Mar 23, 2009


Today's exciting trip news from the Coast-2-Coast USA team - a bunch of brave dads/uncles/brothers/friends of children from the UK, cycling across the southern continental United States from Oceanside, California to St. Augustine, Florida to raise donations for the Children's Hospital for Wales and the Noah's Ark Appeal. Show them your support with pledges and, if you're on their route - especially at the end in St Augustine, Florida - turn out and welcome them, put them up or feed them or just buy them a beer! Yesterday they reached the Grand Canyon, can you spot them in the picture below?

Reproduced with permission from Coast-2-Coast USA Blog

Another Ode from Aus

The Grand Canyon was empty as a blizzard took its toll, we struggled riding through it and had to reach our goal, the bear remarked I thought that it was dry and full of sand? But looks to me more like an Irish heat wave in Lapland.

On arrival at our Hotel the porter he did say, the wind had knocked out all the lights, no food for us today, But Porth he had a cunning plan to erase the doom and gloom, and ushered all the women under 30 to their room.

Then Mervin asked a question the reply we didn’t know? The difference between a man and wife that were made out of snow? We sat around and pondered then Gareth he recalls, it’s easy really if you think the man has got snow balls

Steve Stone

Wodonga, Victoria, Australia

Spirit's High

After getting to the Grand Canyon Merv remarks that it was like going to Lapland and there being a heatwave. But nevermind!

Gar's #4

A frustrating day today, as the wind and snow have caused havoc. It all started so promisingly on good ol' 66, but by the time we got to Tusayan it had turned to the pits.
The first leg for Rich and myself was ideal, a nice 5 mile descent to allow some freshness back in the legs. Having passed two freight trains, both with 100+ carrages attached, the rolling roads soon flew by. Similar terrain on the next stint, but a fierce wind, would could have come from stoney's hind end, continuing to blow us across the road. Had there been no wind, 25mph would have ben a breeze, but until good old tom tom pulled up in his trusty toyota, we were taking a good ok bashin. (just like the England pack...regardless what Rich says).

Opportunity followed to buy some gifts, and $100 lighter, we travelled to Williams, a town founded by good old Dai Williams from Tregaron. Probably not true, but it could be.

Our final leg of the day was probably the most dangerous experience I've had on two wheels. With ludicrous gusts of wind cutting across our path to our final destination, seeing rich and myself having to stop on several occasions to straighten up and get back on the road, TM stone calls safety first, it's it's all aboard for the last ten miles. So strong was the wind, that when they returned, ian looked more like Casper the ghost, as the prevailing winds almost blew them into the oncoming traffic.

We arrive at our hotel, only to find that the lovely breeze we had justcycled through, had cut off the power to the whole village. No power, no pool, no food...panic not, porth ha his wind up torch, a he offers to usher all females under the age of 30 to their rooms!!!

When this trip was a dream 2 years ago, we literally sat in front of a map and plotted famous landmarks that we'd love to visit...the most obvious being the grand canyon. Finally, we had arrived. Unfortunately for us, the Derek Brockway of Radio 66 mentined nothing of the winds, or the blizzard that it would bring. I know stand over the south ridge ofthe grand canyon, where the temperature has droped from 80 to freezing, it's tippin it with snow, and the visibility is nil!! Guess I'll have to come ban with leri and gwenno fach again. 3 down, however many left to go, I make it 20% done.

The one shining light of the day was news filtering from I'm that rafa's boys had smashed villa. 3 massive wins on the bounce...momentum is increasing. God willing by the time I get back to the uk, they'll be a little higher. Goosgog, bradders, keep looking over your shoulder.

10-4. Pops

News from Taos

On Wednesday 25, the Welsh team will meet up with local cyclists, 1:30 pm, at the KTAO parking lot. Rose Bauhs and Matthew Foster will be there to ride and to assist with the co-ordination. (Many thanks to you both). We will have a motorcycle police escort.

We're aiming for a non-stop turn around which means that there won't be much time for meeting and greeting at that location. We're aiming to get the team to the Plaza for 2:00 pm. The Taos High School Mariachi Band will start up as soon as the team arrives there, and the Mayor will make a welcome speech. So we're going to do our best not to keep them waiting.

For those who are interested, the riders blog is:

If you want to keep up with the team as they head this way, here is their blog. Ahh, the world of international bike riding.

And I just received this link to a BBC article. It gives an informative, brief summary of the hospital fund raising and the ride. And Taos gets its very first mention! Lots more after the visit I know.

I'll be on Breakfast with Nancy, KTAO, tomorrow (Monday) morning at 9.15 to talk about the ride.

