I am doing my best to catch up on the last 10 days, but things move so fast on the 4k that I’m having a little trouble. We shall see!
In any case, today we biked mostly along West 20, the two-lane highway along the coast of Lake Erie from Lake City to Cleveland. It was pretty flat, pretty manageable, and even with the detour factor, less than 90 miles. We wound our way through the vineyards and strawberry fields of the Great Lakes, until we started getting into the more populated areas of Ohio.
By the way – today we biked to Ohio! I am always shocked by state crossings on a bicycle. Sometimes, it feels like we’re just trudging along getting nowhere, and then suddenly, the state DOES CHANGE! Proof that the excruciating pain in my legs in worthwhile!
And the pain… Today was particularly bad. Not for the terrain itself, but for the combination of almost back-to-back centuries (about 190 miles over two days) and a sum total below 6 hours of sleep between those two nights. Even with the help of so many gracious friends, families, and complete strangers, the logistics of traversing the country by bicycle extend far beyond the day’s mileage – there’s still cleaning, cooking, route planning, looking for food donations, confirming hosts, finding showers, etc etc. I’m so glad I’m in such an amazing group of people, otherwise I don’t know how I could survive this. The last 20 miles, I was crying underneath my sunglasses, just from the pain and exhaustion in my legs. It’s silly, but I started naming every person I am doing this ride for, pedal by pedal in order to keep my feet moving. Somehow, I made it to our host – Case Western Reserve University.
Today, I rode with Johnny, Steve, Emily, and Marc – all great riders and we sped along. Especially – I suspect – when Emily and I started belted out songs and Steve wanted to get more huff and puff and less harmony out of us. I was a bit hot and very sunny, but not anything too serious. At one of the water stops, a man had come over to talk to us – with the double-decker bike he built! And I rode it, with my head some 10 feet above the ground. Dismounting was fun