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  • Timothy Bruce

The final push to the Portland lighthouse in Maine

Having said goodbye to New York we set off on a marathon week of riding with over 400 miles to reach our finish line at the lighthouse at Portland, Maine. On the way, as we made our way through the various states in New England, I came across a number of familiar place names:

- Exeter

- Portsmouth

- Wells (which is only 8 miles from our home in England)

- Bristol

- Dover

- Durham

- Marlborough

- Manchester, etc.

We came through a number of States; Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire & Maine. Some from the team added another 30 miles to include Rhodesia Island. Me??: No, I need a reason to come back for other rides in the future!!

Included in the rides was our first century ride and, given the lack of volunteers, I agreed to sweep at the back of the ride, along with Alexis - who will be participating at the world triathlon championships in Hawaii in October! My chance to ride alongside someone who would ordinarily leave me with a mouth full of dust as she disappears over the horizon!!

There were 3 other 80+ mile rides so by the time we arrived in Windham, close to Sebago Lake in Maine, I was glad to have a Build Day to allow a certain part of anatomy to recover!

I worked on John & Linda’s home and tried my hand at laying brick paviours, something I’ve never done before. I worked with Steve, a local volunteer, after I dug out the hole. We filled with gravel which we rammed down and then put a levelling layer of sand before laying the paviours and putting in plastic barriers to hold the bricks in place. Whilst not perfect, both of us were pleased with our efforts.

During a break in the work, I popped in to talk with Linda and had the chance to pray with her husband, John, who has ALS or Motor Neurone Disease, as we would call it in England.

Following the Build Day, we were left with a short ride into Portland to complete the tour to Lighthouse and dip all our tyres in the Atlantic as a team.

Overall the tour has been very satisfying for me as I did every mile required of me and represents some 1,422 miles in 4 weeks, plus 2 days, and I’ve done some of my strongest and fastest riding in my 5 years as a cyclist. More importantly, I have left properties in better order, helped those residents to more enjoy their properties and built and strengthen friendships with a great bunch of people who joined me on the ride.

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