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Month: May 2017

Day 27 – It was a close shave up the mountain

Day 27 – It was a close shave up the mountain

Day 27 (May 28th)

Distance 63.89 miles

I said some unchristian things in the mountains today.

The day went as follows:

Leave Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado.

Climb 2,000ft to Willow Creek Pass at 9,683ft.

Come down the other side and set up camp in Walden, Colorado.

To add a bit more detail:

I was battered by hail storms on the way up. I was battered by hail storms at the top. And I was battered by hailstorms on the way down.

In fact, today is the first day I’ve felt in a bit of danger. Once I made it to the top I could see the darkest clouds coming my way so I hastily started my descent. Shortly after that the weather came in as a mixture of snow and hail and it went dark.. The point where I really felt in danger was when my hands weren’t my own any more. I couldn’t feel a thing and eventually had to pull off the road still way up in the mountain. Using my hours of Bear Grylls viewing I took my frozen gloves off and put my hands under my armpits. It was so painful warming them back up, I could feel them throb and ache!

A break in the weather appeared at which point I made it down the mountain like a rocket. I was close to the point of setting up an emergency camp as I had no signal to make an SOS call.

30 miles later I made it to Walden and got a hot drink from the petrol station. The bloke could see how drenched and cold I was so told me I could have it for free. Another kind human encounter.

I survived my moment of panic and can understand how people get caught out up the mountains.

Yours in cycling,


Day 25 – All you can eat

Day 25 – All you can eat

Day 25 (May 26th)
After yesterday’s climb I took it easy today. It was a relaxed pedal down a bike trail and across a dam into Dillon. I could have been in Center Parcs.


I had a couple of hours down on the stony beach of the lake in search of gold. I found a few glittery stones but no nuggets.


Next stop was a cheap hotel for all of the comforts like a bed, warmth, hot water and wifi.


Today I had an all you can eat Chinese buffet, two bananas, some oats and two jacket potatoes.


Yours in cycling,


Day 24 – Hoosier Daddy!?

Day 24 – Hoosier Daddy!?

Day 24 (May 25th)
Distance 28 miles
It was a big day on the journey, I made it 11,539ft above sea level to Hoosier Pass! It’s also the highest I’ve been on land, apart from that one time at a party, buts that’s another story for another day.
The weather was perfect, blue skies and deep snow. The climbing however was less than perfect, the whole time I was gasping for air and was even pushing the bike at a few points. Nevertheless I made it to the top and it felt great to be up there!
I imagined this moment for so long before now, seeing other cyclists having their photo taken with the sign on their blogs as a badge of honour. I realised the dream!
I stayed up there for an hour enjoying the moment and refuelling then I began the rapid descent down the other side. I came down 2,000ft in 10 miles and didn’t pedal once. It felt like being back on a motorbike, actually, why didn’t I do all of this on a motorbike?
Camping by a river tonight with snow covered mountains as a back drop, this is adventure.
Yours in cycling,

Days 22 & 23 – IOU

Days 22 & 23 – IOU

Day 22 & 23 (May 23rd and 24th)
I’ve been plodding through the miles and going up in altitude these last couple of days.
Slow riding made worse with constant headwinds bleurghhhhh.
I did however meet great people in Hartsel in a bar and also in FairPlay in a coffee shop. All of these people were so generous and kind.


I’m constantly amazed with how people are treating this stranger with a funny accent that cycles through their towns.
I appreciate it everyone, however I feel the need to give back, if anyone clocks me and wants a hand with their garden or something please let me know!
Yours in cycling,

Day 21 – A Wolf in Wolf’s clothing

Day 21 – A Wolf in Wolf’s clothing

Day 21 (May 22nd)

Today is a rest day as my knees were in bits after yesterday.

I woke up and Karen gave me a tour of the mountain ranges in the area and then took us down to the same restaurant for breakfast. She introduced us to her friends and we all sat and chatted for an hour.


