Saturday, 25 June 2011

Back on the Chain Gang

Dear Followers

It's been 253 days since our last confession...

We're not sure that any of you are checking the site anymore. And who can blame you. But we wanted to post a blog to let you all know how we're getting on back in London.

We'd like to say that it's been easy slotting back into normal life, like a bird soaring through a cloudless blue sky, or a shark slicing through the deep, icy waters of the ocean. But actually it's been quite tough.

It's hard to match an experience like the one we had on our trip. Getting up each day with an adventure ahead of us. A new horizon, quite literally. Meeting new people, breathing in fresh air against an unknown and frequently beautiful backdrop, and never knowing exactly where we would be laying our heads at the end of a day. Yet also feeling a constant sense of achievement as we notched up another few miles, and carried ourselves a few thousand pedal strokes closer to our goal.

But we're learning to smile and be happy with where we are now. Once more in the serenity of our home in Crouch End, we've forced ourselves to return to a life of routine, of being settled. Giving ourselves a sense of comfort in the familiar and taking pleasure at being enveloped back into the cocoon of family and friends.

From a practical perspective, we are of course back in the daily grind, with Anthony having returned to full-time employment in the City, and Kat writing a book about the trip. But we're approaching it all with a fresh sense of purpose, and priorities.

Tomorrow, we will be participating in our first organised ride since our return. We, together with Trusty & Steed, will be pedalling 52 miles around the streets of London in the London Bikeathon 2011, in aid of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Here's a link to our JustGiving page for any of you who would like to know more about the event or the charity, or would like to donate.

We met so many truly wonderful people on our journey. You know who you are. We miss you very much and think and speak about you often. We hope that you are all happy and healthy, and enjoying life.

Us x

Friday, 15 October 2010

Ode to A Honey Badger

Sometimes it’s not easy

Without making you all feel queasy

To tell you how wonderful the Honey Badger is

Riding along on Trusty in front

Of the rain, wind and hail he took the brunt

Pelted daily with flies and bugs

Even then, he was free with the hugs

From time to time there were broken spokes

But the Badger would just laugh and tell some jokes

When his hernia arrived and caused him so much pain

He simply dug in his heels and upped his game

Yes, the Honey Badger is a treasure and a half

With the unique ability to make us all laugh

So thank you, AHB, for being like that

You’re loved by us all, but especially by Kat.

Thanks sweetheart, I couldn’t have done this trip without you. You’re amazing.

Kat x

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Dedicated to my cycling partner

For the past year we have been writing blogs for your and our entertainment. We were careful not to give too much away concerning who had written each blog, but we know a few of you could tell anyway!

No more guessing required for this blog! Its me Anthony ‘the badger’ Carey, and I write this brief eulogy in recognition of Kat ‘baby face’ Allison and her amazing efforts, contributions and support during our Epic Journey. There are far too many examples of her utter brilliance to write about, but I feel compelled to remind you of one such occasion when she fainted and then fell off her bike through sheer heat exhaustion, yet still got one her trusty steed without complaint and pedaled in agony for another 20 miles …awesome!

Kat you are great and thank you for helping me along this trip.

Anthony x

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

There & Back Again

Wow …what an adventure! We’re back in the United Kingdom, sipping wine and sharing stories with our friends and family. The trials and tribulations of snow in New Mexico, extreme heat in North Dakota and tropical storms in North Carolina are but a distant memory.

Leaving New York City is always an emotional and difficult thing to do, and waking up at 5am this morning made everything that little bit more difficult. So it was at 6:30am we were looking back over our shoulders in the back of an iconic NY cab as it emerged from the Queens Midtown Tunnel, gazing mournfully one last time upon the pulsating NYC skyline, patting ourselves on the back (aka snogging like juveniles) and shedding more tears.

The journey to NY JFK Terminal 7 was a blissful one. As soon as we arrived in the terminal building carrying our Panniers and Pan B’s we were greeted by the ever professional British Airways Ground Crew who treated us like Kings and Queens (Anthony hates it when he’s treated like a Queen) and showed an authentic interest in our journey. We have to give a big THANKS,HUG, KISS and WE LOVE YOU to the lady who changed our seats …you know who you are …you really made our day.

As we boarded the 747 the King & Queen treatment continued. We feel it’s unfair to single out individual members of the cabin crew, but unfortunately we didn’t write down everyone’s name. So we would like to thank Amita and Carola and all the cabin crew on the 08:40 BA0178 flight from NY JFK to LHR …WE LOVE YOU TOO. For those readers who haven’t traveled British Airways …three words …Just Do It!

Landing at Heathrow reminded us of how important family is. At the arrivals gate were David, Sheila, Susie and Leo who had driven over 3 hours to be there for their daughter/sister/aunt and James and Lyn who had the easier but no less important task of driving the 1 hour for their son …thanks Mum and Dad (and sister and nephew) for being so totally awesome … we’re loving you more.

Back in Olde Blighty now and enjoying the moment, but missing our American and BA friends …don’t forget to visit us in sunny London!

Us x

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Fat Lady Sings

It’s been a few days now since we finished our incredible journey. At times, it seems hard for us to remember what we have just done. But then when we look at our photos, it transports us right back there. Yesterday, we took Trusty & Steed up to Toga Bikes, where we bought them from a year ago, and had them packed up for shipping. It was an emotional time, and seeing them today all broken up, but fitting snugly into the boxes, it was hard not to shed a tear. However, hopefully, they will soon be back with us in the UK and ready to explore some of that fine land.

