Monday, March 11, 2013

Brawley - Blythe, CA 36.9 miles

Disappointing day today.  The first few hours were fine, but rough pavement, two days of constant headwinds and mile upon mile of 1-3% grades completely and utterly defeated me.  My legs were fine, probably could have gone another 20-30 miles but my neck and shoulders  just couldn't take any more.  I had been kind of looking forward to the roller hills - my kind of riding.  After the Percocet kicks in, I am sure this will be another great day on the tour though.  And at least the issues are all mine, not the bike's.  And tomorrow is a rest day.

The desert we rode through today was spectacularly beautiful.  The Chocolate Mountains were in the distance, we passed through an extensive expanse of sand dunes - protected on the left, open for riding on the right.  As we got down to flatter areas, farmers were starting to harvest their first cutting of hay (alfalfa? timothy? not sure).  Blythe is a microscopic town, but it looked like there were interesting places to explore tomorrow after the bike cleaning workshop.

We eat at Sizzler tonight because Linda had to provide a full lunch stop - that just cuts too far into her time for preparing the evening meal.  Our food has been delicious - hats off to Linda.

WARNING - Introspection ahead

This kind of undertaking lets you explore yourself to an intense degree.  The "why am I doing it?"  the "am I capable of doing it?" soon lead to the "what constitutes 'success'  for me?"
When I was having mechanical problems, it was easy - if the  bike isn't rideable, it isn't rideable and you have no choice about riding in the van or the SAG.  But figuring out what constitutes an "acceptable" reason (to me) to accept a bump or a lift took a little more cogitating.  But today I decided (though I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow).  I am an intelligent woman, with a fair amount of life experience and usually sound judgement.         
I am no longer going to second guess myself.  If I think that riding in  the van or the SAG is the better choice, that's what I will do.  I will stop worrying whether my reasons are "adequate".  No one here is going to question my actions or my motives, so I won't either.


Janice in GA said...

There you go. It's all about what's right for YOU.

tombetz said...

36.9 MILES! ('Nuff Said)

Barbara Baume said...

What a day! Very much enjoy reading about your experiences and yes, the introspection, too.

susan said...

are u taking lots of pictures? what is a bump? and tell me more details about the food you are getting! How is the traffic and the town folks treating you and the group? does everyone stay pretty close together? have a great rest day!

Judi said...

I have been taking a few pictures and hope to post some tomorrow. The group is trying to set up a file-sharing account on Flickr/Dropbox/Photobucket so we can share each other's pictures.

A bump is taking the van/SAG to the point where you want to start riding, or start riding again after you get past the part you don't want to do. A lift is when you have decided you are done for the day and don't want to ride any farther.

Linda is the chef and she cooks wonderful meals out of a 6x6 ft. galley with two gas burners. Last night she made homemade chili with beef, corn, black beans, etc. served with all the fixin's. Wednesday we will be crossing into Arizona and we will have a margarita party
- that will happen every time we cross a state line. Breakfast is usually steel cut oats,a selection of healthy cereals, fruit, yogurt, sometimes scrambled eggs. Then she sets out a snack table with M&Ms, dried fruit nuts, energy bars, the makings for PB&J sandwiches and other good stuff for us to snack on as we ride. The SAG resupplies us with water and snacks at about 20 mile intervals.

We generally break up into pairs or small groups with compatible riding styles/speeds, but there is such a wide range of experience/ability/speed that we wind up spread over quite a few miles of highway. Everyone rides their own ride.

Judi said...

It was supposed to be an 87 mile ride.

Rita Rowe said...

Things will get better. The road will flatten out, and you will get used to the daily riding. The first few days are tough, but you will feel stronger. Don't be discouraged. Think of it as 'boot camp WT style!'

Liz said...

Judi, I agree with Rita. The first week is hard, but as you get stronger and the terrain flattens out, you'll find things going better. Your second goal was to ride everyday and so far you've done that.