Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Day 5 - I'm not going backwards, I'm only facing forwards...

So I woke up earlier this morning, dusted myself off and with the help of all my friends and family stood back up, ready to face another day. A surprise phone call made the day already bright and managing to get myself together quicker, I was out and on the bike by 07:15 - apologies for the length of the blog today, ive got so much time to think and want to share every step of this journey.

The morning chill was fended off with several layers and as I set off a beautiful sight of mist and sunshine and trees seemed to be a pretty good omen for today.

The legs were given a rude awakening by the rolling terrain but it didn't matter cos I was in a good frame of mind and the view was lovely. 
I had originally planned to aim for lebanon at 118 miles butgiven yesterdays events I had researched places to stay and decided that I would go for slightly less today, and add it on to the originally planned 60 miles on day 6.  So with this in mind , I was keen to get to rolla by lunchtime and other than a few photos, kept on, through sullivan and bourbon.  All was going well with no distractions when I rolled into cuba, saw a sign for rt 66 fudge and squealed to a halt!  Fudge aside, cuba is a very pretty town, with an old rt 66 feel to it and I enjoyed spinning through. After cuba, fresh determination not to stop until I reached rolla would have gone well if it were not for the worlds biggest rockin chair.  Once again my brakes issued smoke as I pulled in to admire. Whilst I was there I met a lovely couple who showed great interest in the ride and in chatting to them I was reminded that it is not just the destination, but how you get there that makes it a journey, and a big part of that for me is spreading the word about love hope strength foundation and the great work that mike, jules, james, shannon, rob and all the volunteers do to help others.  

Part of my rejuvenation today was reading Mike's blog from israel, which if you are not already aware of lhs,, were you to read, you would perhaps umderstand why i became involved  with the charity and why I am proud to be part of the lhs family ( . Reading it this morning helped find a renewed determination, that took a bit of a battering yesterday :)

So finally I left the rocking chair  and continued westwards. I kept going until I hit the outskirts of rolla, where just as third light ( a mike peters song about loss in war), hit my ipod, I came upon a veteran cemetary. It seemed appropriate to stop for a few minutes reflection before caving into the inevitable... yup.... macdonalds.  The free wifi made it worth while tho and I kept myself content with a small portion!

So time lost, but still feeling good about the day, as I followed the sat nav through rolla obeying every instruction to the letter. I knew that the frontage roads did not go along all the way so a circuitous route was needed, however once again, a few miles later, I looked at the sun and got that sinking feeling.  Another detour - prob 5 miles in total and using my offline maps and gps decided to chance going back towards the interstate and frontage roads, whilst ignoring the sat nav pleading with me to do a u turn! So the detour obviously consisted of going back up that hill which I had merrily whizzed down but eventually I found myself back at the interstate and took a chance with the frontage roads, at least in the knowledge that navigation would be easier.

And so it proved to be, right up to the point where the frontage roads ran out both sides of the interstate, so I went to the gas station to ask what they thought best. The reply was not the best news I have ever had. There is a long way round.... prob a 30 mile detour, either that or the interstate.  Cant I cross that river, I ask, with thought of wading up to my neck in cold stream water just to get to the next frontage road. Nope cant do that. Other people kindly weighed in with their thoughts... is it legal to ride on the interstate if there is no other way... apparently legal but not recommended came the reply,

Fair enough....interstate it is... deep breath.... and I neednt have worried... lovely road, generous hard shoulder, lorries gave me a wide berth, but dragged me along and I found myself grinnjng with the adrenaline rush of a 30mph jog along.  Then back to the frontage road and a bloody great hill or 2 or 3. Shoulda stayed on the interstate!

That said, clearly this was an old part of route 66 and crappy road surface maybe, but I was back in the tucked position, and took to saying free miles whenever the downhill was good (gotta amuse myself somehow!). That said I started to enjoy the rythm of the uphill too and  with the evening sun to boot, and little lizards running about everywhere life felt great.  The worries of yesterday were eased, I had made good miles today, about 100 and arrived at junction with motels and daylight to spare.

I managed to talk the receptionist into giving me a discount and get to stay tonight in a proper american motel! Pretty cool.

Dinner was grilled bacon, egg and cheese and a cup of coffee... tasted pretty gd and I don't need to worry bout the calorie count today, but starting to crave fresh fruit!.

So time to check tomorrows route and motel placement, shower and pack for the morning,
And as I quoted this morning with breakfast.... this is life, its alright, its ok! X