reveal branded buttocks - a different form of cheek from youngsters!

Despite different cultures, creeds and constitutions, I have found out that people are people and ultimately, have the same heart. At the risk of repeating myself, the continued overriding impression from the trip has been the love, warmth and compassion in every country. This has been further accentuated in America where along with the individual nature of each state, there has been a consistent interest, openness and incredible generosity from all the 'friendly folk' I have met.

I will post some pictures with a couple of captions as soon as I get access to a suitable computer. I am in the process of updating the map - you will be able to click on each day for a few explanatory sentences.


I guess I am now on the homeward stretch with around 1,200 miles to go until New York, then the wee matter of the two Irelands. The current 'state' of affairs in America is 2,800 miles cycled with the overall 'running' total being 19,500. At the moment I try to cycle between 60 to 100 miles a day and average between 10 to 18 miles per hour. The least miles cycled in one day has been 7, when I was seduced by a red sofa in a cafe in Greece. The furthest has been in Texas when a wee tail wind helped me along for 166 miles - punctuated by 4 punctures. Months are 22 and counties are 18. My budget has been about 20 quid a day for all expenses. I have slept rough most of the time, behind bus shelters,benches, toilets, truck stops, caravan parks, rain forests, jungle and have also benefited on many occasions by being invited back to strangers homes. I book in somewhere cheap once a week or so to shave and to wash my clothes. The longest I have gone without washing my clothes is probably best kept a secret. In European countries I mostly cooked my own food. In Asia it was possible to buy delicious, cheap street side cuisine. I cooked in Oz and NZ but have usually bought food here in the States - from fast food chains and also supermarkets. By the way ... fast food does not make you go faster!

Thank you so much for all the continual emails of encouragement, the donations on the charity page and the occasional dollars I have been given towards the odd meal or hotel room. People are always telling me how amazed they are at what I have done ... I genuinely feel incredibly fortunate to have been given the opportunity to follow my heart and to use and test my instincts and intuition at a deeper level.

Perhaps this wee quotation explains it better:


The Buddha