A Few Thank You’s

I know we’ve called this an unsupported ride but actually nothing could be further from the truth. Certainly we’ve carried all our gear and made our way from place to place but without the support of others it would not have been as enjoyable, may not have been as successful or not have taken place at all. So this post is to thank everyone who has supported us in some way and to who we are very grateful. So here goes and I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone.

If this ride has been tough for us we can’t imagine what our families have been through, worrying about our safety day after day for all those miles. Without their support and blessing this ride would not have taken place. We are so grateful to them and can’t wait to be reunited with them next week. We did this ride for them as much as for ourselves, we just wish our Dad was here to share this moment with us.

Thanks to the International Police Association (IPA) which has put us in contact with so many wonderful people in the USA. Without the assistance of the IPA our experience would have been very different. Thanks to Zerrin in the UK IPA office for assisting me to put together my plea for assistance and special thanks to Bud Lathrop, the main US coordinator, who was relentless in his quest to make sure that the whole of the USA knew we were coming! Bud, your a star and I wish I could have met you.

Thanks to Brian Dale from the Portland PD. Brian made our arrival go like clockwork and took us to Astoria and looked after us for our first day in the US. He’s a top guy and great company. Thanks too to his friend Todd who allowed us to stay in his beach house on our first night. What a great introduction to the US and it would have been nice to spend the whole two months there!

Karen & Dan Leedom looked after us the day before we set off and were there at the very start to see us off so a big thank you for being there for us and showing us your great little town. We’ll be back!

We stopped to for a fleeting visit with Les and Ginger Blum in bad weather on day 3, so thank you for allowing us to enjoy your company for a short while and providing us with some tasty treats before setting off again in the pouring rain.

An unexpected acquaintance came a week into the ride when Dan & Karen contacted their friends Bob and Judy Reed who lived on our route near John Day. So we stayed with Bob and Judy for a day and had the time of our lives. Thank you Bob & Judy for so much and allowing us to see a US that I bet few tourist ever do! Not forgetting Bob & Judy’s friends Mike and Judy who cooked a mean elk BBQ.

Pete & Karen Elmer live in a great spot (up a steep hill I seem to remember) in Montana and allowed us to rest at their place for a day. It was a great time and we really enjoyed our stay with them and their daughter Amanda. So thanks to them for some great memories and some good laughs.

Thanks to Guy & Susan Thoms in Pueblo for looking after us so well and running us around to buy bits for the bikes, post home our warm weather gear and for arranging a tour of the new Police station. Fond memories here. And thanks to Deputy Chief Andy McLaughlan for showing us around.

Thanks to Dennis & Diane Arcoraci in Virginia. Dennis is an IPA regional coordinator and has worked very hard to ensure our safe passage and arrange some liaisons for us. We had the pleasure of staying overnight with them just a few days ago so thanks for everything.

Thanks to Chief Deputy Major Donnie Lowe for his wonderful hospitality in Mineral. He arranged for us to stay at the Fire Dept and took us out to dinner. Thanks too to his lovely daughter Jennifer for dining with us that night. And thanks to the Fire Dept in Mineral who were a great bunch.

Wow, so many people but we’re almost done.

Big thanks to Tom and Anita Lobrano for putting us up at very short notice and making the last night of our ride a special one. And thanks to Tom O’Donnell and Tom Drumm for all the behind scenes networking and information.

Thanks to the Yorktown Sheriff’s Dept especially to Major Ron Montgomery, Lt. Jeff Kerr and Lt. Richard Moore for making our stay in Yorktown so good. Lt. Moore (Richie) has been a real star and even took us fishing in the bay where we caught sharks! You’ve been great and made the end of our ride a very special day indeed. I wonder how many other TransAm cyclists have had a Police escort to the finish? And thanks too to the US Coast Guard for allowing us to stay with them for our time in Yorktown. We realise what a privilege it is to be allowed to stay here and it’s just wonderful.

Without the company of the other cyclists we met along the way our ride would not have been as much fun, so thanks to Ed Petkus, Matt Clark and to the Carney family (Jim, Laura, Abby, Nathan and their friend Emily Hillison). They were all amazing people and we’re lucky to have met and ridden with them.

Special thanks to Dan and Marketta Jenkins in Washington DC. Dan retired as the Deputy Chief of the Secret Service and had our weekend planned out before we arrived with so many things for us to do and see. We were allowed a very special view of the White House from the roof of Dan’s current employer and we watched as President Obama arrived by helicopter. The whole weekend was fantastic and included a seat at the baseball game between the Nationals & Phillies, a trip around Capital Hill, a night ride in the police helicopter over DC ( a once in a lifetime opportunity), a visit to Arlington Cemetery and tours of the Newseum and the Air & Space Museum. Dan & Marketta have given us a weekend we’ll never forget, the perfect fairytale end to our trip. We are so very grateful to them.

