USA Coast to Coast - 2016

Current Location – BOSTON, MA

Distance Cycled since Los Angeles – 3,394 miles

Gross elevation gain since Los Angeles – 112,250 ft

Distance Remaining to Boston, MA – 0 miles

The Story

The Dream

In early 1997 I decided to celebrate my forthcoming 40th birthday with an attempt to cycle end to end, from John O’Groats to Lands End, a distance of approximately 900 miles.   My father had successfully completed the ride in 1982 to celebrate his 50th birthday, so I looked to him to help me plan the route.

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The Journey Begins

My last post written a few days ago referred back to the diary I had written in 1997 when I completed my end to end ride from John Groat’s to Land’s End.   The last sentence in my diary read:- ‘What next? – well there is always the ultimate cycle adventure, USA

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No Turning Back Now

Having kept my 2016 cycling adventure secret for several months, with now just since 6 months to go, today I went public. The response has been amazing with many words of encouragement and support, although there have been a few that have questioned my sanity.   Whatever the response there is now no

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Another Milestone Achieved

It has been a real struggle over the past few weeks with strong wind and rain making any ride cold and unpleasant.   Nevertheless I have persevered and tonight I reached another milestone since my return to cycling in June 2014 – 4,000 miles.   If anyone had told me that

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BBC Radio Solent Experience

Happy New Year everyone Well today was a new experience as I appeared for the first time on BBC Radio Solent with presenter Julian Clegg.   I wrote to Julian a few weeks before Christmas telling him about my 2016 Coast2Coast cycling adventure and was invited to become one of

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Made ‘The News’

Pleased with the article that appeared in the ‘Portsmouth News‘ today. Yesterday I paid the balance of my tour fees to CrossRoads Cycling so there is definitely no turning back now.

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3 Months To Go

3 months today – Pacific Ocean, California. Last Friday I had the privilege of a guided tour of Naomi House & Jacksplace, one of my supported hospice charities. What a wonderful place for children and young people, that provides care and support for good days, difficult days and last days

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2 Months To Go

2 months today – Pacific Ocean, California. It’s amazing just how fast the time is going and there is so much left to do in preparation.   On the positive side, training continues to go well and I managed to do several quality rides including a sportive at Amberley, West

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1 Month To Go

1 month today – Pacific Ocean, California. Where has the last month gone?   On a positive note, training continues to go well and even managing to do a couple of good long rides with hills.   Have been back to Hargrove Cycles in Fareham for a follow-up after my bike-fit in

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2 Weeks To Go

2 weeks today – Pacific Ocean, California. When I signed up last year, May 2016 seemed a long way off and there was so much time to get myself prepared for the trip of a lifetime.   Now, with only 2 weeks to go, I realise just how quickly time goes by and the stark realisation that in

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1 week To Go

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

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The Prologue

It’s very hard to describe all of my emotions over the past few days but suffice to say I feel as if I have experienced the full spectrum.   On the one hand, I am really excited that in a matter of days I will have the opportunity to start an adventure that has been

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Day 1 – Orientation

The 2016 CrossRoads Coast2Coast Cycling Adventure formally started at 14:00 today with Orientation.   The tour was introduced by Tracy Leiner, owner of Crossroads with a highly motivational speech that consisted of inspirational passages followed by a formal introduction to her staff who would be supporting this years ride.   The

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Day 2 – Manhattan Beach to Riverside

Distance – 78 miles I knew that after waiting for nearly 20 years, today was going to be something special and I was not disappointed.   I did not sleep much during the night, still suffering from the effects of jet-lag but probably more to do with the excitement and

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Day 3 – Riverside to Indio

Distance – 92 miles. The alarm went again at 05:15 this morning, something I would need to get used to over the coming weeks.  Shower, breakfast, tyres pumped followed by sign on and we were ready to ride the 92 miles to Indio.   Based upon yesterday’s ride I was

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Day 4 – Indio to Blythe

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 Distance – 97 miles (81). Today was the day I had been dreading, desert terrain with high temperatures.  Keeping hydrated was extremely important and we had all been provided with a good briefing the previous evening about the dangers of riding in desert conditions. We started the

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Day 5 – Blythe to Wickenburg

Distance – 116 miles. After the trauma’s of yesterday, today was going to be a tough day, both physically in terms of mileage and also mentally.   I did not sleep well, waking frequently and thinking about what had happened yesterday.   Physically however I felt good, it was the mental side

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Day 6 – Wickenburg to Prescott

Mileage – 59 miles. After yesterday’s longest ride of the tour the thought of a short 59 miles sounds quite rewarding.   However, those 59 miles would see us climbing out of Wickenburg at 2,090′ to Prescott at a height of 5,346′.   The first few miles I struggled to find

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Day 7 – Prescott to Cottonwood

Distance – 44 miles. A short ride today meant a bonus of a 2 hour lie in giving a 09:00 start – whether that was a good thing or not I am not sure as it tended to throw me out of my daily routine.   Nevertheless it was nice to have a low

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Day 8 – Cottonwood to Flagstaff

Distance – 47 miles Today was official ‘weigh day’, our CrossRoads duffel bags that is, not the riders.   Before coming to tour, Tracy had promised to buy ice creams for all duffels that managed to come in at under 25lbs, although the official weight limit was set at 30lbs.  

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Day 9 – Rest Day

Rest Day. It was great to have a lie in this morning, finally surfacing at 08:30 and going down to a full breakfast.   Following breakfast a few of us took a walk to the local Walgreens to purchase bits and pieces after which, Kevin T and I took a

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Day 10 – Flagstaff to Holbrook

Mileage – 92 miles. And so into the second week and I am determined to keep my blog up to date on a daily basis.   Things are a little bit more relaxed now and we are all getting into more of a routine that certainly frees up time.  

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Day 11 – Holbrook to Gallup

Distance – 93 miles (77 miles) After a great day in the saddle yesterday I was concerned that my legs would feel tired this morning but they felt good and we departed Holbrook at 07:00.   Today was going to be a long day but the highlight would be crossing

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Day 12 – Gallup to Grants

Distance – 65 miles The weather watchers in the group had forecast that today was going to be another tough ride with strong headwinds and they were not wrong.   The bonus however was that we had a late start today, 09:00 instead of 07:00 and how lovely those two

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Day 13 – Grants to Albuquerque

Distance – 77 miles Oh how I am looking forward to Saturday and rest day, I was not made to get up everyday at 05:15.   If I could, it would have been so easy to roll over and go back to sleep for a couple of hours but we had

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Day 14 – Albuquerque to Santa Fe

Distance – 67 miles I awoke this morning and got the sense that today was going to be a good day, a tough day yes, but a good day and sure enough it was one of the best so far. Unlike yesterday which was relatively flat with rolling hills towards the

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Day 15 – Rest Day

You do not know how much I appreciated not getting up until 08:00 this morning, it was sheer bliss! Having done all my laundry last night, today was pretty much free to do as I please, except that is to clean my bike and repair yet another rear flat.   Nevertheless,

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Day 16 – Santa Fe to Las Vegas

Mileage – 71 miles And so into week 3 of tour and I am now really into the daily routine.   The key to the 05:15 alarm call is to ensure that everything is completely organised the night before – cycle clothing laid out, water bottles cooling in the refrigerator, tyres

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Day 17 – Las Vegas to Tucumcari

MIleage – 108 miles Today had been billed as one of the hardest days of tour, long distance, high desert, hot temperatures and potentially strong winds.   I was apprehensive about today and did not sleep very well last night thinking about the day ahead.   However, the day turned out

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Day 18 – Tucumcari to Dalhart

Mileage – 96 miles After yesterday’s 108 mile ride today was going to be another tester of 96 miles.  If anyone had told me that I could cycle over 200 miles in just 2 days I would not have believed them so I awoke this morning with mixed feelings as

