Random Thoughts of a Crappy Day
Not all days on a bike tour are going to be stellar. Today was definitely one of those days! We only rode 55 miles, but it was a tough 55. We had deep rolling hills, followed by deeper rollers. We had some drizzle throughout the morning, making it hard to see. We had 20 to 25 MPH headwinds when the road took us north, and we went north too long. And we were not quite getting along superbly as a family unit. So my ride today was more quiet than normal in terms of conversation. Following are some of the random thoughts that came to my head during the the 5 plus hours of pedaling we put in today.
My buddy Bob Ryan sent me a note saying he ordered up some tailwinds for Iowa. I have yet to feel them. So my thought on that today were; Bob, we are feeling the requested wind, but there was a mistake with the order. Can you please confirm with the supplier on the direction of the wind? It is coming from the North or Northeast. We really would prefer it out of the West.
In regards to the rolling hills, I can't believe how everytime we just about crested another 1/2 miles or so climb, I always wondered if this was going to be the last climb. It's a cruel joke my brain was playing on me. We climbed 2500 feet today, and only gained about 20 feet from where we started. So there were tons of these hills. And yet almost every time, I wondered and hoped!
My saddle soar came back, so this was a source of some serious time occupied by my brain. My thoughts on this were directly connected to the length of the climb too. You see, I could not get up off the saddle while climbing. It's really hard to stand and pedal when on a loaded tandem in any raod condition. So while I eagerly awaited flat roads at every climb, I was also happy to see a downhill so I could stand and rest my sore spot while we voasted. TMI?
Even though overall the road was relatively quiet, as I kept looking in my "old man" rearview mirror today, I keep seeing a truck usually followed by a few cars. The steep hills made me be able to see them all lined up, almost as though I was getting an aerial view. As a I kept seeing this all day, I imagined I was watching a long centipede follow led by a few ants. I also wondered if people in the cars thought we were some kind of bug on the road to be squashed. Apparently not! I have to say that so far, Iowa drivers seem to be the most considerate of the trip.
The last thought that kept rolling around my head was related to my garmin computer. I've been running it on "battery savings" mode to make sure I can get two days in case I do hot have the chance to charge it up at night. But when in this mode, the screen is blank until I touch it to wake it up to give me my stats up until that second. And every time I woke it back up I'd think something like this; "what??? We have only gone 1.5 miles since I last checked? There's something wrong with this computer!
I know it's not pretty, but like I said, not all days on a tour are good ones. But I do know that overall this is a great experience. I can only hope that tomorrow will iron out the wrinkles that created all the rollers today, so we have flatter roads, but I know I may be fooling myself.