First, yesterday: I forgot to mention that Saturday evening after dinner we again went downtown, just to see what we could see. A certain person saw The Hermitage Hotel and remembered that that hotel has a famous men's room (located outside the Oak Bar on the ground floor). And taking pictures is allowed. So we found a place to park (not quite legal) and headed to the hotel. Matthew, being the smart one, would not leave the car illegally parked, so he drove around for a while. That left AMW, Harper, Patrick, Allen, Alex and me headed to the men's room, escorted by the greeter at the door of the hotel. She opened the door, and announced that women were coming in. Some guys were just leaving, so in we went. It’s very nice men's room, but special? I guess since they let women in, that makes it special? There are two shoeshine stands in there, facing a row of urinals. As we all gathered around the shoeshine stands, our escort took our pictures using our cameras. As she finished, two guys came in to use the urinals. This certain female person who started this excursion walked up to the urinals, stood next to one guy, and pretended she was using the facilities, all the while telling the guy she was not looking. Maybe you had to be there, but it was hilarious!
Sunday morning as we were getting ready to ride around the parking lot for a local TV station, Harper managed to fall over while straddling her bike. A little road rash, one spot bleeding a little, so I managed to get a bandaid on it, and we were off just a little late. She did a fantastic job of riding today. She was riding with Matthew all day, and with me a little while. She was ahead of me mostly, until the first rest stop, when (using my superior sneaky knowledge) I used the rest stop faster than she and Matthew. They did manage to catch me twice, Harper catching and passing me, but then stopping to rest while I continued to ride. I did manage to get to the church ahead of them, but that will probably not happen often this week.
The church is on top of a hill, with a steep gravel rutted road leading up to it. Last year I gave a feeble effort to ride up, but got stuck in loose gravel and was in the wrong gear. This year with my new bike, and knowing what it was like, I was determined to ride the hill. I managed to get thru the worst of the loose gravel, rode thru two ruts, a little more loose gravel, but the third rut with loose gravel got me. Not going very fast, in my biggest gear, I only scraped my elbow and knee, not even needing a bandaid, but the road was so steep that when I fell, my bike went backwards over my head trying to get away from its crazy rider. Today I couldn’t figure out why only one buttocks was sore, when it dawned on me that it hurt because I fell on that side.
No internet service tonight (Sunday), so this will have to post tomorrow. Today was the longest ride for me this year. About 48 miles, and tomorrow will be about 55 miles. With this my longest ride so far this year, you might deduce that I may not be in the best shape to be doing this ride, and you would be correct. I seemed to have a lot of trouble getting motivated to ride this year, especially evident when the weather was good. I was struggling today with my effort, not depressed or down about it, just struggling to get some decent pace or rhythm. The rest of the week will tell, but I was wondering today if the 7,400 miles I rode last year may have taken too great a toll, and this 70 year old body is telling me something. Time will tell I guess.
Getting close to bedtime, and I need to get organized. I’ll probably get organized about the end of the week when the ride is over (as always).
So neat to be riding with Matthew again, and with Harper as well, experiencing on this adventure what a fabulous young person she is becoming.