Before I could even get my wallet out Karen had paid and refused my money. I’m still awkward around things like people paying for me but I thanked her for the hot food (hot food is kind of a luxury these days).


Karen knew a Wolf sanctuary near hers so got us booked in. We got there and it was only myself and Aurel for the tour. The boss man Mark walked us around these beautiful animals and told us in detail about each one. Man knows his wolves!

As we came to the end of the tour Mark said that we would now be going in with all the wolves and I laughed, it turns out he wasn’t joking!


Before we entered each area he told us which wolves we could initiate contact with and which ones we weren’t to approach unless they came to us.

There was one pure Wolf named Thor that I was told not to approach. He walked over to me, got up on his back legs and put his giant paws on my shoulders and looked down at me, his nose inches from mine. He stared at me, sniffed and then started licking my face.

As if this was a sign that Thor had approved of me I was now allowed to stroke him, which was lucky as I was starting to struggle under his weight.
What an incredible experience!


I must stress that this wasn’t a zoo, it was a refuge for wolves that humans had naively thought they could domesticate who then in a lot of cases would abuse. Oh humans.

On a lighter note I really thought my first experience with wolves would be me running through a foggy, moonlit wood crying with a pack hunting me down. I preferred today.

Yours in cycling,

Day 20 – Deer Town

Day 20 – Deer Town

Day 20 (May 21st)

Distance 37.12 miles

Climb 3,500 ft

So today I woke up and left the Abbey and started the climbing.

This is the first day that I’ve considered selling my bike on the side of the road. The climbs were never ending and around every bend you could be sure there was another hill.


In total I climbed approx 3,500ft and finished the day at around 9,000ft above sea level. At this height the air is thinner and I’m always short of breath on the bike.

I made it to a quirky western town called Guffey, which is ironic as there were such strong winds today. The one man that officially offered accommodation was out of town so we headed to the restaurant to formulate a plan.

As soon as we were in the restaurant a lady that worked there called Karen came over to chat to us. It turns out not all heroes wear capes as Karen (who was cape-less) offered us a place to stay at hers. Zingerrrr!

She told us to follow her car up a hill through the town and I suddenly had a bit more pedal power in me. By this point it was dusk and the town was now inhabited by loads of deer, it’s also worth noting it was bloody freezing.

I made it up the hill, pushing that last 100 metres as my tank ran empty. At the top was an incredible lodge, and as I walked inside I felt the heat of the fire hit me.

I got a lovely hot shower, a coffee and a comfy sofa. Karen you darling!

Yours in cycling,

Day 19 – One night in Abbey

Day 19 – One night in Abbey

Day 19 (May 20th)

Distance 54 miles

The mountains have been good getting closer over the passed few days. I’ve felt like Frodo on his way to Mordor.

The climbing has begun today and every foot we get higher the temperature falls. Tonight is rain and near freezing temperatures. That’s a combo that I don’t fancy camping in, especially as I threw my roll mat away on day 3 haha!

As luck would have it we found an Abbey that had a dormitory for $15, so no storms for me!

Tomorrow is a big climbing day and I’m headed for 2ft of snow. On top of that it’s a long way to the next town so it could be a cold night!


Yours in cycling,

Day 18 – A town called Pueblo

Day 18 – A town called Pueblo

Day 18 (May 19th)

Distance 30 miles

We left Boone around 8am under a misty drizzle, 10 minutes later it was pissing it down.

I was actually laughing throughout the morning as each time a lorry passed a wave of water and wind smashed into me and knocked me off course. It was chaos.

We pulled over at a petrol station where I had a cup of coffee and three hot dogs.

Early afternoon we made it to a town called Pueblo and by this time the rain became hail, so we headed for shelter.

I fell asleep around 6pm and woke up 12 hours later so it was well worth it. There’s nothing like being inside when the weather outside is bad.

