Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tough day

I made it across the state line today and rolled into Sawtell, Idaho around 6 pm. It was an 85-mile day that ended about 40 miles short of my goal, but it was definitely one of the tougher days of the trip. John and I left Lima under dark skies and light showers that soon turned to heavy rain. By 10 am, the road had turned to wheel-sucking muck. No matter how much pressure I let out from my tires, I could not stay on top of it. The mud had the consistency of wet cement, and eventually i couldn't coax the tires to turn. For several quarter mile stretches, I had to pick up the bike and carry it along the thorny side of the road as mosquitoes swarmed me. It was pretty ridiculous - one of those situations where I couldn't help but laugh at myself and the idiotic things I get myself into.

After the tiny, remote town of Lakeview, the road surface improved somewhat, but the thunderstorms became more violent. In a particularly terrifying moment, I felt the wet hairs on the back of my neck standing on end when a bright flash of light shot through my peripherial vision, followed instantaneously by a deafening crack of thunder. I could have measured its proximity in feet. I slammed the pedals and amped my speed to 23 mph after spending a whole morning traveling between 2 and 7 mph. As John says, it's amazing what you can do when you're truly motivated. He was already long gone, though, motivated only to get out of the rain.

There will probably be more mud and rain tomorrow, but it is another day. I was bummed that I wasn't able to ride the Livestrong century in Seattle. I was hoping to ride 100 miles in honor of the event, and didn't eve quite hit that. But I wanted to dedicate my 85 miles of mud to Susan Nelson and her brave battle wth cancer, andto all of the many people who donated funds to fight the good fight. Thanks, everyone.
Sent on the go from my Peek