Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Days 29, 30 and 31: 3 Days for 277.5 Miles!!!!

Cape Girardeau, MO to Piedmont, MO to Houston, MO to Springfield, MO  

3 day mileage: 84.2 + 94.6 + 98.7 = 277.5  
Total mileage: 1,877.5  
3 Day ride time: 6:36:07 + 8:16:21 + 7:56:16 =  22:48:44  
Total ride time: 6 days 20:36:07  

MSquared Velo Snapchat Day 29

 Msquared Velo Snapchat Day 30 (aw no it didn't save)

 MSquared Velo Snapchat Day 31    

 It has been three days since a post and I am so exhausted. I will apologize now for lacking pictures. I usually pull them from snapchat, but I lost day 30. 

   Not only have we been riding through a major heat waves of tempuratures reaching over 100 degrees and 80% humidity, but as you can see, the last three days have been loooooong days. Today was especially long because the cavity I got filled in Nashville now hurts enough to have me booking an appointment to see an endodontist for a potential root canal. So I (we, Ryan and Mike are still on their way here and were kind enough to join me for the long trip) had to get to Springfield, MO for this appointment.

   I don't even care... I have been having terrible tooth pain. Pain so bad that early yesterday I was cursing and asking God or the cows or whoever would listen, "WHY NOW!!!! WHY NOT 2 MONTHS AGO OR IN TWO MONTHS!!! WHY OH WHY?!?!"  

 If it fixes the tooth pain I've been having, it will relieve me of the only stress I have been feeling throughout the last few weeks of this trip. That's right, even cycling over 275 miles in 3 days wasn't stressful! I am having a blast!

   Day 29 was a very solid day. I felt great after another post 10 mile McDonald's breakfast and ice coffee. We LOADED up on water and power aid to avoid what happened Day 28 and made it through pre Ozark Mountains.  

  We camped at gorgeous Beaver Springs Campground. It reminded me of a festival I went to a few summers ago called Electric Forest in Michigan. I felt naturally comfortable. Also, they had a pool which we all enjoyed and allowed us to bring our body tempuratures down so we wouldn't be sweating in our tents all night. One of the better nights in a tent I have had despite the nighttime heat and humidity.

We woke up early and headed out into the fog... And into the Ozark Mountains. 

   Mountains...? Psh these are hills!!

 Ok don't get me wrong it was a struggle and it was freaking HOT! Also we got so accustomed to the lazy hills to and from Nashville that the Ozark's were a nice reminder that the Rockies are still to come.  

 We got through 75 miles to Summerville which was our intended stop. But during our late lunch I was looking up endodontists and found my best bet was to make it to Springfield for a 7 AM appointment Thursday morning. That would be around 120 miles from Summerville. Not my tempo.   

I was trailing Mike and Ryan as we approached Summerville and I pulled into the gas station to find only Mike. We always stop at gas stations to regroup, especially when we don't know where we are staying that night. With no sign of Ryan and no service we assumed Ryan continued on toward Houston since I mentioned to Ryan I needed to get to Springfield Wednesday night. Mike and I thought that was a reasonable assumption since Ryan is always ahead of us by a a mile or two by the end of the day. Mike was down to add 23-ish miles to our 75 as he was feeling good and it was only 5:30 PM. Assuming Ryan continued on, so did we.

 5 miles down the road we finally got service and a text from Ryan saying he was in a room at... Some place in Summerville. He didn't pay yet so we told him to meet us, but we said we were camping in a park and Ryan opted for air conditioned room. Smart move, but a move I couldn't make regardless. I wasn't riding 120 tomorrow.

 The rest of that ride was a breeze and I met Mike at the park. There was a bathroom, water and outlets, but that was all. It was still so hot and no pool to cool our bodies down in.   We hopped into our tents around 9 PM and I was dripping beads of sweat from every one of my pours. Kind of like when I'm on the bike, but then it's acceptable.  

I thought as the night cooled and I remained still with my water bottle on my face I would cool down too. That was not the case. The sweat piled on...  

 Then 10:30 came and some kids around high school age decided to turn the lights on right next to the Pavillion and play volleyball! YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!!! I was trying to sleep so I could ride 90 miles tomorrow. I think I eventually managed to sleep a little but I heard Mike wrestle around at 12:30 and lay on the picnic table outside his tent.  

 I did the same and it proved to be a hell of a lot cooler. Mike then informed me, he wasn't able to sleep, so he joined the guys in volleyball. That cracked me up... With a brief smile on my face, I finally knocked out.  

 Day 31 I left before Mike and, of course, Ryan was around 23 miles behind. I was up at 5:30 AM, ready to go at 6:30 and (went to McDonald's for ice coffee at 7 and was on the road by 7:10.

   I absolutely dominated Day 31. Almost 100 miles and I hardly noticed. I definitely had a mean determination to make it to Springfield with time to write this blog, put my feet up and enjoy the night before my potential root canal. Of course knowing I was getting a room at a Best Western made it all the sweeter. Thanks again, Dad!

 Oh yeah... I almost forgot about this because as I said on my way out of Blacksburg, VA (shoutout Halkidis crew!), "You can't let one asshole ruin your day... Unless of course to your asshole, and it won't stop itching."

 So, I am pulling out of LJD's Cafe in Hartville (which was lovely) and I am clipping into my pedals. As I am doing this a very old pick up truck is coming in my direction taking a left into the the driveway in front of me to my right. Since it is a very old truck there was no blinker, but I noticed he was turning so I stopped a tad later than I would have had I known he was turning and unclipped my shoes. 

   At this moment he slammed on his brakes and inside his truck shouted a serious amount of obscenities in under 2 seconds. I heard it all because his window was down. He waved me on through his screams, so I clipped back in, looked back up to meet his eyes and said, "sorry I was letting you go..." But before I could finish he furrowed his brow and screamed even louder, "DON'T BACK TALK TO ME MOTHER FUCKER, THIS IS REDNECK TERRITORY!"

   Well sir, you have made that very clear. Just settling into that stereotype nicely. 

   I honestly laughed it off. I haven't been called a mother fucker ever, let alone with such fury and for almost no reason. This is a funny story to tell after my last post, but this one of those rare situations of people who hate cyclist and probably life too. What are you gonna do? All itchy assholes are forgotten before you even realize it isn't itchy anymore.

 Anyway, as I said, I almost forgot about this because the rest of the ride was so much fun. I finished my 27 hour audio book. I loved it and it's a trilogy so it was not as satisfying of an ending as I would have hoped for... But I'm hooked and I'll have to download the other two. It is a fiction called The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Sort of like middle earth type stuff.

   I rode past a bunch of Amish today too. Very friendly people. Sorry for putting your horses out of business with my bicycle.

   Yadda yadda yadda, 99 miles later I got to the Best Western around 4:30 PM and made myself an ice bath. It was glorious. My plan worked out. I got here nice and early and have been loving the relaxation. 

   I loved riding alone today. It is great having Mike and Ryan to hang with and especially to ride with. But a day to yourself, at your own pace with your own thoughts is necessary once in a while. A sort of meditation. 

   Cross your fingers for my root canal tomorrow. Or maybe I won't have one at all... But like I said at this point, I hope it is the problem and the solution to my tooth pain so I can move past this and enjoy the rest of the trip!