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.