No sooner had we got back from Hawaii, Francis was heading off on another incredible trip, this time to ride 3000 miles across America with Justin Levene to raise money for Get Kids Going. If you’ve been following their journey you’ll know it’s been a tough one in parts but they have also laughed the whole way through it and raised an incredible amount for the charity. Last Friday they finished in Los Angeles completing the ride in 48 days and following this we caught up with Francis to find out a bit more about their adventures.
What was the idea behind the trip?
The idea was to cycle 3000 miles across the USA from Miami to LA. We wanted to prove that riding unsupported was possible while carrying a wheelchair with us, raise some awareness and get people talking about disability & sport. However, the most important part of the project was to raise as much money as possible for Get Kids Going!
What were you doing this challenge in aid of?
We’ve been raising money for Get kids going who are a charity in the UK supporting young athletes with disabilities by assisting their exposure to sport, giving them access to equipment and grants.
How did you decide what route to choose?
We sat down and began planning and thought Miami to LA sounds cool! We also decided we wanted to stay really far south so the weather would be as warm as possible although it turns out we went through some really cool places and ticked off some cities we’ve always wanted to visit too.
What were the highlights of the trip?
100% the biggest highlight was people.
From day one it was a constant stream of meeting amazing people. From people donating on the street, to helping us get rolling again when things went wrong and equipment broke they’ve been incredible. We’ve made friends the whole way across the USA, and this was what made the trip very special.
What challenges did you have to overcome on the way?
There were many challenges along the way, these included; a broken handbike, a broken wheelchair, 10 punctures in one ride, rain and illness. Despite this we laughed the whole way through it all!
How did it compare to previous challenges?
This trip was a lot harder than anything I’ve done before. This was not just because of the cycling though. Making the videos every day - which were instrumental in getting donations for the charity - was the hardest bit for me.
What Parcours wheels did you use?
For this I ran the new Alta gravel wheelset but with road tyres. They are wide, run with low pressure and perfect depth for this kind of trip because it’s easy finding spare tubes with long enough valves. They performed flawlessly for the whole trip!
An inspirational achievement from Francis and Justin! If you aren’t up to date on their adventures, check out Francis’ videos and catch up now…