Thursday, April 24, 2008

Self-Talk In Cornerville

I learned again, in Owensboro, that when we assume, you got it, it makes an ASS out of U or ME. My erroneous assumption had been that if there was a hill, (or bump) I had to ride it. Never occurred to me that walking it was an option. But when in Owensboro and I had NO LEGS, I walked a few bumps. From Nashville forward I would assess the upcoming hill and make informed choices whether I rode it in my middle chain ring, my granny gear, or I walked it. Sometimes it was just nice to get off the bike and walk it up the hill to use some different muscles.

I learned a lot in Owensboro that peacefully spirited my forward riding. My self-talk, not really a mantra, went like this, and I said it many, many times each day:

"I will be humbled;
With God's help I will make it;
I will ask for and accept help;
I will end the day with a smile of gratitude."

Tennessee was breathtakingly beautiful--houses gracing 50-100 acre plantations, horses grazing, trees in full, flowered, spring dress, and I took it all in. My foul weather gear went in deep storage in my panniers, and I shed another, and another, and another layer of cover-up with each stop for a bottle of hydrating fuel.

I met PAC Tour friends, Shirley and Charlie F., who ride tandem, in Cornerville; they're training for PAC Tour's trip to Provence, France this May to ride Mount Ventoux. So, they rode the 70+ miles to Cornerville to meet me and then we rode back to their house in Huntsville, AL the next day.

A mile from the Cornerville Econo Lodge I met RJ. He had pulled his pick-up truck off to the side of the road and flagged me down waving an ice cold bottle of water. Said he lived just over the ridge--Deliverance Country. Hoped I wasn't planning on riding over there, 'cause I was likely to hear banjos playing. (I didn't tell him that was exactly our route for the next day. BTW, we didn't hear any banjos, but did encounter many dogs excited for something new and different to greet and chase). He said he was a touring cyclist and always stopped cyclists with loaded panniers just to chat and share road stories. We did just that and then we both went our separate ways.

I hadn't seen Charlie, Shirley since PAC Desert Camp 2006 in AZ. So, we had lots of catching up to do at the truck stop across from the Econo Lodge supping on black eyed peas and collards.

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