Yours in cycling,


Day 17 – Flying the Flag for the UK and US…

Day 17 – Flying the Flag for the UK and US…

Day 17 (May 18th)

Distance 24 miles

We left Kevin’s house around 11am but not before a cooked breakfast.

We cycled on a straight rode as far as the eye could see and stopped for lunch under one of the only trees we saw. Aurel tried his drone out and I’m telling you he is going to get some unreal shots from that thing.

We made it to a little town called Boone and got set up on the towns park grounds. I was keen to meet some locals and also for a pint so headed to the only bar in the town, the VFW which stood for Veterans of Foreign Wars.

As soon as I got in I was welcomed to take a seat at the bar and the hours flew by. Everyone was so chatty and asked me loads of questions about the UK which made me laugh. Us Brits must look quite weird in their eyes! A lovely couple called Jeff and Diana in particular were brilliant, they must be specialists on the UK.

To top it off the VFW bar gave me a US flag! With that on the back of my bike I’m hoping to get even more space as the trucks pass.

Boone is a cool town!

Yours in cycling,


Day 14, 15 and 16 – A shower with the old bill

Day 14, 15 and 16 – A shower with the old bill

Days 14, 15, 16 (May 15th, 16th, 17th) (probably)

Distance 25 miles

I don’t even know what day it is.

Myself and my bike made it through the train journeys fine, loads of leg space and brilliant views.

The train stopped off at La Junta, Colorado which is where I got off. I changed into my bib shorts, loaded up on a few gallons of water and headed off.

The day was one long straight road and it’s the first time I’ve experienced it. I even got to watch a storm roll in in front of me which was incredible.

We made it to a RV campsite but no one was in. At that point a bloke pulled up and went into the launderette next door so I asked him if he knew where the camp site owners were. We got chatting about the cycle as he himself is a keen traveler!

He went in to get his clothes but popped out mid way to tell us we could stay at his and use his shower. I’m still amazed at how kind people are, we are two weird Europeans on bicycles but people offer us their homes and hot water. Unreal.

We loaded the bikes onto his truck and got to his, as we pulled up the old bill were parked up outside his house. Turns out he is a deputy in the police so it was his police truck outside lol.

He welcomed us into his house, showed us how the shower worked and told us to help ourselves to anything in the fridge. Then he went out for a meal with his girlfriend, so it was just myself, Aurel and Kevin’s cat in the house haha.

Kevin thank you mate, as soon as you head to the UK let me know, mi casa es su casa my friend!

Yours in cycling,



Day 13 – Dancing in the Dark Park

Day 13 – Dancing in the Dark Park

Day 13 (May 14th)

Last night I pitched up in a wooded area in a park close to the train station.

I was at the park a bit too early so read and ate on a bench. With time on my hands I popped to the petrol station to get a can of ice tea. The bloke working there told me I would get a telling off by the police if I was seen drinking alcohol in public, so he told me to do what everyone else does. He disappeared and came back with a Pepsi cup, told me to put ice in it and fill it up with me ice tea lols. Cheers mate.

Returning outside there was an undesirable person eyeing up my bike. “Yo, you got disc brakes on that, are you staying round here?”. I told him I was in a hotel just over the road and I cycled off as he was still trying to speak with me, that wasn’t a convo I wanted to get bogged down in.

I made it back to the park and there were a bunch of cars pulled up with blaring music and women dancing in the centre. From seeing rap videos this scene looked familiar. I think the women may have been Thots in their natural habitat and I believe everyone could have been drinking Gin and Juice. It was on until around 1am and sounded litttttt, however I refrained from joining in.

I hung around the station and met the man who would be driving my train. He told me to go to the grocery store before I board the train as the food is overpriced. I cycled to the grocery store and locked my bike up outside. I felt a bit uncomfortable in the area so opted for a whistle whilst I shopped (a whistle says I’m content and I’m confident in this shop).

