Day 1 – Hugely emotional day 1

Early away for the start of the Journey to Syracuse starting at Arlington Cemetery in Washington. Lots of press about and a simple few words by Olivet Mundell MSP at the Lockerbie Cairn that was moving and a wonderful tribute to those who passed away.

It was then we were finally away and the roads were so busy it we were passing through iconic places on the way.

I was feeling not great still feeling cold even when cycling and was holding the team back so after the second stop I dropped into the bike wagon. I felt awful

but there was no power at all in my body. With the cars so close it was dangerous for everyone so I stoped. This is a team journey and I was holding them Back

Brian Asher words

“What to say about Day 1? The start at the Pan Am 103 memorial cairn at Arlington was incredible. I found it really emotional. 270 families have been through so much over the past 30 years and that fact really hit me today. I’m not ashamed of my tears, it’s such an honour to try and play a small part in paying tribute to them and in making a difference for the future.

Earlier this evening, we met the family of Lindsey Otenasek, one of the victims. That was another really powerful experience which underlined why we’re here doing this in the first place. They were so grateful and inspiring.

Lindsey’s mum is now not able to visit Lockerbie, so felt Lockerbie was visiting her. She told us that every day since 1988, she has prayed with thanks for the people of Lockerbie. That meeting will stay with me probably forever.

The cycling is harder than we expected. So much traffic, so many traffic lights! So much unpredictable driving!!!!! DC was really bad and slow progress. Baltimore was even worse!! Hopefully day two into Philadelphia will be simpler, easier and faster. Your continued support adds the vital “home” support we couldn’t do without. Thanks for all of that. Now for a bath and some sleep!!”

The support vechile is looking after the safety it’s very busy traffic weather not so good tomorrow. As I thought meeting the folk is humbling in so many ways .

This is some journey

Today I spent my day stalking five Scottish men. What did you do with your Friday? But truly, I woke up to this email about this Cycle to Syracuse event starting today, and haven’t been able to pull away since. These five amazing men all represent either the police, fire, ambulance, RAF, or Lockerbie Academy and came all the way here from Scotland to ride in remembrance of the upcoming 30th anniversary of Pan Am 103, which is the terrorist attack that killed my mom, my uncle, and my grandfather, and my unborn baby brother or sister. Three generations gone in an instant.



They started this morning at the Cairn Memorial in Arlington Cemetery, and will finish at Syracuse University next week, where 35 students lost their lives that dark night on the way home from a semester abroad. They are also raising funds along the way to support mental health awareness for youth in Scotland, which I so can relate. Mental health advocate here 🙋🏻‍♀️.


.Kelly words

Starting from the moment that I woke up this morning, I was on such a mission to meet these men today, because even though I have never met them, our stories are still connected somehow. Through that tragic night in Lockerbie but also through all the good that can come out of terror. They are riding in remembrance of something that is in all of our hearts, and I’m so glad I got to meet them on the road with my dad and stepmom and show them support!



It blows my mind that each year that I age also marks the same amount of time that my mom has been gone. It’ll be 30 years without her this December, but that longing never goes away. Yet I’m also so crazy grateful for the way that community can be sparked through tragedy. Today, and everyday really, we’re remembering Lockerbie.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
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3 Responses to Day 1 – Hugely emotional day 1

  1. ptsd17 says:

    Stay safe, Take care, and look after yourself! and the other team members.

    Liked by 1 person

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