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Monday 07 July 2014

Cycling Across America - Update 1

Posted by: Help For Heroes | Categories: General

Update on Alex Halliday, William Duffy and James Howard who are currently Cycling Across America!

Since the last blog, it is safe to say our fitness levels have vastly improved and we are deleting miles like they aren't even there! The last 20 miles of the day are often met with much groaning and it has become a bit of a sport to wind up those who are really struggling...You can all imagine my cheshire cat grin when it is not me that is whimpering with pain!! We are now well and truly out of the Appalachian mountains which i am glad to see the back of! The tiring mountains have been replaced with rolling hills, similar to that of Yorkshire. Having left Kentucky, we have crossed into Illinois and have passed over the Mississippi River into Missouri. Kentucky I shall remember well, primarily due to the constant threat of dogs! Illinois was a bit of a disaster it must be said. Firstly James hurt his knee badly, forcing him to take a few days off and meet us a couple of hundred miles ahead. With morale low, Will and I powered on, however soon after the departure of James we went head on into a storm. Being English and used to rain, wind and the rest we didn't think much of this weather, however as the sky turned a strange shade of green and purple and as the wind battered everything in its path, we retreated and took cover in a petrol station. We were then told that a tornado was knocking around the immediate area! To this Will whispered 'Hallers I think we should just do it. We have to get the miles in and we can just go around it if we see it'. Pretty sure GCSE geography tells you to run the other way. A couple of hours later nothing had changed. Forced to hang up our boots for the day, we swapped biking for a few beers at the bar! Behind time due to these two issues we hoped to get back on track and make up some of the miles. Having met with James today, rested and recovered, we ran into another set back. Will's back tire seems to have taken a turn for the worst, and with all bike shops shut due to the 4th July celebrations we are stranded in Farmington, Missouri, till Saturday morning. Not the worst place to be, but it means we will have to work harder later on in the trip to make up the time, namely in Kansas on the flats. The phrase 'let's cross that bridge when we come to it' is being used a tad too much at present!! Fingers crossed our luck will change and we shall have some wind behind us at some point.

The last week has also led to some significant findings and discoveries which has however kept morale high. Having tried every energy bar on the market and all these 'go gel' things which I wouldn't wish for any of you to try, we have recently swapped these modern methods of replacing lost energy for the more traditional ways. If you do your research you shall find that in the 1920s Tour de France, all the competitors stopped off for a quick beer on the way up. We have decided that following the lead of these professionals is not a bad idea and our tests have had some magnificent results. We are all feeling near peak fitness and whether or not the odd beer here or there is impeding us we are going with the thought process of 'Why change a winning formula!?!' 

In my last update I told you of the kindness and generosity we have experienced throughout the trip and I feel it is important to inform you that this has continued. We have had a least 3 more substantial meals and drinks paid for by generous people and just yesterday we were given two days in a holiday inn, all expenses paid for. These are just a few of the amazing acts of kindness over the last week.  

Although it is tough and we are working hard to make our quota every day, we are having a great time and we are tackling every problem with smiles on our faces. Those of you who have donated since the last blog I can't thank you enough, and those of you yet to donate... You know the drill!