Woke this morning unsure what time it was because there is no clock, and my phone is on the charger across the room. Laid there with some trepidation. Doing a self check. Legs feel good. Stomach feels good. Fingers crossed everything stays that way.
Woke this morning to the same beautiful partly cloudy skies that I went to bed with. So nice to not see rain after dealing with it for days. Also feeing just a slight nausea so that’s improving too. Camping close to town I went to the only store to pick up a breakfast. Sitting outside eating what I could piece together as a passable breakfast, This big dog, a chocolate Lab, was doing his ‘best sad’ face to get a bite or two from me.
Third straight day of rain and not just a little rain. It’s coming down hard. Not so eager to get on the road this morning. Had a good nights stay and day off in Lenoir. Marcia, who worked the front desk at the hotel I stayed at last night was a pleasure to talk with. Telling me she had a medical condition and she is just in awe of people like me that take on physical challenges like this. Because she can’t
Another morning the sky’s are cloudy looking like rain and I believe they mean it this time. Catching the news at the restaurant the previous night, they did indicate for rain today. To add credence to the forecast a gentleman at convince store this morning even said so.
Poking my head out of the tent this morning the sky was looking like rain. After a quick breakfast and breaking down camp, I hit the road about 8:00.
The last 10 miles yesterday gave me the first taste of hills. Today’s section of the route provided more of the same, gradually getting bigger and longer as the day went on. Thinking rain might be part of my day I stopped at subway about 10 miles in to charge some things and write yesterday blog post and just kinda take it easy.
Realize I’m not painting the rosiest of pictures of being out here with my previous two entries. Friends have contacted me regarding the state I’m projecting. As one friend even put it, am I having buyers remorse? I can honestly say it’s great to be out here riding and seeing the countryside. What’s proving to be extremely difficult is what I left behind to be out here, loved ones, friends and the general overall comfort of being home.
Got an early start this morning due to the birds being very active early making it difficult to sleep. Even though I’m getting a good nights sleep, still need to get accustomed to sleeping in the sleeping bag again.
Before hitting the road, did a little bike maintenance. Didn’t realize how dirty the chain had become. Had a lot of sand on it from Friday’s beach photo opportunity. Wasn’t wiping off at all and figured I’d blow it off at a car wash when I had the chance.
About six miles into todays ride I picked up a sharp piece of metal in my tire on the shoulder of a highway. When I pulled the metal out, air was leaking at pretty good rate. My tires are tubeless and part of the tubeless system is a few ounces of a latex liquid inside the tire that seals any leaky points. When I rolled the tire so the hole was a the bottom about a ounce of liquid escaped before the leaking started to slow. With just a slight fizzle of air still coming out I decided to get riding again and let the latex liquid do its job.
A few miles after puncturing my rear tire the route turned to dirt and would stay that way for nearly 20 miles. The only car to pass me for the entire dirt section happened as I was stopped, using my tire pump to replace the air that leaked out earlier. Two guys stop and the passenger asked, “You F*@ked? Pretty direct way to ask if I’m having troubles.
Todays ride was fairly uneventful through the North Carolina countryside. Still trying to find my touring legs and get into a groove, I’m having a hard time shaking this feeling of what did I get myself into.
It’s quite funny how things I ride past can remind me of places I’m familiar with. Went through an area today and thought to myself, this looks like an area out on Fish Lake road. Then I thought, good, I’ll just ride the two or so miles to Mom and Dad’s house, get a ride home and be done with this.
Did find that car wash I was looking for, discovering the grime was very tenacious taking two runs of the wash to get it clean. Once I had that taken care of, figured I’d let the chain dry before I put new lube on. Couldn’t think of a better way to let a chain dry than finding a nice shady spot and taking a nap.
Occasionally checking the trackleaders site I’m in awe of the pace some of the other riders are going. Well, actually I’m in awe of all of them. They are all kicking ass. Let me put the leaders pace into perspective. Just on day one, the leader rode a whopping 175 miles. I’m two days in and STILL haven’t made that distance. The current leader, Indiana Schulz, told me his expected finish time, prior to our departure. Let’s just say it’s a third of what I’m thinking my finish time will be.
Ironically, I know there are going to be times that I will be jealous that those guys are done and I’m still out here. But those guys were saying they are jealous of me being able to take my time to see and do things.
Want to take this time to thank those that have provided financial support for my ride. In no particular order:
My Mom and Dad
Al and Sandy of Legendary Escapes
Monica AKA the Fair Godmother
Dan Taylor of Headlines in Fenton
My work family – the therapy team @ Maple Woods manor
Nichole Farrand my Escanaba work cohort
Jim and Karen McDevitt
Patti And Paul Strong
Everybody @ Colette’s Monday Night Dance class
And the countless people I have not met but gave to a friend/family member to give to me.
Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!
For others looking to sponsor me, because I’m a long way from my goal, you can donate at the top of the page in the right hand column.
Also, a lot of stuff is getting posted to my Instagram @maunabiker
Four years ago in 2015, I set off on an epic adventure to ride a mountain bike, solo, from Canada to Mexico, following the US Continental Divide as closely possible. Completing that 2,700-mile journey forever changed my perception of what an ‘adventure’ is, also giving me a hunger for more.