Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 31 riding ...

Bike day 31 for me/1 to go
Cumberland, MD to Leesburg, VA 98 miles
Build days done 6/build days left 1 (tomorrow)
Temp 95 F; humidity ok

Body parts talking continued:
As I discovered today the bike must be considered a body part, and the bike computer as well. It must be considered an extension of the body, without which, I can't ride a bike. Duh, I need a bike to ride or the body has nothing to say about riding. Ok, so with a bike that has been serviced by a competent mechanic, you have a beautiful riding experience, and can just hum along feeling great, assuming the body itself is feeling frisky. And so no mental bike problems to overcome. But today the bike was deciding all on its own what gear it wanted to be in. I kept trying to trick the bike by going past the gear I wanted, hoping the bike would choose the one I really wanted. But no, it would then just skip two gears on its own. Now at the same time I have no idea how fast I'm going or how far I have ridden, because the computer has decided to keep turning itself on and off in a random manner. So now I am not only trying to trick my body into performing, but I must also try to trick my mind into ignoring my extended body part, the bike, and try to stay positive. The hardest part for me is overcoming the bike's not performing reasonably properly. Hopefully Jonas can perform a miracle tomorrow and trick my bike into performing well one last time, in spite of the fact that I have not had time to clean it for well over a week.

It was a long 98 miles today. Some riders added a couple of miles to reach another century. I had no need or desire to do that; been there, done that. No good computer readings today, but we had a nice ride out of Cumberland until we started climbing again. Instead of 8% to 10% grades like yesterday, they increased to 10% to 12% grades. A bit of a bigger challenge, and a tough ride for me because of the bike's not performing well. I could get to my granny gears, but it was a struggle most of the time. Somewhere around 50 miles the grades did drop to 6% to 10%, and then down even lower. The last 12 miles or so were a nice long down hill run to the church, similar to yesterday. Again I greatly enjoyed being able to ride this last long ride. A build day tomorrow, and then on to the Capitol steps of D.C. Not sure what's after our event at the Capitol, I'll just have to report Saturday night. On Sunday it's church with the group, then we all go our separate ways.

This morning it was my turn to lead devotions and I spoke on love as it has been demonstrated on this ride as we crossed this wonderful country of ours.


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