It is hard to imagine that a week today I will be in California, wheel dipping in the Pacific Ocean before heading eastwards on a 3,500 mile cycle ride to Boston.
The last week has been hectic, purchasing the remaining odds and ends and performing a mock bag pack to ensure that everything fits into my two duffel bags and stays within the 30 pound weight limit. It’s difficult to imagine living out of two duffel bags for the best part of two months but no doubt I will survive along with the other 24 riders on tour.
Talking of riders we have all now exchanged short introductions with one another and we have a great bunch of characters participating from all walks of life. There are five of us going from the UK, the remaining 20 being Americans, all with the same dream of pedalling our way across the USA. An interesting fact is that at aged 58, I am one of the younger riders!
I finished work last Friday and it seemed very strange walking out of the AT&T offices in Havant knowing that I would not be returning until early July. My work colleagues have been very supportive and I would like to thank them all for picking up my responsibilities whilst I am away, without which I could not have contemplated this adventure.
Sponsorship has picked up over the past week and as I write this it currently stands at £3,240 + Gift Aid so I am well on the way to my personal target of £5,000. I have received donations from lots of people who I never expected and I am grateful to everyone that have shown support and kindness for my chosen charities.
The bike was packed yesterday by Andy at Hargroves Cycles in Fareham and I would like to thank all at Hargroves for the support, encouragement and friendship they have shown me over recent months.
There really is not a lot more to say on this blog other than to thank everybody who has in some way contributed to helping me get to this point in my adventure. A special thank you to my wife Sarah who encouraged me to ‘follow my dream’ and to my son, Benjamin who has joined me on training rides and given me verbal grief on several occasions when I have dipped out of riding in the wet and windy British weather. I hope to do you all proud and as I jet off to the warm Californian sunshine I will leave you with these words given to me by my father:-
An Irish Blessing
May the road
rise up to meet you
May the wind be
always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And rains fall softly
upon your fields
And, until we meet again,
May the good Lord hold you in the palm of His Hand.