Sunday, July 11, 2010

This side of the Rubicon

It has been a long time since I have blogged and a lot has gone on. Many trying times and a enough good ones to keep me moving. Here is a recap.


I wore out my rear tire and had to replace that. The largest hole in the tire resulted in a flat. I also had to make a near 100 mile ride for the day. Not the first time I have done this and it wont be the last. At this point my mental strength was starting to be tested and my body felt like it was finally failing.

Worn Tire

I was able to eat Lexington world-famous barbecue.

Slept in and had a short run to Charlotte. Upon arrival I had a choice of exploring the city or resting as my host's home. I decided on the latter. When I arrived there, my host asked if I wanted to stay there or go and watch the mountain bike race he participates in weekly. Obviously my only option was to ride in the race.

I was passed by EVERYONE. Bear in mind I had cleared 60+ miles before race and then had a flat. I finished by jogging the bike the last five miles across the finish line.


Entered South Carolina
South Carolina

Another hot day with a weary mind and body. Up the hills and down. All I was able to think about was of the rest day coming up.

Entered Georgia

At this point I was riding in 100+ weather which, in itself, wasn't bad but I was also physically weary. Riding was now becoming a chore to be done in order to maintain a schedule instead of the vacation it previously was. This made riding a very difficult endeavor given the fact that I was entering the foothills of the Appalachians.

Upon reaching Toccoa I met a man who aspires to tour via bike as well. We conversed for a few minutes with a torrential storm looming on the horizon. We said our goodbyes and well wishes and soon parted ways and I continued the last mile to the campsite.

A few minutes later he drove up by me and asked if I would like to stay the night with his family, an offer I readily accepted. Not 20 minutes after arriving the storm hit and it seemed to rain off and on the entire night. A divine act spared me the experience of being rained out.

It is not a good feeling waking up after 8 hours of sleep feeling physically exhausted. I had breakfast at a diner in Toccoa just to avoid the ride before me. When I finally did leave I was very slow moving, crossing barely 15 miles in two hours as waves of fatigue crashed against my being. My every thought was of walking, hitching a ride, taking as train, stopping for the day and camping. All this before 9:00 AM.

As my strength waned and my iron-will became malleable my pride stepped in and kept me one pedal stroke ahead of failure. I had traversed 4000 miles without pushing my bike and I was not about to do so in the last 20% of the ride.

On a long road a rider opposite me passed and we waved. A minute or two later he came up beside me and said, "I thought you would like some company for a few miles."

I'm not quite sure how long we rode together, maybe 25 miles, but we talked about various bike related topics and my morale slowly returned to me.

When out paths separated I was the rider of past and flew through towns and counties.

Now, in Atlanta, I am relaxing and recharging, confident that I will be able to finish the ride, and finish it well.


1 comment:

  1. Don't forget to stay hydrated. The weather has been brutally hot all over the country. I was glad that you left Boston just as that part of the country entered a terrible heat wave that claimed 7 lives. I know you have a schedule to keep but is it really worth not getting proper rest?