The boys at Lewisburg Fire were a sight for sore eyes yesterday. I was welcomed by their mascot the EMS monkey. His number is 1369. It was so nice to have a place to recover after a long day of riding in the rain. They sent me off with a home cooked breakfast this morning. Thanks boys.
At the risk of sounding like a whiner, I am going to tell you about my day. Make no mistake, I am not thinking of quitting, I realize I chose this journey, and in no way would I change a thing. That being said, let the whining begin.
My mind woke up this morning with the alarm ready to go. My body on the other hand was exhausted from the day before. I woke up cold and tired. I knew it was still raining and I searched for motivation to get back out in it. I ate breakfast with the boys and started packing all my gear that I had just dried out the night before. I looked at my wet shoes sitting next to my warm bed. All I want to do is go back to sleep. I walked up to the firehouse from the bunk house in the rain. I told one of the guys I was thinking of taking the day off. He says, “Tomorrow is going to be much worse, you should ride today and take tomorrow off.” The book I listened to calls them omens. Not a kid with numbers on his head, but the universe helping direct you on the journey you choose. So I listened and headed out. Thank goodness I listened to the jacket omen or I would not be able to ride at all.
Riding all day in the rain really adds a new element to everything. It makes your muscles cold which causes you to burn more energy, faster. It keeps your glasses covered in water reducing your visibility. It hits your skin on the down hills feeling like darts from a blow gun. Your water bottles grind the cages with dirt as you pull them out to drink, through a mouth full of road grime. The water hides objective hazards. That may be why both my tires went flat at the same time today. Talk about feeling defeated, “really, two flats I have to change in the rain?” I feel like I knew this was all coming. I feel like the closer I get, the further away I am.
I pulled into a gas station to drink some coffee and warm up. I asked the clerk, “how are you?” He answered “better than you.” I had to agree.
Some old lady said, “what are you riding for?” “911” I answered. She grumbled and said “I’m tired of hearing about that.” I told her the families were tired of hearing about it also but they did not get to stop listening.
The weather report is not good at all. They have extended the rain forecast for the remainder of the week. I am worn out and am taking tomorrow off in anticipation of un-rideable weather. I hope the rest will strengthen me enough to ride two more days in the rain and finish my journey. Thank you for all your love and support, I need it now more than ever. I feel like the journey is requiring its final payment. It is asking for a final display of endurance.