Together with his wife Janice and three friends, Dave Noble, who is Commercial Manager at Redhall Engineering, spent 35 days cycling 3,250 miles across North America in an attempt to raise thousands of pounds for two charities.
Here he tells his story:
“With my father-in-law, Tom, following behind us in an RV, our group of five set off this July from Seattle, to cycle to New York City. Our journey took us across one Canadian and 11 American States, riding around 100 miles most days.
We weaved in some short mileage days, so we could visit a few of the sights such as Mount Rushmore, Badlands and Old Faithful etc. A highlight of our trip, and the most exhilarating, was something we feared would be too ‘touristy’, and that was a trip on ‘The Maid of The Mist’ to gaze up at the irresistible force of Niagara Falls.
Overall, we were lucky with the weather, with the first fortnight of continual 40+ degrees heat proving to be the worst to bear! We were very glad to have started in the West as this meant we crossed the Rockies and High Plains of Montana and Wyoming first.
The persistent flat of South Dakota and Iowa is a different challenge, but undeniably easier to find a rhythm. We never really got used to the scale of America; being able to see the next 15 miles of asphalt and cycling 50 miles without seeing a building are things you cannot replicate in the UK.
The locals were stereotypically ignorant of matters outside of their locality and given to wild generalisations about foreign folk. They also seemed to live on the most basic food that could be created without fruit and vegetables. However, when it came to respect for cyclists on the road, hospitality and kindness they were exemplary.
We initially struggled to decide on which charity to support and unfortunately fate played a bad hand, when in very quick succession two friends announced they had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and Motor Neurone Disease respectively. We decided to make a concerted effort to raise money for both causes and have exceeded our target by gathering close to £14,000. As a cruel footnote to the venture, the close friend of mine who was the guy with Motor Neurone Disease, died on the 8th November. Though he had been unable to speak for the last six months, when we returned home he did manage a rough mime of us cycling and put a thumb up – so we knew he appreciated the effort.
Now it’s over it feels like it is someone else’s story. I look in the mirror and find it hard not to share people’s scepticism that we actually did what we did by train, rather than on a push-bike! But, we did and we even managed to have some laughs along the way. The experience has been very inspiring and all the kind words and donations have made it even better than we could have dreamt.
Next year I fancy cycling 25 mile legs between cosy country pubs, but that will be for pleasure only and there will be no requests for sponsorship this time round.”