Cycleamerica2014… It’s over before it even began

22 08 2014

So after 1 year of planning & 8 months of training, cycleamerica2014 was over after just 40 miles. After all the hard work that went into pulling off the project; disappointing doesn’t even begin to describe it. I’m sitting here beginning to reflect on the exhilarating 4 days in Seattle before the ride began. If you have read my previous posts you will know how unbelievably excited I was to drive to Canada to visit some of the locations from the American TV show, Smallville. That was fulfilling a dream since I was a young teenager. So I was like a kid in candy shop. Couldn’t get enough photo’s, couldn’t stop talking about different scenes, the characters, the plots…… I would even call it as one of the best days of my life…….

 

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Forward on 2 days later to Sunday 10th August 2014. The day began at around 8am, arriving at the Seattle Space Needle. With our bikes ready to roll we busted out our fashionable lycra shorts and did some lunges (Thankfully the crazily busy tourist attraction was really quiet). We started the day by cycling 1.5miles to catch a short ferry to Bremerton to avoid having to cycle through the busy streets of Seattle (Safety first!!!). After missing the first ferry, we arrived quite late in Bremerton but ready to smash the miles out. After all the planning, anticipation and excitement I loved every mile at the start (I’m cycling with a big smile on my face – passers by probably think its quite weird) After around 40 miles we stopped for a late lunch at a town called Shelton. After missing the first ferry I ate my lunch quickly and was eager to get back on the bike to avoid a late finish. From this moment on I have no recollection of what happened. I can remember eating lunch at Subway at around 3pm but I can’t remember what I ate, leaving or even getting back on the bike. At about 6:30pm I woke up in hospital in a lot of pain and feeling very confused. I’m pretty sure I asked the doctors the same questions 10 times but just couldn’t remember their answers.

The newspapers, doctors, the police, bystanders have all filled in the gaps in between. At approximately 3:15pm I was cycling along when a pick up truck went to overtake me. The truck swerved into me to avoid hitting the oncoming traffic. Traveling at 45mph it hit me on my left hand side throwing me from the bike, landing on the right hand side. I have sustained quite severe injuries all to my right side. 3 broken bones in my back, 6 broken ribs, broken right arm, severe concussion, lots of road rash and random cuts & bruises. Not quite the glorious ending that I had planned for Santa Monica Pier!!!!

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So I am now back in the UK beginning to recover from my injuries and have had the time to reflect on what has happened. In the grand scheme of things I am gutted that the trip was over so quickly. I had some awesome plans at the end of the trip, one of which was to fly to Oklahoma, where I studied 10 years ago and meet up with some old friends. Unfortunately this had to be cancelled!!! I was meant to be going to Ibiza (my spiritual home!!) at the end of September, but this also had to be cancelled!! Given this and the extent of my injuries, I am actually feel like the luckiest person in the world right now. I’m sure you are all thinking… He must have really hit his head hard?? How many prescription drugs is he on?? ….. The answer to which are really really really hard & lots and they are strong!!….. But the way I see it is that given the pick up truck hit me at 45mph I should be in a much worse state. Its those sorts of accidents that you hear of people being permanently injured or even killed. Yet I sit here with a clear mind and a series of injuries which should heal with lots of rest and time. I think back 3 years ago to when I bought my helmet. I can remember going to Mike Vaughans in Kenilworth and thinking to myself, shall I spend £20 getting the basic helmet or shall I go top of the range and spend over £120. I’m not a religious person, but thank God I spent the money because who knows, if I had bought the £20 one, would I be sitting here right now? Essentially that helmet saved my life & I am so thankful to be here right now.

Although right now I feel pretty weak & fragile, it is experiences like this that make us mentally stronger. Que cheesy quote….. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”….

I’m sure some people reading this are thinking… Well where to from here?? Is this the end of the story?? I admit it going to take a while for me to get back on the bike. Not only physically to recover from all my broken bones but also mentally getting over the fear of being hit again. I can see myself getting back on the bike, tentatively in 6 months time. I don’t think I will be ready to start the next challenge, that may take years. However I do already have an idea for the next project!!! & I admit my imagination has already begun to go wild with the possibilities. Maybe in 2016…. but who knows where this path of life will take me next…. I hopeful that it will go onto many more projects which make me feel alive…..

I finally just want to thank everyone for all their messages & kind words since my accident. Being in a lot of pain, it has been comforting knowing that there are people out their willing to help. For example there was one gentleman who had read my story in the Seattle Times, someone who I have never met before. He went online, sent me a message and donated $276 to get me to my donations targets.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE…. I am hopeful that my injuries will have not been in vain and that we can continue to raise money that will help change the lives of people less fortunate than ourselves. To donate please go to www.cycleamerica2014.com or www.crowdrise.com/cycleamerica2014 or pop into Esquires Coffee Houses @ The Coventry Transport Museum.

Love to All,

Steven

 

 

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Somebody Save Me…..

10 08 2014

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The Start of cycleAMERICA2014.com…….

5 08 2014

So here we go…. The start of cycleamerica2014.com….

I’ve been meaning to write this first post for about 3 months now but the words just haven’t come.

It’s the evening before we fly out to Seattle and so many thoughts & emotions are flying through my mind. Now that I’ve signed off from work my mind is free to think about my last trip in 2011 and what the next month has in store for me. 

In 2011 I cycle I cycled 3000 miles in 32 days from east to west across America. The 50c heat in the Arizona desert, hanging onto a tree to stop being blown away, the beautiful national forests, the rednecks, the dogs that chased me, the hallucinations. The list is endless. So these experiences makes me think….. What adventures will we find in America this time? You probably think I might want to avoid the heat, the wind, the nature & the people, but these were the moments that made it into the trip of a lifetime. I hope this trip will give me experiences that will shape who I am into the future. Moments that will make me more determined, stronger and better equipped to take on more of life challenges…… 

We are the sum of our experiences. It’s not about who we are on the inside, good intentions are noble, but it’s what we do that makes us who we are. I read a great quote recently….. “Life isn’t measured by the amount of time you’re here, it’s measured by your achievements” 

So here’s to the next adventure of a lifetime. I hope I have many more stories to tell….. More stories that will probably bore most people, but stories that will take my breath away and make me feel alive….