When Paul Kelly of Beccles, England got laid off from his job 6 months ago he knew he had to do something positive with his time so he decided to get drunk every day and wallow in despair.
Three months later the depressed, unkempt engineer found himself 45 pounds heavier and needed surgery to remove a sclerotic liver. Paul was at the end of his rope physically, mentally, and spiritually. His supportive wife, suggested that he could pursue his life long dream or pack his bags and get the fuck out the house. Paul decided to pick up the pieces of his life and began planning for the long distance bike ride that he’d put off for years.
“I’ve been wanting to do the bike ride for 20 years but I was too busy with my family and my shitty job. After the layoff, I had all the time in the world,” Paul told us. “I decided that if I was going to do it, I could use the opportunity to raise money for a debilitating disease that I suffered from as a boy. I contacted people at Let’s Kick Rickets Foundation and they were excited about the idea. Last year, over 17 children contracted Rickets in England alone.”
Rickets is caused by lack of Vitamin D. It leaves children with knock-knees, knobby knees, and spindly legs. It extreme cases in can leave boys with pigeon toes.
On November 4th, shortly after 9:00 A.M., Paul kissed his wife goodbye and headed out his garage door on his son’s bicycle and started the grueling 162 meter journey to the end of the driveway. Paul estimated the trip would take 2-3 minutes. Paul’s wife and two children followed behind him in a support vehicle.
The ride went well for the first 32 seconds and then tragedy struck. Paul took a nasty spill after riding over a gardening trowel that his wife had left on the driveway.
“I went right over the handle bars and crashed to the pavement. I got scuffed up pretty bad and the chain came off the bike,” said Paul. “We had to decide if we were going to quit right then and there or continue on. I was in a lot of pain but all I could think of is all those poor kids with Rickets. So I quit anyways. I had fucking driveway asphalt ground into my goddamned forearms and it hurt like a bitch!”
After spending the afternoon drinking pints of ale and picking dirty gravel out of his arms, Paul regained his courage and decided to finish the trip. With the help of drunk friends, Paul mounted the bike and discovered that the front wheel wobbled quite badly and the bike had no brakes. His mates gave a him push start and off Paul went, careening down the driveway.
Word spread throughout England that Paul was going to finish his trek that afternoon and a large crowd of friends and supporters lined the last 6 feet of the course to cheer him on.
“I have to admit that I was pretty choked up seeing all those people there at the finish,” said the inebriated biker. “It was the highlight of the trip. I sped right through the finish line and used my neighbors picket fence and SUV to stop. I broke 2 teeth, my wrist and his side view mirror. I’ve already begun planning a longer trip for next Summer, perhaps going as far as the Keg ‘n’ Clover Pub right down the road.”