Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Day 24 Eufaula, AL-->Perry, GA

Departure: 7:32 a.m.
Arrival: 4:20 p.m. (Time zone change so that was really 3:20 on the riding clock)
105 miles
3,600' climbing
Departure temp: 68
Arrival temp: 90

Well, yesterday we actually had 4,900' of climbing and the hills we were anticipating today were to be bigger. If there was good news in that it was that most of them would be behind us by the 1st rest stop at mile 26. They were big rollers, for sure. Some at a 10% grade, most at 6-8%. These continuous hills are something this Chicago rider had not had to reckon with before. But I can sure ride them with greater skill and efficiency now than 3-4 weeks ago. What will I do on the flats again? Hmmm.

We passed into Georgia at about the 3 mile mark while crossing the Chattahoochee River. I had decided to ride with my iPod today, the first time I have ridden with it the whole trip. I have ridden probably 90-95% of the miles across the country alone, hooking up with people at the rest stops and for dinner. But peddaling along I'm on my own. Hard to find someone who rides at my pace. Not fun to ride a lot slower and surely no fun to burn yourself out trying to hang on to someone's wheel who is outriding you. I decided I needed something to distract me from focusing on my fatigue and aches and pains. My iPod is a good distractor. The first few songs that came up in the random shuffle of the Pod were songs written and sung by Bryan, Daniel, Aaron's band, and Mya. I got REALLY choked up as I crossed into GA hearing the familiar songs and voices of family and reflecting on all the years of living, healing, gratitude, and grace that have made it possible for me to be two days from the finish line.

We ate lunch in Ellaville ( not to be conused with Elavil) :)). There was an option to ride an extra 8 miles or so to visit a Confederate Museum in Andersonville. I opted out of the "tour" because I was so excited to get to Perry and see Kirk. I was so excited that I picked up an extra mile per hour on my average the last 20 miles home!

We rode through Pecan groves and cotton fields today. The bugs weren't so bad today, thank goodness. My lip is still swollen and my stomach is a mass of red welts from being stung yesterday. Oh well.

Tomorrow we're off to Metter, GA. We'll pass through Dublin, GA where Kirk went to gradeschool. Shannon Burns and I actually did a century in Dublin back in the Parkside Lodge of Dublin Days. My, that seems like a lifetime ago. I think it was, actually.

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