Cross Country Cycle for SOIL- The Grand Finale!
On August 24 – just hours behind schedule – the now legendary Dr. John Kilbride rode the last leg of his journey accross the island of Manhattan and into Battery Park. Raising support for SOIL along the way, our favorite British physician pedaled his bike more than 4000 km, from the end of the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to Battery Park New York City in just over one month’s time! John battled wildfires (on day one in the Los Angeles hills), blazing desert heat (117 F in Barstow!), a road that was not a road (curses on Route 66!), pokey brambles popping his tires (who knew, Kansas?), indigestion (from too many corn dogs and MacDonald’s meals in the midwest), reckless RV drivers (apparently common throughout the ride), and a maze of highways at the very end (thanks be to Pat Kramer who swooped in and saved John with a ride over the freeways for the home stretch).
For this of you who have been following John’s adventure blow-by-blow – here is the final chapter after our last post from Chicago. With a full stomach (thanks to SOIL Board Member Cathy Ellenbogen who spoiled John during his day off), John headed out on the final East Coast leg of his journey. He rode along the beautiful Allegheny river, camped in an RV park where a kind neighbor showed him the joys of bathing in the river (ie. there were no showers there), and achieved minor celebrity status in Towanda, Pennsylvania when he walked into the Red Rose diner which was flying the Union Jack. In this little cafe on the side of the road John met Joe Dupont from the Towanda Daily Review who wrote an excellent piece on John’s journey for the Towanda Daily Review. To hear some amazing quotes from our cycler extraordinaire check out the full story here and for one of our favorite quotes read the postscript to this blog.
After Towanda John fought his way through road construction near Scranton Pennsylvania and after 12 hours of riding, and just as dusk was falling, he was scooped up by Pat Kramer (SOIL Executive Director’s mom and all around amazing contributor) who escorted him to the Tapenzee Bridge for the final leg of his adventure. Then on August 24th, John rode triumphantly into Battery Park closing his epic adventure. SOIL is so grateful for John’s tenacity and passion and we hope his journey will inspire others to combine their spirit of adventure with their support for social justice. We love you John and we will miss our daily updates from the road – next year Mexico to Canada?
Enjoy these last videos of John in Battery Park and back home reunited with his proud mum and dad near Chesterfield, England.
Victorious in Battery Park, John makes a bold plan for SOIL’s 21st Anniversary
Back in England!
And as promised here are a choice quote from John’s media coverage:
“When I started through the desert, I was desperate for water – that’s what was important,” said Kilbride. “I was stopping at gas stations to fill up with water, and gas stations have these things called corn dogs, so I was really living off of corn dogs for that first week. Then, as I was coming into Illinois, there were more and more McDonald’s, so I sort of switched between corn dogs to McDonald’s. For a lot of Illinois into Indiana, it was McDonald’s. I am sick of McDonald’s. I wouldn’t want McDonald’s ever again.”
Support John’s campaign for SOIL:
It’s not too late to make a donation to congratulate John. To donate to SOIL in honor of John’s trip visit this site or click the Donate Now button below.