Monday, May 24, 2010

And then there was one

The winds were crazy yesterday and every time I looked outside and saw the trees about to break in half I felt better about taking a rest day. I ate continental breakfast for about three hours before hitting the hot tub for a bit. I was going stir crazy in the hotel so I walked to the mall and did some laps. Del met me at the theatre in the afternoon and we caught the last matinee. A quick dinner and I was fast asleep.
We woke up late today and spent an hour eating breakfast and another hour packing up and getting our bikes loaded again. Shortly after hitting the road I heard a clunk on the back of my bike. I looked back and saw I lost my crocs that were bungeed on. I turned around and realized there was only one on the street. So when a bit of back tracking didn't turn up the other shoe, I tossed the solo shoe in the trash. Bummer. In the last two years I have now lost three single shoes. I know it's crazy right? I think I am going to start buying several pairs of the same shoes in case I lose one, and then I will just treat them like socks. Now I only have my cycling shoes which are not really up to the task of walking, but as luck would have it this is a bicycling trip and not a walking trip. I will pick up some flip flops in San Diego. Today the roads got rough. I mean really rough. My old bike would have crumbled under these conditions but the long haul trucker was up to the challenge. We stopped for lunch at the only place we passed, a deserted bar with a nice old man behind the bar. He threw together a coupled pulled pork sandwiches and offered some conversation. After lunch Del had a flat, but we quickly patched it and hit the road. The next 18 miles gained 4000 feet of elevation, our biggest climb of the trip. Climbing is a personal experience, it is slow and you have to find a natural rhythm to succeed at it, nevermind enjoy it. Today we each found our rhythms and crushed the last big climb, the problem was we found different rhythms. Del had the map and I was out in front. I was so busy watching a chevy blazer burning with 10ft flames on the othr side of the road that I missed the bike exit and continued on I-8 for another 10 miles until one of California's finest kindly escorted me off the interstate and pointed me to an alternate route. I continued west on the new route and stopped at the top for an Arnold Palmer(half ice tea, half lemonade). As I gained elevation, it got cold and I put on my long sleeve shirt. I hit the town where we planned to stop and soaked up the warm sun while I waited for Delaware. I really love long climbs, you forget about speed and your body focuses on the task at hand and eventually your mind is free to drift in and out of daydreams all day long. This was the last real climb and I wanted to turn around and do it again. We grabbed some huge burgers and a beer at the only place in town and pitched our tents just before dark. The low is supossed to be 30 degrees tonight, which already chills me to the bone (remember we have ridden in 100degrees lately. Tomorrow we finish the ride to the pacific and I have mixed emotions. Part of me is glad we are about to complete a long and hard fought battle on the bikes, but I have been out riding for 45 days and this has become the norm. When we run out of land going west, I dont really know what I will feel. It is always like this with great adventures, in the beggining they are hard and the end is so far off you just want progress and you can't wait to be done. Toward the endyou grow accustomed to the struggle, you have adapted and want to extend the journey. I experieced this climbing El Capitan too and in the end we are creatures of habit and I know I will quickly adjust to normal life again, but I feel the urge to squeeze in a bit more...

1 comment:

  1. there's many a good observation in there, Jake. Thanks.