10 seconds into whistling and this zombie of a human walks over to me and tells me if I continued whistling he would chop my toes off with bolt cutters looking me dead in the eyes, then he gave me a fist bump. I stopped whistling, got my bananas and left.

All aboard the train and it’s safety.

Yours in cycling,


Day 12 – Kindness and colour from a Viet Vet…

Day 12 – Kindness and colour from a Viet Vet…

Day 12 (May 13th)

So the mission today was to make it back to Charlottesville in time for the train tomorrow. The route back was 120 miles over the mountains so we rented a truck and loaded the bikes on the back. I might get me a big truck when I’m back in the UK, they’re fun!

Once in Charlottesville I drove the truck to the rental shop and expected to cycle to the train station after. I was lucky as when I got there the bloke actually dropped me off at the station!

We chatted the whole way back and this old fella was incredible. A Vietnam veteran with some unbelievable stories and a colourful life, really inspiring and I was glad to have met him. I hope my life has even half of that much colour.

As he drove off he put the window down and told me, “you know, it’s legal out there”, what a lad.

Yours in cycling,



D Day

D Day

Days 9, 10 & 11 (May 10th, 11th, 12th)

Decision Time

Hiya everyone, Virginia has seen storms and torrential rain over the past few days so I’ve taken shelter in a Super 8 hotel.


It’s been lovely TBH, I’ve had a lot of baths, ate a lot of food and made an offline Spotify playlist so I have something to listen to back on the road.

I’ve also had a chance to look at the bigger picture. I was hoping to average 50-60 miles a day and that would afford me a few rest days. That was a plan formulated on my sofa at home and in reality it’s not working. I’ve made it over a decent wedge of the Appalachian mountains which were always going to slow me down but the past week has given me a taster of unforeseen delays like the weather.

I want the journey to be more than me just being strapped to my bike and moving onwards everyday. So far I haven’t deviated from the route and have missed some places I would liked to have visited.


I want to see the sights, meet the people and be able to stop whenever I like and this is more important than churning out the miles everyday.

This means my route is changing a little (Trans America purists look away!). From Radford,  Virginia I’m going to get on a train and take the Cardinal Route to Chicago, from here I will take the Southwest Chief to Lamar, Kansas. Essentially I’m going to bypass 2 states in the middle of the country, cutting miles and giving me more time to see some beautiful places and have a couple of beers along the way.

In the perfect world I would have more than 3 months to cycle but the Visa can’t be extended.


For my own ego I’m still going to hit >2,500 miles which as the crow flies is the width of America. So at dinner parties I can still bang that out, haven’t been to a dinner party  yet but anyway.


As a perfectionist it pains me massively to break the route up with non bicycle travel, but sometimes that’s the way the cookie crumbles.


Yours in cycling,


Day 8 – Thank the Lord

Day 8 – Thank the Lord

Day 8 May 9th

Cycling time 4:59

Distance 44.0miles

Average Speed 8.6mph

Max Speed 32.1mph

Another good days riding and also a coffee shop visit! I spent about an hour and a half in there getting a few bits done and catching up with people back home.

The coffee shop bloke told us that a weather front was coming in and would be followed by 4 days of rain. As he said that spits of rain hit the window lol.

Leaving the warmth of the coffee to face the rain and cold wasn’t easy, and I almost asked if there were any temp summer jobs in the shop.

The rain came down alllllllll day, I thought I came for a sunshine trip!?

I stopped at a Presbyterian church at the end of the day to ask to sleep on their lawn. No one was in so I couldn’t ask, but the Lord told me Yes, so I pitched up (thank you Lord).

Tomorrow night I’m getting a hotel, a motel or a Holiday Inn. Bun this weather.


Yours in cycling,


Day 7 – I miss my Roll Mat

Day 7 – I miss my Roll Mat


Day 7 – May 8th

Cycling time 5:21

Distance 44.67miles

Average Speed 8.3mph

Max Speed 37mph

Jesus I shouldn’t have gotten rid of my roll mat, it’s so cold on the floor!

