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  • Timothy Bruce

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

So if you have been following my adventures you will have been frustrated not to have heard anything from me for a number of days - so here’s the background to why.

I love travelling to the United States as, for some reason, it feels like coming home and it helps that when I do so, I am surrounded by friends who share a passion for both cycling and housing, whilst seeking to make a difference in people’s lives. I am currently on my third Fuller Center Bike Adventure since 2019 with all the previous frustration of the global pandemic preventing rides for me to joining rides since 2020 until 2022. As a reward for having to wait 2 years, I decided to volunteer for two rides this year. The first being the Gulf Coast ride which I completed in March. Therefore I was excited to be doing this second ride along the Underground Railroad which started on 28th May from Slidell in Louisiana.

Then Covid jumps up and bits me and I test positive for the virus that I had completely avoided up to that point. I am fully vaccinated and boosted and every test I had ever taken had proved negative. At the end of the first day of riding I do not feel great and take a test knowing that I have a chesty cough and sure enough, Covid is found. Under the terms of the ride, I therefore have to self-isolate until I test negative or I complete 10 days of self-isolation.

Today, Tuesday 7th June, is the completion of 10 days of isolation and I’m due to return to the cycling flock this evening in Taylor, Mississippi. Tomorrow I aim to climb back on my bike again and start to cycle towards Saltillo and the Natchez Trace Parkway, which by all accounts is beautiful.

Learning to be patient is not one of my favourite activities!! Being thankful for my circumstances has been testing and, at times, down right awkward! I have had to fund stays in different hotels, some great, and one particularly bad. However, I have had the love, support and encouragement of many people to help me along the way nevertheless this was not what I was hoping for when I climbed on a plane to return to the USA 🇺🇸 in late May.

I have come to realise that there are millions of people across the world who have had to go through something and more of what I have experienced over the last few days. Many did not survive and yet more have long-term implications of this dreadful disease. Up to this point I had thankfully avoided this confrontation so the last 10 days have been quite humbling, particularly when my symptoms have been so mild. I have not had to fight for my life, I have not had to call the emergency services, I have not had to cause great worry to my family and at no time have I had to panic or worry about my health. All of these things are reasons to be grateful, even though I would have preferred to avoid this affliction. Instead I have had to just wait and be patient, something that does not always come naturally to me.

Therefore, today, I now see as a fresh start and I hope that my fellow cyclists will understand when I am cautious over the next few days. I know my body will require a few days to build up strength and take on some of the longer journeys and it may be best if I continue to be one-step removed from them until we all see a negative test come up. (Your turn to be patient and understanding!!)

The adventure continues tomorrow!

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