14degrees off the beaten track
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March 7th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,USA (Texas)

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My Mum just commented:

“What did I tell you! I knew you would be wishing for your bike back!!!!! But you can’t get a skateboard record on a bike so just keep that thought in your head.”

So true, Mum. That’s one of the few things that keeps me going. Here are the things that kept me going across Texas:

  • I said I would skate across the US, so that’s what I’m going to do.
  • If you’re going to set a record for a journey, especially a human powered journey, and claim the record as your own, then do it right. Solo and unsupported all the way*.
  • Time to set the bar higher on a Guinness World Record, and on the limits of every kind of human powered transport.

* I do appreciate the fact that the support I have received from so many complete strangers continues to make this journey what it is – a journey that continues to confirm the intrinsic goodness and humanity of the inhabitants of this world we life in. In a way, this journey is not unsupported at all. Thank you for all the support I continue to receive both on the ground and through this website, both tangible and intangible.

By the way, on the other side of the coin, thanks in part to the Guinness World Record media exposure and largely due to the efforts of his support team, Dave Cornthwaite of England (current record holder for distance skateboarding; his journey was supported by vehicles) managed to raise over US$36,000 for charity. I continue to support Dave in his efforts to encourage people to challenge themselves to live their dreams. Check out www.boardfree.co.uk for more info!
El Paso is an interesting town. The downtown area is modern with good facilities.

El Paso, Texas, USA

El Paso, Texas, USA

I am reminded somewhat of Miami. More people speaking Spanish than English, and understandably a wonderful variety of ethnicities – something I have missed while traveling through rural Texas.

Resting in El Paso, Texas, USA

I plan to head out towards Phoenix, Arizona, tomorrow. I hope to complete the 450-odd miles in about 10 to 12 days. I am still on schedule for arriving in Los Angeles by the 1st of April (34 miles a day overall average). Still some mountains to conquer (the Continental Divide), and some dry and arid areas too.

Thank you to the handful of people who either called me or texted me on my phone (US number: +1 305 484 0146) in the last few days to check if I was still breathing. Most appreciated! For future reference, if you’re one of those people, a quick comment on this website that you have been in contact with me would be appreciated, for the benefit of other readers :-)

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    Permanent Link     Comments (15)

Comment by John & Karen Poo — March 8, 2008 @ 10:49 pm | post a comment

Greetings small-wheel mate!

Rolled into Tucson today (3/7) with a lovely tailwind most of the way. Great photo of us together at Fort Davis. We too have fought some serious winds – I kept saying "Poor Rob" as we biked rough pavement and were sandblasted. When we left you on our southerly track to Van Horn we picked-up a delightful tailwind, well-deserved! Van Horn by noon & couldn't waste the wind, so off to Fort Hancock on I-10. Ended with 154 miles at 19 mph average – a loaded touring speed record for us. Nice to balance out the sub-freezing morning temps and headwinds afterward. Our trip of 2519 miles from Savannah, GA averaged 15.2 mph.

You're a tough Kiwi! We'll be following your blog.


John Poole

Comment by Aunty Lyn — March 8, 2008 @ 11:00 pm | post a comment

Hi Rob

We were getting very worried at your silence so Peter called you last night our time in Thailand. Glad to get all the updates and hear you are alive and still kicking!! We continue to pray for you – safety and sanity

Comment by Mike C — March 9, 2008 @ 2:51 am | post a comment

Great to hear you're still alive and didn't shrivel up in the heat of the Texan desert. According to Google Earth, it's only 700miles as the crow flys to Los Angeles. Keep up the good work. Are your wounds healing well? I bet they're nice and scabby now! Joel turned 10 weeks old today. He's smiling a lot now. Check out photos of him on my facebook page if you like. :-)


Comment by Chris J — March 9, 2008 @ 4:46 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

Just finished digesting the latest long update. It was really a relief to see that I could access the page again and that you had gotten a chance to update all of us on your journey. I was very sorry to read about your crash, more fond memories of Texas huh? Thankfully you are all right and continuing to push toward the Pacific. And continuing to inspire!

