Okay, I debated about blogging about the events of today. I really want to be positive and have a happy blog, but at the same time, I want to show an honest picture of the trip and remember the emotions when I read back over my blog over the next umpteen years. So, first let me say, I had a great day and rode well and feel great right now and I am having a blast! However:
Warning!!! Guys this is girl stuff - Stop reading here - it is sappy!
Warning!!! Mom, and everyone else who really know me - I am fine!
Today started like all other days. I had my massage last night so I felt good when I got up and hoped that I would have a strong cycling day. I got my stuff together, got my bike in order and was 3rd or 4th in line with my bag for the luggage truck. The morning was humid, but comfortable. We started out and had light traffic for the first few miles - nothing too bad. After we cleared out of town we all passed the Indiana sign and stopped to take pictures. I was fortunate to be able to latch on to Paul's wheel as he was pacing Vikki. I was able to ride strong with them for about 15 miles or so and boy was I on cloud nine! I have been saying the whole trip that if I could just get the right conditions, I should be able to ride with the group on one of these flat days. Then we came up on a detour as a road was under construction. I was following Vikki and we both slid in a mud patch that was hidden in a shadow. I did not go down, but it really unnerved me. In the few seconds it took to get composed, I was off of Vikki's wheel. So, I popped my gears to my big ring to hammer to keep up at the same time another group passed me. Instead of going into the big ring, my chain falls to the outside of the ring onto my crank arm. This has happened at least once every day since I have been on the trip. Anyone reading this considering Q-ring - save yourself the money - they are awful. I wish I had never used them! I will take a hammer to them on August 11th! Anyway, the adjustment necessary on the derailleur to make them work right is just to precise for a bike that is ridden for Randonneuring or trans-American travel. Maybe if you are a good mechanic, but someone who is not - Qrings are abysmal. So, I have to stop and fix my chain and not only lose Vikki, but the second group that rode by as well. Once again I am at the back of the pack. Why today do I let this bother me, I don't know. I have grown accustom to riding at the back. I am okay, and very glad, that I am not under the pressure to ride every mile. I have enjoyed getting each days ride in and if I do the whole thing great and if I don't then yeah, I get back earlier to get other things accomplished. But for some reason slipping in the mud, the chain and loosing the pace line really bothered me today. I started crying like a girl! I knew I had gone mental and kept trying to tell myself to think good thoughts. All I could do was cry "Gary Indiana, Gary Indiana", which is a song Mike started singing on the third or fourth day of the trip at lunch and Vikki and I have been laughing about for a day or two. Then I would cry more, then I would try and think happy thoughts. I finally stopped crying but pulled into the first sag and Vikki was worried about me when she realized I had fallen off of the back of the pack. So, when she asked me if I was all right, I started crying again. All the girls tried to console me and who knows what the guys thought. I heard one of the guys ask if everything was alright and Susan C said it was just a girl thing. That cracked me up. Then, everything was okay again. Just releasing the tears made me feel better. Had I been at home I would have watched My dog Skip or Steel Magnolias to have a good cry!
Anyway - Jim looked at my bike and made a small adjustment. It did not fix it completely, but it helped. I rode on and ended up having a very good day. The route was fabulous. Lon has done a fantastic job keeping us on back roads. Although we are still ensconced in corn country, searching for good barns has kept me very interested in each days ride.
Indiana - lost track as to how many states we have crossed - is this 7?
Neat old building with bikes hung as decoration
My favorite barn of the day - it is yellow although it looks white in this pic. BTW, the American barn is winning yesterdays barn contest. Feel free to vote if you haven't though.
Soybeans in front of a barn
My foot! No, actually this is today's picture of corn - corn to the right and to the left!
Tomorrow we head to Ohio. It will be a short day with only 85 miles.