Thursday, 10 October 2013

Day 6 - Embracing the randomness

So day 6... having stopped earlier yesterday, my short day turned out to be another 90 ish miles.  However I now have got leaving down to a fine art and managed to set off just as the sun was coming up. It was a bit chilly and as glad of my layers. Today started off where yesterday finished with up and down roads. The first  30 miles saw my legs quietly screaming at me and no amount of shuffling around on my saddle could make that any better either. So settled in for a long day.
At 30 ish miles I came across yet another route 66 gift shop and against my better judgement stopped. I say against better judgement cos I knew id walk out with something and anything I buy jow has to be carried a few more miles. The other reason that it was a bad idea was the signposts


These signs were somewhat demoralising... yes i knew i had a ways to go but seeing the exact distance left to pedal, somehow made it more daunting. Up till now i hadnt considered really the next few weeks. My plan was always to get through the day that i was on. If i did that for 28 days, i would get there.

After this stop I vowed to keep going for another 30 before stopping again, and although the scenery was pretty, and In many places reminded me of home, it was hard to appreciate when you are struggling uphill, or trying to make use of the 'free miles'.  which is what my entire day consisted of, up or down, no inbetween. All this time i was looking longingly at the interstate, which cut through the hills i was climbing. No wonder people think route 66 is flat!

So because my day was just long and not hugely interesting, to amuse myself i devised a few informative lists:

list 1: Animals i have seen
Groundhog
Eagle (dead)
Armadillo x2 (both dead)
Tortoises x4 (flat and dead)
Skunk (I think, but dead)
Racoon (dead)
Lizards (barely seen but alive, they move quickly)
Some kind of vole  (also briefly)
Dogs x3 (as they are chasing me)

That's about it so far, would be nice to see something alive

List 2: Rules I have set myself for stopping
1. Never ever stop at the bottom of a hill
2. Don't stop in the middle either
3. When stopping unclip the foot nearest the pavement first
4. Don't forget to unclip the other foot as well
5. Try and stand over your bike, getting your leg back over following a stop is tricky
6. Try and combine stops with picture taking, eating, drinking whilst obeying rule number 5.
7. When leaving from your stop, do not leave your SPOT tracker lying on the top of the panniers (I forgot to mention THAT error yesterday)
8. Dont stop anywhere you hear dogs barking
9. One stop per hour or 10 miles, whichever comes 1st
10, never ever sit down! The muscles will have difficulty getting u back up again.


So anyway, i finally reached Springfield, missouri to a warm welcome by a friend of a friend, whose company had kindly sorted out a place to stay... and not just any place. This hotel is somewhat different to the super 8 motels that i have been in so far and aside from feeling slightky out of place, its lovely so thank u very very much to kelley d c, shelley and the austen dooley company.

Having seen my bike safely in my room, i wondered over to the bbq place to eat. Forgettingabout differences in portion size, i ordered a starter and some chips, only to struggle to eat a third of either. Whilst i ate i read a bit more of the book i downloaded, Extreme South about an attemp to the south pole and back. Aside from making me feel better about the struggles i faces today, there were a few things that struck a cord with me.
Advice to them of ' eat before you get hungry, drink before you get thirsty, take off your jacket before you sweat and stop before you burn up 80 % of your energy' Good advice for any challenge. I agree with their query though. because of changing factors in any journey, how do you know whether you are too far short of your limits or whether by pushing a bit harder you will discover new limits and break personal boundaries.  Interesting huh. I guess i might well find out over the next few weeks!

So that is about it for today. Hopefully tomorrow will bring similar sucess.
One day, one pedal turn at a time and i will make the next 1700 odd miles.