Friday, April 18, 2008

Humbled in KY

My PAC Tour friend, Steve D. from Smiths Grove, KY drove to Owensboro to ride out with me from Owensboro to Russellville, KY. (His wife, Marianne, drove him over, an example of support we cyclists need and often are blessed with from our spouses or s.o.'s. One of my all-time greatest Mother's Day gifts was when Kirk took Amtrak to Bloomington, IL from Chicago to pick up my car I had driven down there so I could ride the last two days with PAC Tour's Route 66 tour which, of course, ended in Grant Park in Chicago.)

Steve and I left at 7:15 a.m. in yet another steady rain, 39 degrees which meant the wind chill had to be in the low-mid 30's. We hit the first hill and I had NO LEGS. Nothing. I walked up that hill and a number of next hills. Cold, scared, embarrassed to have Steve come all the way over for this??? What to do?

In Sacramento, KY, 28 miles into the 85 and after only 208 of the 3,500' to be climbed that day, I said, Steve, I don't think I can do this today. Somehow I need to get myself someplace where I can rent a car and drive to Nashville. I need a day of rest, a sabbath day.

We looked like Canaries in our rain suits, huddled under an overhang, Steve calling Marianne to see if she could/would come pick us up. We rode on to Greenville, KY, about 50 miles from the start, and waited for her there.

At Steve's home in Smiths Grove, I cleaned my bike, took a hot, long shower, washed my clothes in a real washer, not the sink, we feasted on good food and fellowship,lots of fun reminiscing about the 2006 transcon, and fragile fantasizing about maybe another one in 2009?? Maybe??

Monday, April 14th, Day 7, Steve drove me around his 29 mile loop with about 4,000' of climbing through Mammouth Cave National Park and then on down to Nashville, TN where we hooked up with Kirk at Gaylord's Opryland.

With a day's rest and's predictions of warm, no precip, and full sun for the rest of my Tour, I should be able to find my legs on the 15th and ride on to Franklin, TN.

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