All the best for smooth roads and clear skies in New Mexico.

The photos, as always, have been great. Should you ever be back to ride this route again it would be a pleasure to accompany you. I could certainly use the exercise.

Comment by Josh Gregory — March 9, 2008 @ 10:16 am | post a comment

Hey Rob! It was great to meet you and share a room with you at the hostel. It's nice to know that there are others out there adventuring around the world. May God bless your journey.

Comment by christine — March 9, 2008 @ 12:15 pm | post a comment

Rob – i commented on a previous entry that i may know someone who can host you in Scottsdale AZ when you get there. if you want me to connect you guys, i'll send her your phone number.

email me at if you are interested.

Comment by Patrick — March 9, 2008 @ 1:29 pm | post a comment

Hey Rob,

we are glad to hear you are somewhat safe(that spill sounded bad) and sound. That journey through Texas sounded grueling but I am sure you will be able to look back with a great sense of accomplishment. I bet you have become quite the tortilla connoisseur. Have you reached out to Guinness to see if they would want to interview you during the trip? They have a TV show and could very well be interested. Just a thought.

We wish you continued success with your journey.

Patrick, Colleen, Nick, Hannah, Connor & Hailey

Comment by matt — March 9, 2008 @ 1:56 pm | post a comment

hey well done rob! it wont be long before you are in arizona and they have really cool, enormous cactii there. if skating past really big cactii isnt a reason to carry on then i dont know what is!

Comment by Nana — March 9, 2008 @ 8:10 pm | post a comment

Les, Emily-Jane and I were sitting having lunch in a cafe overlooking New Brighton beach on Friday and we were wondering what had become of you. There seemed to have been a long stretch with no news on your web-site. That is why Les texted you. We were very relieved to get your text back and know that apart from your injuries from your fall, you were OK. Hope the roads in Arizona are a bit smoother than Texas.

Comment by Chrissy/Sunny — March 10, 2008 @ 1:32 pm | post a comment


I met you almost a year ago (crazy) and you still amaze me with your strength, courage, and humbleness.

You say how grateful you are for the support and kindness you have received along the way, but we all should be thanking you; for allowing us to share this incredible, honest, and wholehearted journey with you…for teaching us strength, compassion, truth, purpose, determination, and so much more.

People may help and support you on your journey; however you help, support and leave such an amazing impact on every life you touch.

And the great thing is the impact you leave will ALWAYS carry on, just liek you carry on…

Seems like the past month as been a bit of a downer with the weather and crappy roads, just never forget how many people around the world are rooting for you, including all your crazy VC buddies : )


"A tiger in a cage can never see the sun."

- RENT : )

Sing it sometime for a good laugh/memory haha.

Your seriously rock Weka! Sending all the well whishes possible! And congratulations on the journey so far! Keep on reaching for your goal! It's in your heart & almost in your hands!

One of your biggest fans,

Sunny/Chrissy xxx

Comment by Aunty Les — March 11, 2008 @ 3:14 am | post a comment

I hope the wilds of Arizona are a bit kinder to you than the wilds of Texas.

Comment by Lee — March 11, 2008 @ 11:37 pm | post a comment

Yes! Amen to Sunny/Chrissy. Thankyou for your honesty & commitment to sharing the journey.

Comment by ailsa — March 12, 2008 @ 4:07 pm | post a comment

hey rob

just been thinking of you these last few days for some reason, good to get an update, hope the next leg of the journey is a little easier, although me thinks you actually prefer the challenge. I'm having to write a 4000 word assignment on 2 days so that is my challenge for the time being.

He gives us grace enough for each challenge we face though.

Keep trusting and keep skating


Comment by Charlie — March 12, 2008 @ 7:11 pm | post a comment

Tuesday Night in Pensacola – Earthdate: March 11, 2008 A.D. = Rob, you totally ROCK!

Congrats, mate.

Yeah…you're in the big fat book!


Comment by Charlie — March 12, 2008 @ 7:14 pm | post a comment

Mum should be proud, huh?

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