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This time last week I was preparing to leave Seattle. Right now, I'm doing exactly the same thing. My little jaunt to Vancouver was very much a loop that has left me in the same place where I started. Having come across the country by a extremely circuitous route and always up for a detour to view something exciting, I was happy to take a week out to head north. I guess this is why I found myself surprised at just how reluctant I was once I got going.
It's strange battling with yourself - there's no-one else to blame anything on. The only person to benefit or suffer from the decisions is....well, me. I knew I would regret it if I left the Pacific Northwest without visiting British Columbia, but it felt counter-intuitive to be heading north when my next 'destination' was south. Nevertheless I persevered and, surprise surprise, was very glad I did. Riding out of Seattle was miserable - I covered 40 miles before I started to see greenery and open spaces. There's nothing to kill motivation quite like slow inner-city riding, and my spirits lifted considerably north of Everett. The sun began to shine, the traffic thinned and I remembered why I love this life. The wheels started spinning more easily, the saddle became more comfortable and the wind rushed by whispering secrets of the road ahead. It was beautiful.
The time for napping in parks during the day and staying up late to watch movies is over. My mini vacation from the bike has ended and I have returned to Seattle - back to the grind, as it were. Luckily, I can't imagine a better grind. A few logistical issues to iron out, a firm strengthening of my resolve and I shall be back on bike. Rest, recuperation and relaxation have been plentiful recently and I'm mentally and physically ready for the next stage.
Meanwhile take a listen to the interview I gave on the BBC - Alan Simpson's weekday show on Radio Ulster. I believe if you fast forward to 1:21:50 you can jump straight into it.
The link is
It's fast approaching the end of August, and after a couple of weeks off the bike I've had a little time for reflection on the first few months of this journey. It's going to take a lot more than that to fully comprehend everything I've experienced and learned, but it's a start. Definitely worth mentioning straight away that I've discovered just how big America is. It's HUGE. I mean really huge. And it's absolutely full of stories. Whether fast-paced city or tiny truck stop, busy sidewalk or every deserted boardwalk, the places and people I encountered had history, a present and a future, and all these tales are worth of retelling. It's impossible for me to do that, but I feel honoured to have heard them, and I look forward to sharing some of them with you in the upcoming documentary.
So here's where I'm at right now. I've cycled about 3,500 miles from New York to Seattle. In a few days I'll hop back on my bike and pedal from Seattle to San Diego. From there I'll make my way to New Zealand and ride North to South. After that it's the East Coast of Australia, and then finally South East Asia; Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it is, that's for sure. However distance wise I've made a pretty good start. 3,500 miles is probably about a third of the overall distance I plan to ride, give or take a few pedal strokes.
I'll use this opportunity to give new readers and old a quick reminder of what I'm trying to achieve.
My passion is the documentary. I'm aiming to make a film combining my personal journey on the bike with the stories of the people I meet. I'm especially seeking to highlight individuals and causes that are working to try and make a positive impact on the world we live in. To donate to the cause for the documentary, follow the link to the 'How can you help?' page or click on the button below:
The other consequential element is that of the charity fundraising. I'm endeavouring to raise £10,000 ($15,000) for the children's charity UNICEF. They work around the world to deliver health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, and rely on voluntary donations. If you are interested, inspired or moved to donate to their cause I would be delighted, and you really would be making a huge difference. You can do so by clicking on the UNICEF logo below
That's all for now - keep checking in regularly for more blogs, photos and videos. I'll be back in the saddle within the next few days, so log on then to see how the next stage of the journey goes!
Don't forget there's plenty of info all over the site to read and enjoy, including the snapshots I've taken so far here, so have fun navigating around!