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Day 19 – Dalhart to Guymon

Mileage – 72 miles Another great day in the saddle, 72 miles, good tailwind with an average speed of just under 18 mph. We left Dalhart at 09:15 this morning, an extra two hours in bed which was great, but it does throw the routine a little and I think

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Day 20 – Guymon to Liberal

Mileage – 40 miles What another amazing day which started well with an extra two hours in bed and got better as the day progressed. Today was one of the shortest days of tour, just 40 miles and we had all day to do it.  The terrain was generally flat

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Day 21 – Liberal to Dodge City

Mileage – 84 miles I did not sleep well last night so when the alarm went off at 05:15 I could have quite easily turned over and gone back to sleep.   However, the daily routine kicked in and I found myself in the hotel foyer at 07:15 signing on

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Day 22 – Dodge City to Great Bend

Mileage – 84 miles Another long day today in the saddle but I sensed it was going to be a fun day and how great it turned out. it really was a struggle to get out of bed this morning but for once, I had a reasonably good nights sleep

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Day 23 – Great Bend to McPherson

Mileage – 64 miles A short day today if you call 64 miles a short day.   However, that is the way we all seem to be thinking about the daily mileage – 100+ is a long day, 80 is average and 60 is short.  To be honest though, each

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Day 24 – McPherson to Abilene

Mileage – 62 miles Another short ride today that I had originally planned to take nice and easy, winding down to rest day tomorrow.   It was a nice and clear with very little wind as we set of from McPherson this morning.   There was music playing and Tracy was

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Day 25 – Rest Day

Rest Day Rest day started really early this morning with a live link up with BBC Radio Solent and Julian Clegg on his Breakfast Show.  Ben from the show called me at about 01:45 and after a few tests the FaceTime connection we had hoped to use was not good enough

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Day 26 – Abilene to Topeka

Mileage – 105 miles I knew within the first few miles that today was going to be a tough day and I was not wrong.   Being a long day I had a slightly earlier start, rolling out from the hotel at 07:00 and leaving with Lois who has become my

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Day 27 – Topeka to St Joseph

Mileage – 84 miles. It’s hard to believe that we are already into the second half of tour and there is uneasy talk going around the group about nearing the end of our journey together.  We still have 3 weeks until we arrive in Boston but reality is beginning to dawn

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Day 28 – St Joseph to Chillicothe

Mileage – 86 miles Yet another long day in the saddle today, lots of hills and a headwind to contend with most of the day.  Nevertheless it was a good day, very enjoyable and above all immensely satisfying as we rolled into the hotel. It was sad to have to say

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Day 29 – Chillicothe to Kirksville

Mileage – 75 miles (97 miles) Today was going to be a tough day, only 75 miles but with a lot of roller riding and climbing in the region of 4,500′.  The way that the day eventually turned out was what I had been wanting to do for the last

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Day 30 – Kirksville to Quincy

Mileage – 74 miles A luxury of an extra hour in bed this morning but forgot to change the alarm setting so it still went off at 05:15 but managed to doze until 06:15 which was nice. On the road at the usual 07:15 start time and Chris joined the

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Day 31 – Quincy to Springfield

Mileage – 105 miles A day of mixed emotions – the ride is going well and I am enjoying the experience immensely but today is our 35th wedding anniversary and the first time that Sarah and I have not been together in all of those years.  We spoke this morning

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Day 32 – Springfield to Champaign

Mileage – 87 miles This has been a tough week of cycling, long days with high mileage, but tomorrow is rest day and we are all looking forward to that. Usual start time this morning and Chris and I set off together and cycled most of the day with one another.  The

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Day 33 – Rest Day

Rest Day After a long hard week in the saddle it was lovely this morning to turnover and go back to sleep for a couple of hours.  Eventually surfaced at 08:30 and made it to breakfast by 09:00. Tomorrow is funny hat day so spent an hour this morning touring

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Day 34 – Champaign to Crawfordsville

Mileage – 79 miles There are certain days on tour that stand out as being the best and today was certainly one of those days. After rest day yesterday everyone appeared at breakfast this morning looking suitably refreshed.   There were several new cycling jerseys being displayed including mine and we

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Day 35 – Crawfordsville to Indianapolis

Mileage – 59 miles A relatively short day today that would see us finish in the city of Indianapolis. The upcoming few days are relatively heavy in mileage so today was a day to take things easy and to start with, it was nice to have a 2 hour delayed start which

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Day 36 – Indianapolis to Richmond

Mileage – 72 miles After a relatively late night with Paul yesterday exploring the sites of Indianapolis when the alarm went at 05:15 this morning I really did not want to get up.  However, thankfully the daily routine kicked in and I made it down to breakfast by 06:00.  Sadly,

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Day 37 – Richmond to Marysville

Mileage – 104 miles It hardly seems possible that just 5 weeks ago today we were starting out on this adventure together, yet today was going to be our last official century ride.  Riding 100+ miles is not easy and 5 weeks ago we were all probably living in fear of

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Day 38 – Marysville to Wooster

Mileage – 97 miles Today was going to be another long day in the saddle on top of the long day we had yesterday.  In fact this week has been nothing but long hard days but after over 5 weeks of riding we have all come to accept the daily

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Day 39 – Wooster to Niles

Mileage – 93 miles Yet another long day today but only two days to go until rest day and we are all looking forward to it. You get the feeling that people are just generally tired although the overall buzz of the group has in no way diminished.  I doubt if getting up

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Day 40 – Niles to Erie

Mileage – 89 Miles Get through today and tomorrow is rest day in Erie which we were all looking forward to, but two things were strange this morning which really hampered the routine that we had all come accustomed to over the past few weeks. Firstly, this was the only

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Day 41 – Rest Day

Rest Day Having cycled over 600 miles in the last 7 days it was great not to have the alarm go off at 05:15 this morning and I enjoyed an extra couple of hours catching up on sleep.  Rest days are designed for catching up on laundry, servicing the bike and generally

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Day 42 – Erie to Hamburg

Mileage – 79 miles And so into the final week of tour and the home run into Boston.  Todays ride would take us along the shores of Lake Erie and northwards into the state of New York.  Just the mention of New York sends shivers down my spine in that it is located

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Day 43 – Hamburg to Canandaigua

Mileage – 94 miles Another long day today, but the good news is that the boss is back on tour and was at sign on this morning to greet everyone with her amazing enthusiasm and smiling face.  We have all missed not having Tracy around for the past week or

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Day 44 – Canandaigua to Syracuse

Mileage – 68 miles After yesterdays fast ride, today was definitely a day to take things steady.  With a relatively short day it was time to chill, relax and generally just enjoy the scenery and company. For the first few miles I cycled by myself, through the town of Geneva

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Day 45 – Syracuse to Hermiker

Mileage – 70 miles Another late start this morning, that is now two in a row, anymore and we could get quite used to sleeping in.  Whilst it is nice, it does kind of throw you out of the normal daily routine and remembering to sign on an hour later catches

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Day 46 – Herkimer to Albany

Mileage – 79 miles With just 3 full days of riding left we are all savouring every minute and today was one of those ‘special’ days that stands out from all the other ‘special’ days that we have experienced.  It was special because it was one of the prettiest rides we

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Day 47 – Albany to Brattleboro

Mileage – 74 miles Well, it had to happen at some point but today was not the best day for it to happen – it rained!  For the past seven weeks we have been so fortunate with the weather, storms behind us, tornados in front but we have been riding

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Day 48 – Brattleboro to Burlington

Mileage – 90 miles Today was going to be one of those ‘special’ days for a number of reasons.  Firstly, this was our last full day of tour and with 90 miles to ride and 5,000’+ of climbing it was going to be a tough day. Secondly, we were crossing 2

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Day 49 – Burlington to Boston

Mileage – 17 miles We all knew that today was going to be a very special day for the riders of Crossroads 2016.  After just under 7 weeks on the road we had reached our final journey together and today we would ride the final 17 miles to Revere Beach,

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Final Thoughts

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

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