After some consideration, we decided to bring our flights forward, and will be flying back to London first thing tomorrow (Tuesday), arriving Tuesday evening London time. We’re looking forward to seeing our amazing families at the airport, and stepping back onto UK soil. Though we will miss the US desperately, and are sorry that we did not get time to see all the people whom we would have liked to have seen in New York.

We have many people to whom we want to say Thank You.

~ To those who have performed great acts of kindness when we have needed it most on our journey ~

Bob & Susie (Pinos Altos, NM); Jim & Susan (Fort Bragg, CA); Debbie (Fort Bragg, CA); John (Santa Cruz, CA); Oscar & Elizabeth (Petrolia, CA); Tracey & Jonathan (San Francisco, CA); Alfonzo (Glamis, CA); Jane (Prescott, Ontario); Jordan & Carrie (Orange County, CA); Garrett (Baton Rouge, LA); Marilyn & Bernard (Round Top, TX); Nick & Rachel (Detroit Lakes, MN); JB Royer (Round Top, TX); Farren (Newport, WA); Bob & Kris (Sagola, MI); Holly and Matt (Hayward, WI); Jim & Edie (Bodega Bay, CA); Lu & Jerry (Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH); Kevin & Sonja (Glendive, MT); The guys at the Dude Rancher Lodge (Billings, MT); David & Ramona (Ann Arbor, MI); Heather & Matt (Escanaba, MI); The Staff at Rockwoods (Otsego, MN); Anthony & Alexandra (Westport, NY); Kevin, Scott & Zac (Auburn, ME Fire Department); Dave & Kelly (Sunset Beach, NC); Meg & Dan (Twisp, WA); John (Georgia) and his granddaughter (Sarasota, FL); Catherine (Petoskey, MI); Pat & Chava (Los Angeles, CA); Bob & Janet (San Diego, CA); Valerie & Paul (Portland, OR).

~ To those who have done our laundry for us (a matter close to our hearts), or allowed us to use their machines ~

Cindy (Titusville, FL); Tony & Lisa (Wolf Lake, MI); the staff at the Holiday Inn Express (Cleveland, OH); Abigail (Branford, CT); Sonia (Winthrop, WA); Evelyn (Glendive, MT); Jeremy & Erin (Stillwater, MN); Brenda & Bruce (Middlebury VT); Jami (Bisbee, AZ); Chris & Deborah (Safford, AZ).

~ To those who bought us drinks, food etc ~

Bobby (Blanco, TX); Rebecca (Ridgefield, CT); Molly (Portsmouth, NH); Margaret (Harrellsville, NC); Anil & Gita (Derby, CT); Louis & Al (Middleboro, MA); Heather & Dave from Ocean Spray (Middelboro, MA); Keith (Naples, ME); Hayley, Steve, Dawn & Matt (Huron, OH); the staff at Chipotle (Bowling Green, OH); Laura (Minneapolis, MN); the guys & girls from the Thunderbird Camp (near Lake Bemidji, MN); Maddie (Wauconda Café, Store & Saloon, WA).

~ Each and every one of you that has donated to MS ~

~ Continuing support from Multiple Sclerosis Charities~

Laura (MS Trust UK)

~ Our followers, and especially all those who have commented on the blog ~

~ Our friends and family at home, who have been a constant support ~

~ Special mention for consistent commentators on the blog ~


~ The owners and staff at many of the bike shops that we have visited during our trip ~

Toga Bikes (NYC); Bath Bike & Ski (Woolwich, ME); Freewheel Bikes (Minneapolis, MN); Missoula Bicycle Works (Missoula, MT); Adams Cycles (San Diego, CA); Performance Bike (Tucson, AZ); Clearwater Cycles (Clearwater, FL); Bay Cycle & Fitness (Panama City, FL); High Peaks (Lake Placid, NY); City Bike Shop (Traverse City, MI); No Boundaries (Boyne City, MI).

~ Interesting cyclists whom we have met on our way around the US ~

The Rolling Rev (MI), Dave (TX), Wolfram (TX), Brian (TX), Russ & Laura (TX), Matt & Page (NM), Brian & Paul (CA), Eric (OR), Pete & Jenny (WA), John (WA), Paul (WA), Alan & Chris (MT), Dick & Arlette (MI); Mike (IN).

Finally, thanks to those who have made recent donations: SB, The Groveenders, Sue V, Ashvin, and Laurel & Terry.

It’s been an incredible adventure.

Us x

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Cycle Facts

States = 33

Distance = 13,261 miles

Ave Distance = 59.37 miles per day

Duration = 347

Cycling Days = 236

Time in the Saddle = 1,057 hours : 28 minutes

Total Elevation Gain = 444,316 ft

Total Calories = 964,014 C

Max Speed = 50 mph

Ave Speed = 12.5 mph

Ave Bike Cadence = 62 rpm

Us x

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Mission Accomplished!

Looks like we made it

Look how far we've come my baby

We mighta took the long way

We knew we'd get there someday

They said, "I bet they'll never make it"

But just look at us holding on

We're still together still going strong

We guess that you probably would not have expected Shania Twain to be our choice of lyrics for our blog today… perhaps Jay-Z “99 Problems but the bikes aren’t one”! But, we’re truly overjoyed to be back here in Manhattan, 13,250 miles after we started.

We have a LOT more we want to say, but we need to go out and get a few things done…oh, and do a little bit of celebrating too. So, for now, we’ll just say thanks for all the comments on yesterday’s blog, and thanks to Lucy, Sue, Bob & Janet and Julie & Paul for your generous donations.

More tomorrow…

Us x