I held onto a tree to stop being blown away!!!!

9 08 2011

So the end of Day 12 and as always it has been eventful. I started the day cycling by myself and by midday the temperature had hit 110F. I made sure to keep stopping every 10 miles to cool down anywhere with air conditioning and to buy some ice for the bottles. It was slow but steady progress throughout the day. Late in the afternoon Dayle joined me to cycle the last 20 miles. It had started to get a bit cloudy but no indication of any thunderstorms!!!!!! Well how wrong was I? It started with a light shower. At the time I had thought we were only a couple of miles from Glenwood, our destination for the night. So we kept on cycling. The rain got heavier making it difficult to see where we were going. Suddenly out of nowhere the wind hit us from the side taking us across the road. We jumped off the bikes and ran to the nearest bush. Dayle dived in realising afterwards it was a thorn bush. We crouched down on the ground laying the bikes flat so they didn’t get blown away. The wind was intense but the worse was yet to come. It seemed to have died down slightly so I made the call that we needed to move to find better shelter in a barn I could see a few hundred yards away. As we got closer we realised we couldn’t get to it and were out in the open. The wind got even worse. Branches in front of us were falling off the tree’s. I shouted to Dayle to follow me and we ran to the nearest tree. I wrapped my arms round the tree and my bike and told Dayle to wrap his arms around his bike and mine. “Dayle, crouch down and brace yourself”. I have never been in such intense and powerful wind. We stayed for a few minutes as the wind got stronger and stronger; both of us holding to stop being blown away. The only thought running through me head was that a branch might fall on top of us. “Dayle, it’s a good thing we have our cycling helmets on!!!!!” In the distance we could see the lights from a truck. THANK GOD. We both ran to the road for help. “Any chance we can put our bikes on the back and you take us anywhere?” The awesome American’s in the car said “Sure, where you heading?” We were safe…..

 The most challenging aspect of this trip so far has been the American weather not only its intensity but also its unpredictability. I had checked the forecast this morning; sunny with cloudy intervals. How wrong this was. I am amazed at how dramatically the weather changed all in less than 15 minutes but I am pleased with how we reacted to keep ourselves safe. I’m not going to say I wasn’t scared because I definately was, but it was more an amazingly intense emotion and a moment that I will never forget.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help us reach our target of £10,000 for Coffee Kids. They are an amazing charity who help coffee growing communities in central & south America. The money that we will hopefully raise will go a long way to helping these people. Our trip so far has proved to be the toughest challenge I have ever set myself and likely to ever experience. So please make the 40C, the thunderstorms and the sheer physical pain worthwile by going to http://www.cycleamerica2011.com and clicking DONATE…..  





4 responses

9 08 2011

You guys have the worst luck I have ever seen! And it seems that since you guys left us in Georgia things have just gotten worse. But I am glad that even with all the crazy luck you’ve been having that you haven’t given up. I feel you’re an important role model to everyone because even through the hellish conditions you’ve managed to stay focused on how important your journey truly is. I wish you guys the best of luck from now on!

9 08 2011
Elisa Kelly

That is really scary! I’m glad you guys are alright. Also – in those situations, and just in case there are tornadoes (which there will NOT be) – get in a ditch and stay in the ditch! seriously.

11 08 2011
Jennie Lee

Leeeegendary! We will come visit you someday soon!!!!! Stay safe!

❤ Jennie

15 08 2011

Hello guys hope you are doing well. That small thunderstorm in Glenwood was just that a little one. They get much much larger. You have not seen a storm yet. In a real storm stay away from the tree it will hurt you. Have fun out there

The man in Glenwood

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