We also want to thank  Larry Lanville for his offer of assistance and his offer to host us (If only we had more time).

Other thanks go to Debbie and Les at Damascus (not forgetting Eula), to Kiki Holl (TransAm Cyclist) for much useful info during the planning of this ride, to Wesley Smith at BBC Radio Oxford for promoting the ride & to Argos Racing Cycles for a great set of wheels.

Last, but by no means least, to everyone who has followed our progress and especially to everyone who has taken the time to write words of encouragement through the comments. They have been a huge boost to us and reading them was a favourite part of every day.

Finally I want to remember my good friend John Wood. John was a very keen cyclist, a family man and a Police Officer. He loved life but died a few years ago, age 49. I’ve thought about John a lot during this ride because he should be doing it too. In the tough and lonely times I’ve thought of John and realised how lucky and privileged I am to do the ride at all. Those thoughts made me stop feeling sorry for myself, forget the pain and just get on with it and enjoy every turn of the pedal. Thanks John for being my inspiration.

Okay, if you’ve read through all that you deserve a photo or two.

Nelson House

Nelson House - There's still a cannonball lodged in the apex of the roof since 1781. You should see it if you look closely.

Yorktown Trolly Bus

The trolley bus is free and takes you on a tour around Yorktown

Moore House

Moore House - It was here during the Revolutionary War that the British Commander,General Cornwallis signed the surrender papers in 1781

This is where our bikes are secured.

Bike boxed up for flight home

My bike all boxed up and ready to go home - sad really.


  1. Lovely comments Alan. It’s made things easier knowing that you’ve been well looked afte

    I’m chris’s daughter and I thank everyone above for taking care of him too. Hope the beard didnt put you off! ha ha
    I’ve never seen it that wild before! I think he was doing a forest gump for the ride!

    Tracey Penny

  2. I think you are both fantastic. Didn’t realise how much I loved you both. When I think that Dad died aged 55, and I look at you both doing this, it makes me realise how terribly young he was, and how much of life was taken from him and Mum. I am so, so proud of you both, my lovely brothers, and can’t wait to see you on your return.

    Love always

  3. I would also like to echo Tracey’s sentiments above. Thank you to all of you who may be reading this for the support and friendship that you have extended to my brothers. I know I speak for the entire family, and thanks go especially to everyone across the United States of America. I know you have been absolutely superb with your kindness, generosity and unwavering support.

    Ann Midwinter

  4. Well, Chris and Alan, you guys rock! You did it! We’re thrilled for you, proud of you,and so glad you came into our lives. You have truly experienced America, and I’m thankful you got the best of it. In times like these, it’s people like you and the folks you met along the way that help us remember that things are still OK. We hope to keep in touch and come see you in England and meet your wonderful, supportive families. We haven’t made our contribution yet because we couldn’t figure out the money in pounds stuff, but we’ll be sending it the old-fashioned way, by mail to the address you gave us. As you head home, we’ll be rumbling off to Sturgis. Enjoy your reunion with family and the great achievement you have made. Congratulations!!

  5. WOW! What a journey! My husband and I have been following you two since we met you in Rand, CO at the camp site.(I was the one with the baby) if you can remember that long ago.
    You both are amazing people or maybe just crazy for riding that far and up those mountains…..
    Don’t know what I will read in the mornings now that your journey is over.
    Thank you for telling us your stories and involving us in your journey.
    Sounds like you saw some amazing country and met some amazing people along the way. Hopefully you will find your way back to the US and visit some of those places again..

  6. I,m Chris,s wife and i would like to say a big thankyou to everyone who made Chris and Alan so welcome and everyone who helped them along the way, thankyou very much.

  7. I am Alan’s wife and I could echo all the comments above – and mean them of course but actually what I am going to say is:
    “That’s it, you have had your fun, now get your arses back here because I am well over being a single parent and I have a list of jobs about 4,300 miles long – I can’t get the strimmer or the leaf blower to work, the grass needs cutting and the camper needs sorting out ready for MY HOLIDAY”!!!
    Tee Hee!!!
    Seriously,I am so looking forward to getting you home and having a few quiet days together before we do leave for our holiday and then it really will be back to normality – whatever that is?

    Well done and I love you very much

  8. Hi there Chris,

    My name is Cavan Scott and I am the editor of Active, the National Trust’s magazine for volunteers.

    I’d like to arrange an interview with you regarding your bike ride for our next issue. Would it be possible for you to contact me on the email address above.

    Many thanks,


  9. Nice sharing a cab Sunday evening on your ride back to Yorktown Training…you guys are inspiring for fitness and adventure…I told guys at work on Monday am that you must have been mid to later forties…Man..you are actually older now that I see your blog….truly brilliant as you English say…thanks for visiting the USA.

    Mike Thome, Willimasburg, VA