At the end of Friday, on the ride to Mammoth Caves, I was struggling to keep up with my usual pace. Apparently that continued today. Today I rode at a decent pace, but I cannot say I was doing so comfortably.
My ride group was Nick Pucci, Jess and Zac. We started off as the third group or so. But with Jess’s pace setting, it was not too long before we ended up being the lead group. Already by mile 10, I was slightly behind in the group and going slow. It would probably explain why I have so many pictures of their backs. I did rejoin them later, even competing with Pucci and Zac up a hill, which I would have won if my sunglasses did not fall off my helmet.
ANYWAY, so the ride to the first water stop was quite fine. I was going slowly but was enjoying the view and countryside. On our way to the second water stop, I was riding very well. I was going at quite a high 20 mph pace and racing forward. By the time we reached the second water stop, we were easily 15 min ahead of the next group. At the gas station where we had our second water stop, I also came across a jar at the cashier asking for donations for a cancer victim. It really reminded how prevalent an illness like cancer is and how it affects everyone.
The ride to the next water stop was my downfall. Why? It was the first long straight and flat stretch of road we have had on our ride. And today, I realized, I am not very good with long and flat roads. It did not help that I had only 1 hour of sleep the night before (I was blogging through the night). I started to feel sleepy on this long and boring road. By the time we reached the next water stop, which we did before even the van did, I was about 1 to 2 miles behind the rest of my group.
At this water stop, I decided I could not push forth at a high pace any further. I decided to ride with the next group: Nick Pantaleo, Omar and Vanessa. They were going at a slightly lower pace, though apparently not at a low enough pace. I was still falling behind at bringing up the rear. After our next water stop, I got tired of my own lack of pace. I decided to push myself and upped the pace to a high 20 mph pace once again. I was feeling comfortable as well and continued on until a gas station where we were to have our customary ice cream! Other groups joined us in our ice cream stop as well!
As we continued on further, Vanessa was starting to not feel well and decided to drop out. So Omar, Pants and I continued on to our host. It was a comfortable ride to the host in Owensboro. I also found Owensboro to be quite a nice town. It was a pleasant and beautiful place that seemed to have everything one needed to live in. Let me just say, I would not complain if I was asked to stay there for a while.
Once again, with the help of the Mahony family, we secured ourselves a very bountiful dinner with spaghetti from Olive Garden! A first in a very long time! Overall, the ride may not have been my best, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.
Today I dedicated my day to Jean Chen. I have known her since I was, umm, 10? I have known her since my Primary School days and I got to spend more time with her again in Junior College. She is an absolutely amazing person: always cheerful, bubbly, and just a great pleasure to spend time with. She and her family, Mr and Mrs Chen and Patricia, have been a great support for my ride and in terms of fundraising. So today goes out to you Jean and I hope you always remain the great person and friend you have been!