I do hope to see as many of you out there as can make it.

My best regards, Marilyn

Rich's #6

We started off back on route 66 and our first 20 mile stint went like a dream. Then sat in the van ready to do the next 20 we were looking at miles of gradual descending roads and eager to get on the bang. That is right until Stoney opened the door and the wind sent it flying. What ensued was an hour and a half of struggling to remain upright as we faced the cyclists biggest enemy - the crosswind.

So it was less kapow and more gulp as my hands, wrists, arms and shoulders gave my legs a rest as I hung on for dear life.
The winds remained all day and as we approached our destination of Tusayan brought with it snow. Amazing the contrast in weather between today and the previous few as sun cream was replaced with extra layers of clothes. Tusayan is right on the edge of the Grand Canyon so we all went down to the viewing platforms to see absolutely nothing as visibility is so poor. Let's hope we can see more in the morning as we're cycling through the park.

Just a Short One

We leave Kingman travel out on Route 66 with mighty cross winds that people estimate between 45 and 60 mph - eventually arrive in the Grand Canyon to heavy snow and freezing conditions. Tomorrow it will be sunny and on we go to Mexican Hat and Monument Valley.
Spirits are high!!

Twentynine Palms, CA – Kingman, AZ

In sporting terms, personally, today can be classed as a ‘s**t sandwich’, two great legs to start, two great stints to finish…an hour of pain in-between.

The day began with Rich and myself taking over from the bear and the Kitten, with a gradual, constant climb. Thankfully, the legs seemed great following yesterdays’ final ling…where a bonk was almost imminent (not that sort of bonk!!), and although the sun was starting to cook, the electrolytes, skins and a large supreme thin base from Pizza hut seemed to have done the job.

First leg down, second coming up, and as it mirrored the first, the words ‘relentless’, ‘constant’ and ‘never-ending’ were regularly delivered from Keanu Belcher. Again, constant gradual climbing, no relief for the legs whatsoever, and the sun again…cooking. The difference compared to back home, the straight roads. Not even a kink in the road could offer the relief of even thinking that a plateau was imminent. Constant, relentless, never ending climbing.

More so, when sitting in the van, it seemed that every time we swapped, we seemed to miss a descent. We can't complain, I’m sure this was my tired mind playing tricks on me, but if not, it was payback for yesterday’s stunning descent into Palm Dessert.

The third leg began with a downhill…relief, but the hills had taken their toll, and with very short recovery periods, the legs again felt empty, not a ‘bonk’ empty, just unable to get them going. Again, I must apologise to rich…who was like a dog on heat just trying to pull me along…but to no avail.

By now, the other group had set, and a change of tact brought increased periods of recovery. An hour in the van, some more ‘Go’ juice and a few slices of leftover pizza hut special, and there seemed to be a bit of ‘hwyl’. Another constant climb, but a shorter stint felt great, and the worry that yesterdays tiredness had already set-in were put to rest, with eagles flying above, and a bit of ‘ipod’ relief, we were back on the road. By now also, the Belcher had a grin from ear-to-ear…as Martin Johnson’s men leapfrog the Welsh in the 6Nations. “You must be s**t if you’re behind England, says the Gillingham fan (who lost 3-0 today).

Increased recovery seemed to bring a second wind to the whole group and the Bear, the Belcher and Phillipousis complete their legs, into a wind. By now, good time has been made, and Kingman doesn’t seem that far away. My penultimate leg leads to a 5mile climb, again, not the steepest, but continuous, and the theme for the day seems to have been set…then comes 10mile descent down to Davis Dam, which seemed great, but had to be carefully taken due to high crosswinds and regular gravel traps.

We end in style, as a four, reaching our destination as the sun sets over the Arizona dessert, on good ol’ Route 66. This route is the only one I believe to go the length of the states, and as Rich and myself covered a good 10miles earlier in the day, it seemed strange that we had rejoined 7 hours later. Why don’t we stick on this road??? The answer will be evident tomorrow.

Highlights of the day has to be the little rant by TM Stone, as he steered HMS Hwyl for the first time this morning. Almost ready to digest the Sat-Nav, the silhouette of the Bear on the horizon saved the sat nav in the nick of time. The fact the crew still don’t have a map is great, and as we’re almost there, is there any point in buying one now??

The vistas of the Mojave were spectacular, the salt beds, the Joshua trees, the deserted towns spread across the plains, that were obviously once thriving hubs, now more a scene of a Hollywood Horror flick. News also of victories for Fulham and Spurs bring a cheer…Rafa’s boys must complete the job tomorrow.

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