Thursday 17th May 2012
Flying out to America to start the ride

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MP4 Quick Time
Plane flight over to the U.S. Music is a bit dodgy, could do with a proper audio engineer.
Length - 1min 32
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Blog for the day (Friday, 18 May 2012):
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Ok, here i am at the airport all on my own. No Ben :( Really strange him not being here with a sad farewell before my flight. I had a few problems with my bags and bike. Firstly I had an extra bag, which I'm sure when I checked, I was allowed 2bags. So I got charged for that. Only a bit as the lady was nice and I worked my charm. Secondly the bike. I got that down to 90quid, cant find the pound sign on this computer! Had to pay it as I had no choice. There goes my budget, and that is just to get there. Because of my connecting flight I would have got charged twice, but that's where she let me off the price. Hopefully it will be fine. When i get to Chicago i can just dump my bags on the connecting flight belt. Back to the bike, the old fart who turned up put the fear of god into me by saying he wouldn't take it as it was not in a box! Nice check-in lady rolled her eyes. Basically what he was saying was that it was no good in a pollybag as the last bike he had, had the wheels all buckled! Shit! I could buy a box from the shop which was not open, thanks. Had no choice but to risk it. If I got to get new wheels, I will. Again, nice lady said just claim on the insurance :)

Ok, so waiting for my gate, which has just come up, so lets head down. Whats that song, all on my own :(

(at the gate waiting for take off see time for that)

Well both the bike and me made it to Chicago in one piece. A quick look over the book and it looks ok. At Heathrow I was watching them load it. The ground staff leaned it against the back of the trolleys, which drove of f letting it fall to the ground. They were all having a good look at it, hopefully not doing anything bad to it. I had a quick look here at the airport, and apart from the scratches on the gears where it fell, it looks ok. One more trip in a plane to go Richmond VA.

Flying over the US, its bloody big!! Even the flight from home to here is not as far as the bike ride!! How scary. I guess like everyone says, just take one day at a time, and try not to think about the big picture too much. Waiting to board connecting flight. That was pretty easy. Getting trough homeland security was, for me too, easy. The bloody idiot in front who was there for a few hours it seemed, drove me nuts/ Collected my bags, dropped them off at the other check in quick and easy, and the bike too was given to another guy to look after. Bloomin headache now though, ouch

Flight down to Richmond was ok, poxy little plane with an old has-been as a air stewardess. Bike came off carousel first and it had been opened by the Transportation Security Department because of the bag, I guess, Id attached to the bike. Bike seems fine, not opened it yet though. Dont use Groome transportation either. Been waiting at the airport for over an hour now, shattered and want feeding, watering and a shower. Been up since god knows what time. Apparently they had the wrong light number which is possible as BA sublet out to AA. However, on the confirmation email it says what time I get in and what time the driver will be here waiting for me. Grrrrrrr When driver did arrive, he was nice and we had a good chat on the way to the hotel.

While waiting though, Ive got to watch the other airport car pickup drivers. Funny lot, all kinds of things going on. Could easily write a story about them. Flirting, crazy old drivers and weirdos I would not like to get in a car with. Also other passengers who seem to be doing their Young Adult thing all dressed up like she is in the film.

At the hotel, unpacked, pizza here, off to bed


Saturday, 19 May 2012
First day test ride

Blog for the day:
Well, what a day. I didn't get as much sleep as i wanted last night, but felt better with what i got. Met up with some more of the team which was good. I caught a ride back out to the airport as one of the guys, Ubald, he needed to take his hire car back, that way I could get to Walmart and get a good practise ride in. Walmart sucked for phones, all i wanted was to throw a sim card into my iphone, no joy. They had other deals which were really misleading and wanted to charge you a lot, although if you check carefully, you can change your plan to get a much better deal. Looks like I am going to have to go to AT&T to get a sim card.

Riding back from the airport was so amazing! Cycling in the US with a huge smile on my face, looking in every direction at houses, squashed tortoise, everything. Even cars gave us a wide birth, fab!!! We stopped off at some historical battlefields like Surrender, where we, the British and a few Germans, surrendered to the few Yanks and loads of French. No one we lost if we had the Germans on our side ;) Next it was down to Yorktown, or was it Jamestown, anyway, fantastic again. Lots of jocks on the beach. I didn't take my camera with me, wish i had. Then over to Williamsburg and back to the hotel.

In the afternoon i popped out to Williamsburg again with Gina, ice cream and lots of walking. Saw lots of great things, musket and cannon firings, fat people in double width wheelchairs. Very pretty and worth a visit. keep forgetting all the things i want to write, oh, and i didn't buy and tat! oh, i had some lady from South Carolina say to me "I love your accent" lol. FAB! oh, we were so lucky today as well. We were just about to head back to the hotel when we were given some free passes by some nice people, then when we were on the way out and lost, someone else gave us a map!

Great day.

26.53 miles, not sure if i should add it in to the TransAm or not.

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