I rode into Key West Florida on Friday October 8th at 5:31 pm having completed over 2,500 miles cycling from Bar Harbor in Maine in 36 days. In essence that’s the entire east coast of America… and what a trip it was.
As I sit here back at home in Rochester NY I actually find it quite difficult to put it all together. While I can remember every day and all the trials, tribulations and highs, for some reason, connecting it all as one long journey taking over a month is difficult.
First things first.. we hit the $20,000 fundraising goal and every penny will be going to Alister to help with his treatment as he battles MS. Thank you to the sponsors Fundamental Group, Q5 and Kay & Burton and to every individual who sponsored me. The GoFundMe page will be open for another week for any last minute donations.. remember every penny counts and you’ll be making a huge difference to someone you’ve probably never met and that’s a lovely thing.
It’s the “journey not the destination” is a well used phrase and very apt in this instance. It was the people I met, the messages and support I received and the people who came out to ride with me that stand out as the highlights for me.
It’s a mental thing. The challenge was overwhelmingly mental. Whilst the body was sore and the 126 mile (202km) day to St Augustine stands out as particularly taxing is was all about getting my head in the right space. The 6 to 8 hours in the saddle day after day, the worry of cars and trucks as you cycle by endless memorials to fallen cyclists, the closed roads and bridges adding miles to the day, missing the family… the list goes on. However that’s the point of taking something on like this, sure you lose a few pounds and give your body a test and a work out but you’re also doing a proper session with your mind. If you can get the balance right I think the benefits are substantial.
As always when you finish something like this you’re itching to do something else but as history teaches me I seem to get the urge every 3 or 4 years – London to Monte Carlo in 2013 and 2014, running across the Oman desert in 2017 and The Atlantic Coast Cycle in 2021. If you don’t want to get caught up in something then don’t go for a beer with me in 2023 when I’ll be planning something for 2024!