2016 Trans USA Bike Ride
After the 2011 walk from Amsterdam to Barcelona a new fundraising target was set – £100,000 and a new challenge required.
In 2012 whilst working on Intensive Care in Harrogate, Andy met Tracey Hill who was a Student Nurse at the time. After charming her with incisive wit and dashing good looks Tracey was coerced into a relationship which has endured. However, the relationship was tested in its infancy as only 6 months after they met, Andy left for South Sudan and a new role as the supervisor of the Nutrition Centre at MSF’s Leer Hospital from June to December 2013.
Throughout Andy’s career at Harrogate District Hospital he has received extraordinary support for his work with Médecins Sans Frontières. As always, a request for time away on missions and fundraisers had to be sensitive to the needs of the Hospital. The decision was therefore taken to allow a period of settled work after the 2013 mission before heading away on another big challenge this time a joint venture with Tracey.
This plan didn’t quite work out as the West Africa Ebola outbreak blew up and Andy was deployed to an Ebola management centre in Sierra Leone on a one-month mission at the end of 2014.
Finally, in 2016, the next big fundraising challenge took place – a bike ride across the United States from San Francisco to New York.
Andy and Tracey set off from San Francisco on 24th May. The ride traversed 13 states and 4000 miles. It was unsupported and as ever self-funded with all money raised going to Doctors Without Borders.
Similar to Andy’s walka2b odyssey 5 years previously, the trip was punctuated by encounters with kind and generous people. Frequently, Andy and Tracey were invited to stay in people’s homes, barns or to camp in their gardens. Twice they went to pay for meals in diners only to find that some unknown, generous individual had already paid the bill. Project saving kindness was shown in the latter stages of the ride. As the couple were about to pass from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, Andy found that he had a potentially catastrophic issue with the back wheel of his bike. This could easily have led to wheel collapse and serious injury. A good samaritan stopped and saved the day. He took Andy to a bike shop after ensuring Tracey was safely accompanied by his partner. An hour later they were back on the road with a new wheel and a new friend.
71 days after setting off from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco they arrived at the Médecins Sans Frontières office in Manhattan and the end of an incredible challenge.
This ride is estimated to have raised around £25,000 for the fundraising project.
This unsupported and self funded cycle challenge began in San Francisco. It passed through the Nevada desert, over the Rocky Mountains, across the wide open plains of the mid-west, over the Appalachian mountains and finished in New York. Over 4000 miles of adventure and challenge. It took 71 days to complete.
This project is part of an ongoing fundraising effort. The aim is to raise £200,000 for Doctors Without Borders.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). We help people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from healthcare.
Eighty-five percent of every pound you donate is spent on patient care. MSF tries its utmost to make sure that your donations are spent on saving lives rather than on administration and management costs.