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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Digging Deep

Yesterday I rode 71 miles, half straight into a cold, miserable wind. Granted, an 8 mph wind isn't much, but when the air is cold, the combination of cold and wind make for a difficult ride. Because I had already decided to ride at least 70 miles, I wasn't about to quit. Don't get me wrong; I really, really wanted to turn around and return to the comfort of my warm, comfortable home, preferably my cozy, most-likely-still-warm bed. Several times.

At mile 14, I stopped to eat some trail mix and drink some water, thinking both would be a pick-me-up. At mile 20, I stopped to sit on a concrete bridge railing, thinking more trail mix and water along with some  contemplation of life would be the magic combination for keeping me going. While I was sitting there, staring down at the murky water below, a man in a gray pickup stopped and said, "Don't jump. You're not high enough." I laughed, saying if I were to jump, I'd only be wet and colder than I already was. He asked me why I was out on such a chilly morning, so I told him all about BTUSFMS. I love telling anyone and everyone about the ride. And that's what got me going again.

From that point, I mustered the determination to continue heading towards Gibson City. I knew sooner or later I would be able to see the line of silos that mark the outskirts of the small town. Finally, as I crested a hill, I could see the silos about three miles to the southeast. It was almost at that same moment the clouds began to break up, allowing the sun to peek through and begin to warm the air. The relief I felt at seeing the silos I've felt one other time--the last half mile of my first century ride.

At Gibson City I found a bench to sit on where I ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and drank a Coke I bought at the Casey's (my first Coke in nearly six months--it tasted like heaven!). Though I wasn't too happy with how long it'd taken me to reach my destination, I reveled in the idea of riding home with the wind at my back. Slogging through the discomfort had to happen. It's the only way to really get ready for what awaits me come June.

Early Morning


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