The Melt Down
Today is starting off a little slow. I have to wait for the bank to open so my family can send me some money. Come on 7’s, daddy needs a new pair of shoes and breakfast! With the time difference, I have to wait until 10am my time for the banks to open in California. It’s a weird feeling being half way across America and being on your last two dollars. Thanks for breakfast Richard and thank goodness for family.
I hope my blog is not getting to “out there”. I’m trying to highlight the compassion and generosity of people and the fire service while keeping track of my adventure in one blog. I pictured you guys thinking, “wow the sun is really getting to him today he is blogging like a crazy person.” My hope is simply to share my adventure with you, not to imposed my ideas on anyone. That being said if I start going off the deep end, feel free to let me know.
I got a great night sleep at Kevin’s last night. It’s interesting slipping in and out of people’s lives everyday. It gives you the unique opportunity to make every moment count. Hello to Renee the kid from the gas station. Thanks for all the enthusiastic questions. Live out your dreams, kid. You are acutely aware of others. You have to really pay attention to how things operate in their life so you can fit in. What a great lesson. Me adapting to your life rather than trying to squash you into a ball and put you in my pocket and force you to live my life.
To those of you that are under the misconception that Colorado is a biker friendly state let me enlighten you. Just because there is a beer with a picture of a bike on it brewed in Colorado, does not make this state biker friendly. If there is a bike lane in this state, I did not see it. So what I thought was about to be a 50 mile ride turned out to be about 96 miles of junk, junk, junk. I rode around trying to use my dying phone for maps. All the main streets are like vicious gauntlets of steel toothed cycle munchers. Everything sucks you into that vortex. All the small streets are dead ends that force you back onto the gauntlet. All the sidewalks that I spent most of the day on end abruptly and toss you back into the mix.
During my first meltdown of the day, I ran into one more dead-end and just stopped. I was so frustrated and tired. Here I was in the middle of a strange city lost with a dying phone. When I noticed my hand shaking, I knew I needed food. I walked into a restaurant with the bike looking for a plug for my phone. The restaurant staff was really nice and accommodating. As I went to leave I realized I did not have my sunglasses. Where could they have gone? I had them when I came in. My best guess is the I sat them down trying to get the bike situated and someone walked off with them.
After eating, I continued to battle the labyrinth of cracked concrete and smashed glass. Up and down the uneven slabs, and brutal streets. Trying to remember the last Google directions I looked at. Knowing the general direction I needed to go, I kept working my way along checking the mileage. I would stop from time to time to check Google maps and then turn it off to save batteries. I pulled into a large church parking lot under a shade tree to check it again. Twenty more miles to go, how can that be possible? I threw my helmet and iPod across the parking lot in complete defeat. I’m done, I am over this ride, I quit. Then I remembered, that’s not an option. I have to sleep somewhere. I have to finish the day. So I sat on a curb and drank some water. Ok dummy get it together,you have to get going. You’re in the middle of the ghetto with a flashy looking bike wearing spandex pants. You started this mess, now move out.
After the phone died again I pulled into Starbucks to charge it. Starbucks always comes through for me. After hearing my sob story, they gave me the coffee on the house. Starbucks was the only place for miles to charge a phone. After charging the phone, I headed into the dark. I have three red rear flashing lights on the bike. I carry a head lamp for this type of unexpected night ride. The batteries were dead of course and I only had 2 of the required 3. Oh yes, remember the biker friendly state, they don’t care for street lights either. So I rode the last seven miles in the dark. By this point I did not care if I crashed I just wanted to end this long frustrating day.
I was met by new friends that laughed with me as I told them my tale and cooked me bacon and eggs for dinner.
Thanks so much to all my friends and family for all the help today. You know who you are and what you did…..I love you guys