Monday, 7 October 2013

Day 3, what a difference a day makes

Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you strong,.... yesterday did not break me and so I awoke with fresh optimism and I would like to say full of bounding energy, but I still hurt all over so there was much less bounding.
Once again, woke up a bit later than planned after my what is now becoming my usual 4am sleep break but managed to get out by half 8, escorted once again by my host, who very kindly rode the first 12 with me.
It had been really nice to chat with people who understood the challenges of bike tours and they made me feel very welcome in their home.
Weather... started off with a jild headwind and overcast and I desperately tried to mentally prepare myself for 100 miles of hell. But actually, the sun came out and the headwind dropped and mixed it up between that, a sidewind and even occasionally a tailwind. So I managed to start enjoying the days ride, trogging along nicely at 14 mph until 20 orcso miles later I reached springfield... no I didn't meet bart or homer. Instead I found a lovely little town.

Springfield is one of the few places ehere I made a slight detour to sightsee. Lincolns tomb is quite a magnifiscent thing and I stopped and did the tourist photos... in the process asked a lady to take a photo and turns out she was originally from farnborough and will visit again next year. Had to happen at some point this trip right...
Following the tomb visit I was quite aware that I had used up valuable time and needed to motor somewhat. So put the metal to the pedal and aided by lack of wind, glorious sunshine, and warmth in my very weary bones I set off at a good crack and I reckon managed an average of 14 to 15mph if not higher, which is good going, especially when you have rolling roads. Traffic was kind to me and passed well to the side. Got a few waves and head nods to brighten my day and managed to enjoy the scenery, fiels and fields of golden corn with the white silos adding to the perfect picture.
I motored on down, stopoed at a gas station to check the route and was stopped by a lovely lady who asked me what I was doing and even asked for a picture.  More nice strangers!
I eventually came to another town and prepared to go straight through when I was stopped in my track by a very pituresque, old sqare. A courthouse wher abe had practiced used to stand there and I really got a sense of the history of the road I had been riding all day.
This was my last real stop before my destination. So the last 25 ish miles went by.. not without a sting or 2 in the tail. Almost got too friendly with a 4 x 4 whose driver didn't obey the stop sign on her side of the road as she was turning, seems arsehole car drivers do the same things the world over... got chased by dogs, not a first for me but always a little disconcerting... and the last few miles to the town were all up a reasonably steep incline. That said I stopped at thegeneral store and asked where the motel was and they directed me the 2 or so miles to where I found a bed, shower, wifi and a dairy queen.
Now I have been here 3 days and haven't set foot in a macd, but succumed to a calorific cheeseburger which I am heartily regretting and a very nice, low calorie, fruit smoothy.
So I am tucked up, nice and warm reflecting on how hardship makes the most simple things great.
Finalky, I don't want everyone to think today was a breeze so I thought id list the catalogue of aches  and pains
My knee is very stiff and hurt with every pedal turn for the first 50 miles
My back and shoulders hurt like hell
Sunburnt face, leg and neck... I did use sunscreen just not enough
Sitting down hurts
My left finger won't straighten, not sure whats wrong with it
My left foot is still possibly mildly broken

Is that enough....
So goodnight all. All is well on route 66 for another day!