Firstly, thank you to Lynn who took me out in Tulsa last night. It was nice to see some local life, even if I am now painfully aware that I am surrounded by people carrying guns... very wierd thought if you live in the UK.
So having got up this morning, once again determined to get an early start, when as you might have seen, I saw the flat back tyre. I knew that I had a very long day ahead and probably a bit tired from not being in bed by 9pm as I am accustomed to doing, and this felt like a bad omen for the day.
I rolled up my sleeves and with hands that don't work as well as they did last week, managed to change the tube, get the wheel back on, reattatch the panniers, have breakfast and set off by half 8, which isn't bad. It didn't feel like that though. I was in a foul temper.
Now bad moods are why its a good thing to be travelling alone. If you want to be in a bad mood, you can be cos the only person you can piss off is yourself. Sometimes you want to be in a bad mood and having someone else there trying to cheer you up, can sometimes make it worse. So temporarily happy with my bad mood, I set off. Quickly my bad mood about the start of the day evaporated and changed to a bad mood with myself for letting a puncture put me in a bad mood... still with me!
Basically it upset me that I had let this get to me. In fact I have been lucky not to have a puncture up till now. The bad mood continued and as a result i was certain that I wouldnt get my rest day, because I thought that I would struggle to get anywhere today, given the late start. The thought of no rest day made my bad mood worse... not even my music was pulling me out of it . Basically my bad mood was further feeding my bad mood and I needed to break the cycle. I glanced down at my bands that I wear constantly (except at work-bare below elbows rule) and got to thinking what they mean to me.
This is what I came up with...
They summarise how I have been able to get through this trip so far
Love - I have such supportive friends and family and friends who are like family that it gives me Hope that I can achieve this challenge that I have set out to do, both of these in turn give me the strength to keep the pedals turning day by day.
Sorry if it all sounds a bit OTT but this is how my thought processes were working at the time.
Once I had thought that through, the music began to filter through...
At this point my decision making was swinging between," just do 60 or so miles today and another short day tomorrow" and "go for it, get it done today and reap the benefit tomorrow". I couldnt make my mind up as to how determined I was going to be. Meanwhile I was making my way through Tulsa and doing a bit of the tourist thing, half convinced that it was going to be a short day.
At some point I started to put the power down, my legs felt good, even if the rest of my body was breaking down. I desperately need a rest day, just to let my hands recover, if nothing else. I also quite needed to visit a pharmacy and a bike shop, to give my bike the once over before the next leg. I also wanted to see the memorial at the least. All this was going through my mind as I pushed harder on the pedals. There were no free miles today and it was like being back in missouri with the ups and downs