I started with my shoe rain covers just in case even though it wasn’t raining. It was only later that I needed them but by then I had taken them off. Great call, Rick.
The ride got off to an interesting start when Google turned me off of a busy thoroughfare – which was good – onto a street that soon had a barricade. The photo is of my bike after I lifted it over the first part of the barricade before I lifted it over the 2nd part. I was just glad that it wasn’t higher than it was. Once past the barricade, the road continued as predicted and was a lot better than the busy street I turned off of.
Google did a good job of directing me to country roads with little traffic and good surfaces. For some reason, despite the good conditions and the lack of any significant climbing – only 1,532 feet over 73.6 miles – I was struggling. And not because of the slight headwind. My legs didn’t feel particularly tired bit I didn’t have any power and my body was plagued with a general malaise. Though not painful, it was just difficult to keep pedaling.
So, I didn’t. No, I didn’t quit. But when the chance arose, I pulled of on to a side road where there was a large lawn with some shade and a tree that made a good back rest and settled in for a while. After eating a ClifBar, I finally got going again, not because I felt like it but because I couldn’t very well stay for the rest of the day. Though that didn’t feel like too bad of an idea.
I stopped at a store not long after and got a cold drink and then started riding again. Whether it was from the added calories or just because I sometimes do better later in the ride, the riding wasn’t such a struggle any more. I still wasn’t riding as strongly as yesterday but at least I didn’t constantly feel like stopping.
When Ale caught me at about mile 46 I decided to take the shoe covers off. I should have known better. After multiple cups of ice water and having my bottles filled with ice water I set out for the final 30 miles. (I don’t know why I still had 30 to go since it was supposed to be a 67 mile ride, not 72.)
The riding was still better than at the start once I warmed up from the stop.
Oh, speaking of warming up. Today it reached 95 and was regularly 89 to 90. However, despite my weak start it never felt as oppressive as the day in Maine when 95 degree temperatures cut my day short. Maybe because unlike then, I wasn’t climbing mountains today.
At about mile 62 I started to feel some light rain, but nothing too much. I stopped in front of a couple of houses to check my phone – which appears to be water damaged – and a woman came out and asked if I ride much. When I told her that I do, she said that she had just moved to the area and wanted someone to ride with. I obviously had to tell her I am not from the area but I blew it by not asking her if she wanted to ride with me tomorrow part or all of the way to Wilmington.
TERESA, IF YOU READ THIS TONIGHT AND ARE INTERESTED, TEXT OR CALL ME AT 925.639.8269.
She would make a credible riding partner because she has done the MS 150 mile 2 day ride. Although disappointed she hadn’t found someone to ride with, Teresa gave me a couple bottles of cold water and filled one of my bottles with ice. Thank you, Teresa and I hope you Comment on here so I know you are following.
By the way, she said that she is retired which means, based on her appearance, she did something right. Too bad she can’t join our group at home.
Just before I left the wind started picking up which wasn’t all bad because it was blowing in the direction I was going. It was hard enough that Teresa said I might not need to pedal the rest of the way. However, when I voiced concern about rain she assured me that wouldn’t happen soon. She was wrong. (I will attribute that to her being new to the area.) Within less than a mile, it started pouring. Then to make matters worse, I had to turn onto a fairly busy road with no useful shoulder for 3 miles. With the rain, the general darkness from the rain, the sketchy shoulder and all of the fast moving vehicles, I couldn’t help but think of the rider who was killed recently at home on a road we regularly ride that is a lot safer than where I was today. Thankfully, I was a lot more fortunate than he was.
I am writing this so yes, I finished. Soaking wet and with water logged shoes that would have benefitted from the covers I took off. I also felt finished. The ride wasn’t hard, being neither too long and pretty flat. But I was – am -still beat. I napped for about 1 ½ hours before dinner which is pretty unprecedented and I expect to go to bed early anyway. Plus, my legs are tired which is also fairly unusual. Maybe because I have now ridden 9 days in a row? Only 5 to go before R&R in Charleston and Ale assured me that Sunday is so short it will be like a rest day (42 miles). When did 42 miles become a rest day for me?
We had dinner at a local steak house. I ordered an 8 oz. Ribeye but could have ordered any size up to 24 oz. The 8 oz. Was plenty, thank you. Ale liked her chicken breast with mushrooms and we both enjoyed the salad bar.
Tomorrow is supposed to be 64 miles and 305 feet to Wilmington. However, today was supposed to be 65 miles and 453 feet, not 74 miles and 1,532 feet. However, if my legs get back to normal, it should be an easy ride. If not, I can complain some more tomorrow.
By the way, Ellen, thank you for the promise of ANOTHER donation, of $100, upon the completion of my ride. See, she knows how to motivate me to keep me pedaling.