Began riding at 7:00 in a temperature of 68 degrees. By afternoon it was 92 again. Was hot, sweaty, and dusty when got to the hotel. Today would be another long day, 100 miles but with little climbing and long stretches of straight flat roads. It would be a white jersey day.
We began our ride by returning on the same roads we came in on – that meant riding down the 12% hill and then climbing up (7%) and then finally riding down to the Mississippi. It was a challenging way to start the day with little warm up for the legs. Reward was that we got to ride along the Mississippi River for about five miles.
If there was a theme for the day it would be poor bumpy roads. We rode on chip seal, pot hole roads, and gravel roads. Every once in a while we got lucky and had a relatively smooth road, but nothing like yesterday. The scenery – rivers, creeks, overflow from rivers, grassy plains followed by fields of corn and other crops just beginning to grow – helped the miles go by quicker. We also were lucky to have a slight tailwind.
We rode on chip seal for twenty-two miles – bumpity bump bump bump. I was riding by myself and so I began counting to 248, the number of names on my jersey, to remind myself that these bumps were insignificant to the bumps people fighting cancer have each day. Each full pedal stroke was a number (name). I repeated this counting process for the entire 22 miles. I will never quite the biking challenges that I have because I do not want anyone fighting cancer to quit. I know it can be difficult, but I have hope that a cure will be found soon.
After the second SAG stop I rode the last 35 miles with Paul, Ernie and Bill. It was nice to have their company as we zig zagged our way to the motel. Was tired and hot after riding in the sun for 7 hours. They brought in pizza for dinner. It hit the spot. Another long day tomorrow- 80 miles so I had better say good night. Thanks for all your comments. They mean so much.
To all the mom’s: Have a wonderful and Happy Mother’s Day.