We were up at 0500 for Tv and leaving Central Park New York it was bitter cold and slow start getting the media pieces done. This we must do to spread the story of what we are doing. Our pals the pipers were there to see us off and loads of dignitaries. It was so good to have Laura Beachy, a Syracuse University scholar, triathlete, cyclist…Thank You for leading the team safely out of NY and up route 9! ❤️💛🇺🇸🏴🇺🇸🏴. With much gratitude!!
New York on a bike is exciting but Laura got us through. God was watching us as we missed the odd car door but we gradually got out of town and over the Brookland Bridge. The sun was up yet cold that the constant stopping I could not shake off.
The views were stunning the Skye blue the trees so colourful and yet the constant traffic lights were now the normal. These cities are exciting but concentration has to be full on.
My mind was full of the journey the people and my team mates. All so different but now a team all aware of each other frailties yet a team now working together.
At the first big stop we were all running on empty and I took break the boys pushed on the pace was relentless. We had lost so much time but the weather was great and the sun out.
Brian tells the story
The story starts last night. We had a wonderful reception in Syracuse University‘s building Lubin House, just off Central Park, New York. High ranking officials were there to pay tribute to 1988 and to welcome us at the half way point in our journey. It was a great chance too to talk to our sponsors Scottish Power and Avangrid, to thank them for their support. The welcome, friendship and hospitality from Syracuse New York and home campus staff has been wonderful.
This morning, we were up at 5 for a press conference where US and UK news networks filmed and interviewed us before we were piped off from Central Park. This was going to be our hardest, longest day and it was an incredible start.
We biked through Central Park, up through Harlem to the George Washington bridge over the Hudson River. as expected, today was very tough. More than I had expected. 50 Miles in, my bike computer showed 4,000 feet of climbing and I was finished.
I had to stop and got in the van while the team carried on. Hard lesson about sleeping and eating correctly before 100 mile cycle learned !!
Naturally enough I was disappointed but my teammates were fantastic, told me to eat and rest and try again later. Worried in case she saw posts without me in any of the photos, I called home – I got the same great advice from Kyla and I did as I was told.
We are trying to promote mental health awareness and counselling for our school. It must begin when people feel safe and confident to admit they aren’t ok. It continues when those around them confirm that’s its ok if you’re not “ok”. After that, there’s a chance with support and encouragement to get back up and try again. That was my experience today, thanks to a great many people reading this.
I’ve said a few times now, how great it is to have support from family and friends but today reached a whole new level. I lost count of your messages and feel truly grateful to all of you and for all of you. You’ll be pleased to know your encouragement got me back in the saddle, able to finish the day with the team. See the video evidence!! We finished in the pitch black night in New York State, but we made it.
We were received by the Hudson family who lost their daughter Melina in Pan Am 103. They had cooked up a feast for us and were ready to feed us on our arrival. Such generosity. Not content with spending a whole day preparing our meal (12 of us including cycle team and support crew) they also intend to be up early enough to cook us a breakfast- just so kind.
Mr Hudson said a simple grace for our meal and then prayed for us as a team and with with thankfulness for our efforts. As if that wasn’t poignant enough, piano music then played gently in the background during dinner. First up was Amazing Grace. Enough said.
Tomorrow is the second last cycling day.
The last few miles to the Hudson’s was in the pitch dark the boys had cracked 100 miles I was with them at the end so tired lights fading but all looking after each other. The meal was outstanding the love from the family hard to comprehend I was lost for words,
This journey keeps on giving you learn so much and meet so many who I feel we are helping. Two more days to go what people what a journey and there’s so much more to come. I think often of all those I represent in this journey so many who I hope I bring some hope for a better world and for the kindness and love we receive every day to flow back home to our loved ones. As we near the end of the journey we think hard of a long distance we are completing so the kids get home at last to Syracuse 🌈