So my aim this morning was to set off about 8am. This plan was ruined by being awake at 4am so annoyed with myself I ended up leaving around 9am to blue skies. Nature must have seen my thoughts cos no sooner than I turned into the main road, I got hit, not by a rainstorm today but by the most dreaded thing of all, a strong headwind!
Let me explain what I discovered today. U hit a headwind here, not only is it strong but you are guaranteed to be headed into it for the WHOLE day.
If there is anything that can reduce a cyclists morale, its the knowledge that the next 80 miles are going to be tough ones, battling agaist the wind all the way. It can be so energy sapping that when the wind drops for a second or two, you are too knackered to take any advantage.
So my day consisted of this for all 80ish miles, with a few highlights thrown in.
And it is these highlights that must be dwelt on, otherwise I woulda been in pieces at the side of the road for sure. Before I go into detail about those, roy asked me how I set my mind on a tough day.
Here is a list of strategies, some work better than others at any given moment
1. Music: always at the top of my list, especially when I can sing whilst going along. Hit the ground running, swansong, breathe and 1983/84 were at the top of my playlist today
2. Distractions: trying to look at the view instead of the speedometer
3. Ticking off the towns as I pass them
4. Remember why I am doing this in the first place
5. Thinking about the suport from friends and family (this should be higher up the list)
6.Planning the next trip
7. Trying to remember that the pain is only temporary and in 10 hours it will have stopped
8. Thinking how good it will be when I get to the end
9. Detrmination not to let anyone down or let this beat me
So that's just a few and the emotions when on a bike ride can be so up and down, its like life has been squished to experience all emotions in as short a space of time.
Highlights of today include , seeing a woodchuck, or groundhog. Pretty cool
The young man who asked me where I was from and where going to, who was so amazed, that he bought me a coke and wished me luck. Its people like this that give u faith in humanity.
Seeing an original r66 bridge and reading the history behind it. Very cool.
Feeling reslly crap half way through, when breaking point came on my ipod and made me smile, cos I wasn't there, yet!
So my day got slightly worse when my sat nav ran out of battery. My back up was too but my solar charger did a grand job of keeping it up and running long enough to get out of bloomin normal, as I have decided to call it.
The last 40 miles were made even worse when my ipod died and due to my late start and the horrendous headwind, (so bad that if I stopped pedaling whilst going downhill, it blew me to a standstill), I was crawling along and it was getting dark. I had phoned my hosts for the night when I got to bloomin normal to let them know I was behind schedule and just as darkness started to fall, about 15 miles away from a bed, I saw coming along the road, 2 cyclists asking if I was lydia. To my absolute joy and delight, these 2 people, who not only gave me a bed and food and hot shower use tonight had come to meet me to escort me to their home.
It was a lovely gesture, just when I had started pedaling squares, they provided companionship, shared stories of similar days on a bike and cheered me up no end.
So that was my day. Not as good as yesterday, possibly better than 1 further down the line, but at the end of the day, the pedals kept turning, I am still smiling and I am one step closer to La and challenge completion! :)