Today was a mixture of triumph and turmoil. I ended up riding much further than I anticipated due to a planning error on my part. I know, I know. Day 2 and I’m already making planning errors. But to me it’s all part of the adventure. I could plan and plot and scheme to my hearts content but good ol’ Murphy can come at any time and throw a wrench in the works. But I digress.
So I packed up camp this morning. Made my breakfast of oatmeal with honey and coffee and set out for the nearest library. My cell signal has been really crappy since I set out so I needed a way to update the blog and, like always, the public library didn’t let me down. So after all that was finished I set off into the glorious afternoon sunshine to my next campsite about 45 miles away. About an hour into the morning the wind started whipping up something fierce and right in my face too. On my regular road bike the wind isn’t such a big deal, it sucks for sure but it’s not anything I’d write home about. Not on this bike though. Those bags are like kites in this wind, but instead of pulling me along they’re shoving me backwards making every peddle stroke that much harder. So I turned my music up, put my head down and fought through it as best I could.
After about 20 miles of this I stopped for a break at a convenience store to get some Gatorade and stretch my tired legs. Here I met a grizzled old tobacco farmer named Hank. He asked me how far I was going and I told him my first stop was in Florida. “Flawrida!! Yer legs sure gone be tarred after that, son!” We had a good chuckle and he told me he’d been working the same tobacco fields his great grandfather had. It’s crazy how much history is in these tiny little one horse towns. I said goodbye and set back off into the wind.
After a few more hours of pedaling I came to what I thought was my campsite for the day. Unfortunately for me I did not try to call ahead since I figured it’s Tuesday and there will almost certainly be spots available. Well there were kind of but the place was no longer in business. I contemplated just pitching my tent there anyways but when I tried the spigot to fill my water bottles up it was dry. Definite nope on that. I consulted my trusty map for the next town with camping but there wasn’t anything listed that was feasible for me to get to today. The town with the nearest motel was about 25 or 30 miles from my failed campsite. I figured I’d have enough juice to get there so I set off. I stopped at a church down the road and asked the pastor (reverend?) if I could fill my bottles up and he was more than happy to help a weary traveller in need. So I forged on the best I could. I was doing ok until I was about 12 miles from victory. Then I just ran out of gas or bonked as us cyclists call it. It’s that point of exhaustion where you just can’t go on, no more fuel in the reserves. Empty. The cycling Gods were smiling down upon me today though and literally 500 feet ahead of my poor, miserable self was a giant sign that said, among other things, ICE CREAM. I hobbled into the store and ordered a nice heaping helping.
So with my belly full of sweet sugary goodness I found the strength to pedal the last few miles into town where I am currently laying on a nice comfortable bed and stuffing my face with pizza. Tomorrow is gonna be kind of a short day of about 35 miles because I need to take it easy on this ol’ body of mine. Can’t be pushing too hard these first few weeks. I’ve got a long way to go and am in no particular hurry to get there. That’s all. Goodnight 🙂
Oh yeah. I also didn’t apply enough sunscreen to my face and my nose and cheeks are super rosy. Live and learn I guess :/