It’s been a month since we dipped our wheels in the Atlantic Ocean and my dream of nearly 20 years finally fulfilled. I’m now back at work but never a day goes by when I don’t think about the amazing adventure I had and the wonderful people I met and shared my journey with. The transition back to working life has been very difficult and I’m not sure how long I am going to be able to stick at it. Everyone said it would be difficult, but having spent the best part of 2 months away I have realised that there is more to life than work. Riding each day gave me the opportunity to explore my inner self and to think about how I would like to spend the coming years. It made me realise just how precious life is, how enjoyable it can be and how thankful I am for good health. In the ideal world I would retire tomorrow, but I guess that is not being realistic so I intend to put a plan in place to retire at the earliest opportunity.
This adventure would not have been possible without the love and support of my wife Sarah and son Benjamin, they have both been amazing. When I had doubts about my ability to see this adventure through they were always there for me, offering words of encouragement and listening to my worries and concerns. I found it really helpful often just to be able talk about the journey ahead, bounce ideas off them and just having them there to provide the moral support I often needed. Ben was always asking about my training program, how many miles I had done during the current week and giving me a general kick whenever I was being lazy. We often met up on a Friday evening for a ride home together and I enjoyed those times that we spent together. Sarah could always be relied upon to keep me on track and without her support and willingness to help I don’t think this adventure would ever have happened.
Riding for Dorothy House and Naomi House was an added motivation to see this adventure through. Both charities are amazing in what they do and I hope that the monies raised through the generous sponsorship I have received from family and friends will help them to continue to provide the wonderful support they provide during the difficult times. My mother-in-law Dolly was a very kind and generous lady and we shared many happy years together and I hope she would have been proud of my achievement.
I guess none of this would have happened had I not inadvertently found ‘Crossroads Cycling Adventures’ one evening when I had nothing better to do than surf the internet. It is still very hard to describe the feeling I had as I read Tracy’s story about her first cross country ride, it made my spine tingle and rekindled a flame that had lay flickering for many years. It made me realise that life was about living and fulfilling dreams and aspirations. I’ll never ever forget her words, they mean so much to me.
Tracy and her team were an incredible group of people, they were so professional in what they did, yet everything they did throughout our journey was never too much trouble – they were there for us 24 hours a day. They knew how to help and motivate people when the going got tough, they always knew the right words to say and I never once felt they did not have my best interest and safety at heart.
Finally, I could not sign off this blog without mentioning the riders with whom I rode. There were five of us from the UK on the ride and the rest were from the USA. Having been to America several times on holiday I have always found the people to be very friendly nation and the riders on this tour were no exception. From the moment we met in Los Angeles we gelled together as a team with a common goal of completing our journey across the country. We shared so many happy experiences together and developed friendships that will last for ever.
This is the end of our journey together and until the next time, whenever or wherever that may be, always be sure to ‘Follow Your Dreams’.