Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 29 riding ...

Bike day 29 for me/3 to go
Wheeling, WV to Uniontown, PA 65 miles
Build days done 6/build days left 1
Temp ? F; humidity high, and rainy most of day

I am a little slow, but I figured out what is so different about this area: no corn or alfalfa fields. That's what I didn't realize was so different. Duh! Beautiful scenery.

The hills are awesome and were more challenging today. We had a lot of 8 & 9% grades, some getting to 10%, and 11% a brief couple of times. It may be more challenging tomorrow, another short 65 miles as shown on the preliminary list. A very nice morning ride, but then the rains came, and we were all soaked by the last van stop. It was raining hard, so most of us waited out the rain, and about 45 minutes later we set out again, with just about no rain. I used a vest and a rain jacket to try to stay warm when we left, but soon shed them both after a number of miles. Then the rain came again, and back on went the rain jacket, and another stop for protection from the downpour. Then off again, and soon off with the rain jacket again. Finally everyone safe at the church again.

Showers at the YMCA again today. Found an electronic scale, and I finally have my weight down to 185 lbs. A little late as this is the weight I wanted to start the ride at, and finish at about 175-180. Oh well, I am feeling very fit. Somebody called us real athletes the other day at our host church, doing what we are doing, which I had not considered before.

So I've written a little bit about the mental challenge of this ride, and I have figured out one of the problems. It's my body parts talking to my simple brain. It's like when I get on my bike each morning and start peddling, and my quads say, 'What are you doing to me! You want me to do this again? I don't want to, and I will just send pain to your brain until you stop! So there!' Then after about a mile or so they send more pain signals, saying, 'You're still doing this?' Then they finally say, 'Ok, but don't expect much from me'. Then they settle down and I give them a rest at the next van stop. After I have fooled them into thinking we're through, I get back on the bike, and it starts all over again. But, now the butt gets involved also, sending its own pain signals to my poor tired brain. 'What, again? Oh no, take this! If you think the quads can hurt you, how about a few hot spots you have to sit on all day!' Pretty soon the feet, arms, shoulders, and neck all get involved.

Now you're fighting all this negative energy from your own body, without even considering a rough road with lots of potholes, the hot sun, or the rain that is waiting around the next corner, or the fact that you ran out of water about 10 miles ago, and are now dehydrated! It's all a mental game that you are playing with yourself, just trying to get to the next church where you can recover? To do it all over again the next day. And, I JUST LOVE IT! But how to overcome the strong negative feeling that pushes you to get in the van and ride on four wheels to the church with someone else driving? Just entertain yourself with mind games, saying 'I love the hills, especially with a head wind, it makes me a better person! They are my friends!' Rain builds character in each of us and offers special challenges with the road and cars that are harder to see. I won't talk about hail, it just stinks, as do very strong cross winds that can blow you over without warning. OK, just special challenges, that still make us better people, with more to talk about to our grandchildren.

Each pedal stroke will put a nail in a stranger's house to give them a better place to live that they can afford! Now we have 32 riders that have raised a dollar a mile, so in two days of riding we have built a house in Haiti, with money left over. With this trip, the funds we have raised with just the riders' donations at the minimum, we have built a house in the USA, and 15 houses in Haiti. One pedal stroke at a time, as we raise more money and awareness of our mission.

And it is all about love!

These things I command you, that ye love one another. John 15:17 KJV


Location:Mall Run Rd,Uniontown,United States

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