31 March 2008


When I made the decision to undertake this trip, it was largely due to the personal desire to take on a challenge and an adventure.

There were several options open to me in terms of the logistics of the trip from cycling with a random partner, cycling with a group on an organised tour or going as part of a supported group with a van to carry all of the equipment and mechanics to fix any problems on the bike.

Since I was looking for a challenge and was reluctant to spend £3,000 - £4,000 on an organised tour, I chose to 'go solo', carrying all of my own equipment, making camp on my own and repairing any problems with the bike as I go.

In working out the costs for such a trip, I started to give some thought to the amount I was spending and realised that it was a bit wasteful to spend a few thousand pounds on a bike, camping equipment, panniers, racks and cool gizmos for the bike without trying at the same time to raise some money for a good cause and hopefully draw attention to a worthy charity

That charity is the National Association of Colitis and Crohn's disease (NACC) which I got to know through the experiences of a number of close friends and family members who have suffered with Crohn's, Colitis and associated illnesses over the years.

So whilst this trip was initially motivated by a personal desire to do the ride, I am also proud to be supporting the NACC along the way and I hope that when you read this page you will be willing to donate a few pounds, dollars or yen to help a worthy cause.

20 March 2008

Why Cycle Across America

I was first introduced to the concept of cycling across America about 16 months ago when I spoke to a guy at work who was leaving Lehman Brothers to spend a year skiing and then biking across the states. At that time I was just starting to ride to work from Stratford, doing about 12 miles a day and had no idea of the scale of a cross-continent trip.

3 months later I had to put my daily commute on hold having been knocked off my bike on the way home, breaking my right arm in several places and fracturing my left arm a few times. After plenty of physiotherapy and far too many train journeys to work for my liking, I got back on the bike in February 2007 and started my new commute from Earlsfield to the City which made for a 15 mile round trip.

During the summer I heard from one of the guys at work about one of his friends in the US who was cycling from Chicago to Seattle and started reading his blog every day as he pedalled through Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington.

This got me thinking about the possibility of taking on a similar challenge myself as I was coming up to 5 years in the same job and was ready for a break, so I started increasing my daily ride to work from 15 miles to 25 miles then upto 30 miles each day, whilst I pondered the practicality of an 18 stone chubster cycling 4250 often mountainous (as shown below) miles across a different continent.

Topographical Map of the TransAmerica Trail

Well, as the presence of this site suggests, a sense of adventure trumped pragmatism and cardio-vascular reality, and I am now just over 3 weeks away from dipping my rear pedal into the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia and setting off for the West Coast via Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon.