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Blog 193 Lexington to Front Royal

19th April

It is 411 miles to New York. I am getting a bit nervous. Anything could still go wrong. I’m adept in American traffic, I know their ways, the monumental respect the driving ego needs barely grants cyclists the status of being human. 

As in all things critical mass exists in traffic movement. Equal numbers give balance, and as a singular cyclist - because I saw no others - pitched in the ring with a million motorists frames us in this dysfunctional arrangement. The space they occupy is considered their own and me getting too close they consider it trespass. That day I was forced off the road three times in an hour. Closing in on me each vehicles trajectory was not changing. I heard no change of gear, no diminishment of tyre sound, not even the decompression of braking, nothing physical, in fact least of all contrition, and if I hadn't urgently moved onto the grass verge and into the bushes I would have been driven through as if by constitutional right. 

Not being thought human, or at least vouched stupid for being on a bicycle, woman drive past me as they repair their makeup, read a book or at the very least talk on their phone with their elbow on the steering wheel.

I take a quick coffee in a charming cafe in Lexington. I drink coffee not just because I like it but to sit somewhere safe and beef up my strategy for staying alive.

I stop in a restaurant called an Ihop - known for serving the most calorific pancake breakfasts on the planet - but it being 9pm it was too late to get anything that looked like a proper meal. But then I’ve not had proper nourishment in America since I arrived. American food is colourful and appetising but too processed for my body with irredeemable amounts of sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and monosodium glutamate. Phthalates may also be present due to contamination from fast food packaging. After a visit to Burger King my belly is extended and l fart. 

What is the most toxic fast food?

Wendy's is the fast food restaurant with the highest levels of toxic, microscopic toxins in its meals, according to a shocking analysis. Its chicken nuggets were found to contain up to 10-times more phthalates - a forever chemical linked to cancer, fertility issues and autism - than food sold at rival chains.

Breakfast - double yugh!

So I’m riding with rubbish in my stomach, feeling tired, filming less, focusing on getting into Europe. The journey is so close to completion I dare not think of discontinuing. What, because I am exhausted? Because initial grandiosity has degraded to pointlessness. Because there is a catastrophe back home that only my presence can arrest. It is none of this that will stop me finishing. Some humans have to be a hero for a moment, a very brief moment. I am an adventurer and this is my way of existing. For me there is no other way, except not to exist. 

At the end I eat hungrily a small chicken sandwich from Dunkin Donuts, empty more gas from my body and go to my room. Goodnight.

"For me this is paradise and the best place in the world," the old farmer said outside a diner. "We know everyone and everyone knows us and if anyone needs help we go and see what we can do. It's a community and we just look after everyone in it."

Map of the Day

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Safe Journey home Nick.

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