Today marked the day where I moved from 25c nut bars to actual grown healthy food. I had a good week of eating gas station food but can’t keep it up.

I’m banging through the miles at the moment, no sightseeing but I will have to assess this soon as I need a better balance!

I’m sleeping in my trainers tonight for extra warmth.

Hope you’re all getting on well!

Yours in cycling,


Day 6 – I miss my Sister (‘s cooking)

Day 6 – I miss my Sister (‘s cooking)

Day 6 – May 7th

Cycling time 4:52

Distance 37.12 miles

Average Speed 7.6mph

Max Speed 33.5mph

I have cold bones!

It rained through the night and this morning was so cold! I packed up my soggy tent and was on the bike by 7:45am in my thermals.

The day consisted of steep climbs and remained cold enough for me to spend 10 minutes digging my gloves out.

It’s going to be in the 30’s tonight in Fahrenheit, per my calculations that’s Antarctica levels correct me if I’m wrong.

Another cold food night I miss my sister’s cooking!

Yours in cycling,


Day 5 – Not all american dogs want to eat me

Day 5 – Not all american dogs want to eat me


Day 5 May 6th

Cycling time 4:14

Distance 28.72 miles

Average Speed 6.7mph

Max Speed 31.6mph

6.7mph Average?!! More rain this morning so we stayed round Helen’s drinking coffee and I played with her 3 little dogs.

Once we set off we climbed the whole day almost! In total we got 2,200ft further into the sky and made it onto the blue ridge parkway.

With nowhere to stay in site we are wild camping off the road and for dinner I’m having tablespoons of Peanut Butter, quantity unknown.

I miss hot food!

Yours in cycling,


Day 4 – A Tumble and Tinnies with my Name on

Day 4 – A Tumble and Tinnies with my Name on


Day 4 May 5th

Cycling time 5:40

Distance 53.96 miles

Average Speed 9.5mph

Max Speed 33.3mph

I waited out a storm before packing up the tent meaning I left around 10:30am but more importantly I left dry.

Nothing to report cycling wise however I had my first tumble! I was about to head over the crest of a hill but wanted an approaching truck to pass  me before I went over it so I slowed down. The truck took longer than expected to a point where I was balancing the bike at a stand still. As a rookie I didn’t unclip and just fell over LOLZ. Luckily I fell to my right down a grass verge, no damage and myself and the driver laughed. What a sausage.

Towards the end of the day I began looking for a place to stay just outside Charlottesville and clocked a bloke cycling a fully loaded touring bike so went over to chat with him.

His name is Aurel from France and he’s cycling to Oregon same as me! I’m telling you the world works in mysterious ways, I really wanted to find people doing the same thing as me and here you go!

We decided to look together and unfortunately were rejected from all the churches lol. As we cycled away from the most recent rejection I saw a fire department truck pull up outside a house. Low on options I went to go and ask the lady getting out.

Long story short this lady phoned a friend, got us a place to stay, gave us a couple ice cold beers and $20 to get dinner at a BBQ place she recommended.

Her name was Emily and her friend was called Helen, and I’m so grateful that we came across them! I hope you both have a glance at this, in which case Thank You!! My first impression of Charlottesville is that I love it and the people are wonderful.

First shower in 4 days and I’m now as clean as a whistle!

Yours in cycling



Day 3 – Ricky Bobby

Day 3 – Ricky Bobby


Day 3 May 4th

Cycling time 5:55

Distance 56.65  miles

Average Speed 9.5mph

Max Speed 30.5 mph

Here it is gang, a good day finally! The last two days have been a struggle more mentally than physically. A part of me thought that this journey would be a couple easy hours cycling each day down paraded streets with everyone cheering me on. In reality the days have consisted of sharing roads without hard shoulders with monster trucks billowing black smoke.

