Today was a good day, a very good day. Not my best day, but still a very good day. I swear that what I tell you is either all truth or delusion.
What I looked like and felt like when I started….
The ride was fairly uneventful but for what I thought was a black bear to my right as I pedaled fast and with forward focus. I decided it probably wasn’t. And if it was I didn’t think it a good idea to slow down to verify what I thought I saw. So I kept going without verifying it was a black bear. Sometimes I’m very wise.
At my first stop I saw something that felt worse than seeing a black bear. I saw a homeless man sitting in the shelter. Husband was my SAG support for the ride (actually he wouldn’t let me in the car which is why I had to ride my bike to Cincinnati today). So the car was parked in the parking lot with a cold drink to replace my very warm one. I didn’t want the homeless man to think I was avoiding the shelter because of him so I went in the shelter and spoke with him while I looked at the map. When I left I told him I hoped he had a very good day. What I prayed when for when I left was that something very good would happen and his day would be life changing and good (is it horrible of me to think he must want a different kind of life?).
Off I go. Husband aka SAG support was driving ahead, parking and riding back to meet me at each stop, except for two. The one where I called him and told him to find me some aero bars (so I could lean forward aka lay down and ride when I was sore and tired) and when he ordered my dinner.
Funny thing, this time I saw a grey lion. In all fairness it could have been a very large grey wolf. Which ever it was I outrode it. I’m sure the lesson from the black bear stayed with me and I did not slow down to look and verify my sighting. It was there, I rode fast, it did not catch up with me. That’s all we need to know about that one.
The next stop, bless the Husband, was lunch and bike work. Did I mention I beat him to the next stop? Me, on the bike, him-in the car. Yes, I did. Fact. Not delusion. Yes, he stopped at two bike stores and Subway. But still, he was in a car. I was not. (Seriously, thanks Husband for making my day much better. Aero bars=diamond ring.)
Sadly the next stop did not have an ice cream shop anymore. I was sad. Very sad. But Husband met me and rode back to the car with me and we had a nice break of green tea and fig newtons. Again. Fig Newtons. Good stuff that.
The next stretch was leading me to the ice cream break. So it went fairly well. And quick. Not to mention, I think Jesus rode with me a mile or two. The song “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me was playing in my ears, I was fairly certain a long haired, and kind gentleman, was riding over my left shoulder. I preferred to think it was Jesus. Who’s to say it wasn’t? I didn’t ask.
And better yet…why not a fresh pair of bike shorts. Yes, we were prepared. Funny thing about bike shorts…when you ride a very long time something as innocent as a seam will cause you severe anguish. I think that is all you need to know.
Off on my merry way again. This time I nearly have a heart attack a few miles down the trail. I’m leaning on and loving my aero bars. When I notice a very LARGE anaconda ahead. Whoever thinks they don’t exist in southern Ohio is dead wrong. Though I will admit that this anaconda turned out to be strategically placed piles of horse poop that from the right distance looks like an anaconda until you get closer and sit up because you are freaking out about how to get around an anaconda.
By the way, the last bathroom was the second one without toilet paper. Thank the thinking ahead saints who let me find three full packs of travel tissues in the car yesterday when I cleaned it out. And the good idea to pack them in my handy dandy back pack.
I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t just ride with me for that one mile. In case you don’t know my history I’ve had some issues with animals attacking me on bike rides. And this one, nary an attack was to be had. Thank you Jesus.
Despite the deaf birds who didn’t hear me coming. They acted all surprised when I got right up to them and scared the crap out of them. Even though my habit is to whistle and yell so they fly away from me and not in to my tires.
Or the chipmunks who dart, stop, see you and then continue to cross your path. Please stop here if you don’t like cussing, but damn them!
And I saw a real live red fox darting behind a woman walking. She likely would have had an unpleasant reaction of which I will not spell out for you if she saw how close that fox was to her. No time to get his picture.
This buck who wouldn’t leave until I said “you can go that way” indicating off of the trail.
These horses, the poor white one with the student rider who was trying to tell the rider he was more scared of me than I was of him (that was a bold face lie).
So Husband and I eat some dinner. I really ate very little. Apparently riding 85 miles is a good way to lose your appetite. Because I couldn’t eat much. I hope he left our poor waitress a nice tip because though I look just fantastic here, I smell quite literally-disgusting. You can take my word for it.
He heads on down the road and we meet again on the trail. We ride past where he parked the car. Turned around and came back. Interesting, no animals appear when he’s with me. Yes, I fully believe it is a conspiracy.
It was a great day as far as days go. A super great day! I’ve done better on my bike. But not as good as I wanted. I have goals. But seeing as how I rode 101.52 miles today without planning to ride 101.52 miles it was pretty darn good.