The day did not start out as well as it ended up. As I walked out of the motel this morning with my bike, it was already hot. I don't know what the temp was but the humidity had to be at 97% or more. You could cut the air with a knife - and it was soooo still. Fortunately, it was overcast. I woke up not feeling very good - probably under caloried again. I tried to eat some cereal and a cinnamon roll, but my stomach did not like them. I continued to get ready, but told Veronica that I may sag today. I went back into the motel to get my bag and grabbed a cup of yogurt. I really did not want it, but I knew I need to get something in my stomach.
We rolled out and I was amazed at how good my legs feel. I had my massage last night and I always ride better the day afterward - thanks John J! 4 miles into the ride I see a great barn. I don't normally stop this early in a ride to take a picture, but I had to today. My stomach was still very queasy, so I was nursing my Sustained Energy. As I rolled along, I realized that I was really rolling. Todays route was a perfect recumbent route. The hills were just the right size to power down and roll up. Only a couple needed to be pedaled over. Although I did not feel well, I was really enjoying the ride. I had to stop a couple time for bio breaks which slowed me down, but otherwise, I was rolling right along.
When I got to the first sag stop, I was the last one in. Lon indicated that Kirk and Priska were a few minutes ahead of me and that Bob K had to attend to buisness today and was not riding. So, I told Lon I would sag if I got too far back. He then told me I was doing fine on time (I was averaging 15 but stopped a few times probably putting me closer to 14 average overall) take my time and just plan on being in by 4! Wow, that really made me feel good!
The issue comes that when those of us who are on the slower side have a good day, typically the faster guys also have a good day in the same proportion so, we on the slower side are still slow. But today, I was just going to ride and not worry about how far back from the main pack I was because I knew I was in the time limits! So, I grabbed a banana and rolled out of the first sag! For the rest of the day I stopped when I wanted to take pictures and really enjoyed the rollers.
As I was riding I thought about shoulders - not the ones that attach your arms to your body, but those that are on the side of good roads. For the better part of the morning we had a good 4 ft shoulder. Most of the tour, we have had good shoulders or we have been on really low traffic back roads. Having shoulders really makes it much easier for a cyclist to ride. We are out of the way of the traffic and don't have to worry as much about being hit by cars. Mississippi does not have many roads with shoulders and that is a really big shame. We could cycle too so many more places using roads that have slightly higher traffic. I would love to ride to Leland to see the Kermit the Frog exhibit, but the roads to get there just aren't as safe. Anyway, we lost our good shoulder just before lunch. The traffic seemed to pick up and I was buzzed by 3 18 wheelers. They just don't like to move over. I then had to completely get off the road for one as he was going to mow me over even if I was riding just to the right of the white line - we still had a 6 inch shoulder. So, it is amazing that I can ride my bike across the US on roads that 90% have shoulders, yet I can't ride 60 miles to Leland MS or to Yazoo City even as I consider the roads too dangerous.
Okay, off the soap box about shoulders - I will listen to my Ipod (one ear only) tomorrow!
Hands down - barn of the day! I know I appreciate everything American - especially our flag since I have been on this trip!
White barn with quilt design
Red barn with quilt design hidden by the tree
Different red barn with quilt - can you see the thick air?
Apple Orchard - or "archard" if you are from Maine (hey Kelli! Say hi to sag mom for me!)
LOL! Very fitting for Nancy's comments yesterday!
Rumer was right! Grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, pears and a pickle. You really don't know how good it really was!
Great Dog protecting his goats. I was riding by and say the goats in the field. I wanted a picture of them for Dianne. The dog comes bounding out of the dog house in the back and the goats all run away from the fence - I got a really big kick out of it.
Also had a great dane run towards me a day or two ago. He was a happy looking dog, but we were looking at each other eye to eye! Fortunately his owner called to him to come back and he minded! It was pretty funny as he looked at me very curiously!
Headed to the Hocking Hills and to a new state tomorrow. The next 4 days will be very challenging!