Thursday, July 22, 2010

The End Is Nigh!


Traveling without a GPS was interesting. Florida was an kind of easy. I wrote down all the directions before I left and then rode using the written text and cyclometer.

While in Florida I had an epiphany. Unless at a campsite, I cannot relax in nature. I went to the beach but kept wanting to paraglide. The reason I couldn't was because I'm too skinny. Apparently the weight to wind ratio works better when you are heavier.

I ended up leaving a day early because I was kind of bored. Turned out to be a good thing though. The next day had scattered storms so Florida wouldn't have been pretty anyway.

The storms also kept me from reaching my ideal destination and I had to stop in Mobile for the night. I met a freight-hopper that was stuck just outside of the city for three days because he couldn't figure out a way in. A 30 mile state road detour, a tunnel, and a river kept him out. He and I were able to hitch a ride through the tunnel where we parted ways and I got a room.

Throughout my 12 hour ride I managed to stay completely dry. I paid for the room and headed for it and SPLASH walked right into a puddle. Both feet. Soaked.

The main reason I wasn't too worried about the lack of GPS was because its pretty much a straight shot on the 90.


Nearly impossible to get lost. Nearly. I did somehow get turned around, biked 10 miles on the wrong road, and had to ride another 18 to course correct. That's another reason I didn't make it to my intended stop.

Not quite.

I then spent two nights at a campsite with a couple I met at the beginning in Missouri. It is interesting how life works out. I met them about 12 days out and now, with 12 days left (at the time) I was meeting them again.

I also made the most perfect camp stove pancakes I have ever made.
Perfect Pancakes

Now I am in New Orleans, having fun and some other stuff that I will blog about in one dedicated to my stay here.

A friend made me realize that a big accomplishment is not just finishing the ride on time but finishing it safely. On this ride I have done the following:

650 miles cleared in the first 6 days.
77 days riding with under 7 non-riding days. All other days hit at least 20 miles.
The Appalachians and foothills in near or over 100 degree weather.
100 miles in 6 1/2 hours
151 miles in one day
Giving a pint of blood then riding another 30 miles to finish the day.
Riding without a GPS.

Taking all this into consideration makes me realize what the human body is capable of. Before this ride's end I will add another item to that list. People may say I'm crazy or extreme but I will simply expand upon the statement I told my friend.

Life is experience magnified by memory. Things that seem miniscule, trivial, or troubling become cherished moments as days go by.


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