I woke up in the bush this morning where I had slipped down the hill. I didn’t set off until gone 9am as I was starting on a busy commuter road.

This morning I made a decision to off load some weight, here’s what I chucked into a skip:

Roll mat

Metal mug & cook tin

2 t shirts

2 vests

1 pair of shorts

The bike is much more manageable now, but my nights may be a bit more uncomfortable lol.

The brooks saddle I bought is doing its job, no sign of farmer Giles if you know what I mean.

I encountered 5 dogs today and outrun 4 of them! In one instance I stopped for water and saw a massive one about 50 metres off the road heading straight for me. Despite the load on the bike I got from 0-20mph quicker than you could say “Ricky Bobby”.


I rode through some funny towns including Bumpass but couldn’t find a sign sadly.

When I made it to an old mining town called Mineral I headed for the fire station. I was praying they would let me stay on their lawn and the fireman confirmed my hopes. What a relief! He told me “cyclists normally set up near the outhouse as its close to the washrooms and the power sockets”. After two tough days I could have cried honestly, he probably thought I was mental.

To top it off as I set my tent up an old bloke drove over and we had a chat about where I was headed and where I was from. He told me that he and everyone else in Mineral will pray for me and keep me in their thoughts for a safe journey to Oregon.

As I write this I’m in the Main Street restaurant with a full belly surrounded by people. The storm has stayed outside and I’m warm and dry, today was the best day.


Yours in cycling,


Day 2 – The Missing Campsite

Day 2 – The Missing Campsite


Day 2 May 3rd

Cycling time 7:00

Distance 55.97  miles

Average Speed 7.9 mph

Max Speed 24.1 mph

Started off sore today, my right knee was really painful through the pedalling motion so I’ve been worried about it. Today I tried out the clipless pedals and they actually really helped especially up the hills.

It was a decent days ride and I’m shattered now, unfortunately the campsite on my map didn’t exist so I’m sleeping behind a bush round the back of Applebee’s. I’m that tired I could sleep anywhere.


I still haven’t come across any other cyclists but I’m hoping to soon. I’m going to call 3 tomorrow to get coverage over here as I’m missing everyone back home. It’s been a hard couple of days!


Yours in cycling,


Day 1 – Go West Young Man

Day 1 – Go West Young Man


Day 1 May 2nd

Cycling time 4:06

Distance 34.79 miles

Average Speed 8.4mph

Max Speed 23.7mph

I made it to Yorktown Virginia yesterday evening and spent the night in a motel. It took me a few hours to reassemble the bike as I added clip-less pedals and an odometer. Luckily the bike made the journey unharmed!

This morning I disposed of my bike box and suitcase in a skip outside the motel then went for breakfast. The gang working in the restaurant gave me a free OJ for good luck lol.

I made it down to the waterfront for the traditional dip of the back wheel and met an old bloke called Tom who was kind enough to take my photo whilst his Golden Retriever sat in with me.

After that the day was a blur, getting the bike up hills is so tough but these aren’t even hills really!

It’s welllllll windy tonight and the ground was too hard for pegs, so I’m almost certain that the top layer of my tent is going to blow off this evening. I’ve covered it in rocks and sticks so fingers crossed.

The day is won but this is going to be a tough journey.

Yours in cycling,



Mic Check 1 2. Let’s start this adventure!!

Mic Check 1 2. Let’s start this adventure!!

  • Move out the flat – check
  • Finish job – check
  • Park car up – check
  • Get bike packed up-  check
  • Have witty small talk with check in lady about cycling across America – check
  • Hand over the bike and ask the baggage bloke to please be careful – check

This weekend was lit so rushed I thought I’d have so much more time, but here I am waiting to get on the plane trying not to think about what I may have forgotten.


My next communication will be stateside where I finally get to see what all this cycling malarkey is like.


I’m checking into a hotel tonight to get everything ready to rumble and also to get some rice for the road.


Just about to board, wish me luck!


You’re in cycling,