Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Big Bike Trip Part 2

So, I was just about to get to day two.

We left the campground around 10:30 and decided to ride 20 miles to the next town in order to stop for breakfast. I think we all had a moment of panic when we first got on our bikes and our butts were already sore from day one, but luckily the pain went away after a few minutes. It was also replaced with the surge of adrenaline which came from riding alongside a busy highway for the first mile or so. That's pretty much how we started off every morning of our trip, getting our blood pumping as semi's went whizzing past threatening to knock you over or suck you up. I learned quickly to follow close and keep your eyes focused on a straight line in front of you. Also pay attention to cues (my dad typically rode in front of me and would point out pot holes or rocks).

The second day was all through Indiana and more corn mazes. I liked how peaceful it was back through all the corn. It may not have been quite as exciting as riding next to a busy highway, but I enjoyed the times we all got to ride side by side. There weren't many cars around for the majority of the day. After breakfast at Bob Evans and a nice rest, we got back on the bikes and kept on riding.

I noticed when I'd do longer (30- 40 mile) rides in TC that my fingers would go numb after a bit. Mostly my left pinky finger. That started happening after my first day and just continued for the rest of the trip. Although other parts of my body, like my butt or my quads, were sore from time to time nothing hurt, or was more annoying, than having a tingly finger the whole trip. I tried moving my hands around or shaking out my arms from time to time throughout the day, but nothing seemed to work. I would be interested in knowing if it was a common thing or if there's anything I could do to prevent that from happening. My brother said his did the same thing, but my dad's fingers all seemed to remain normal. I'm assuming it's some sort of pinched nerve or something.

Day two also had some bad moments for me. Actually day two may have been the most disappointing day on the trip. I knew my allergies would get really bad, like they did last year when we visited my cousins in IL so I tried to come prepared this time. I was supplied with medicines and all sorts of eye drops. Unfortunately though, the pollen and sweat must have built up in my eye and after about 50 miles it became a real problem. I tried pouring water in my eye, but every time I would look up at the road my right eye would blink and blink and it became painful to move my eye at all. At mile 53 I was desperate and that's when I cracked. I couldn't see and because the pain was so severe I was worried something serious may have happened to my eye. I didn't want to stop. I knew 53 miles wasn't even close to the end for us that day, but I had no choice. My mom came and picked me up and we drove on to find a motel. I think at this point I was crying more because I felt like I gave up that day than the pain I felt from my eye.

I can't say it was all bad though. Being able to finally take a nice shower and just sit and relax felt pretty good. By the time I got out of the shower my mom had to go back to pick up my dad and brother, so I was left alone in the hotel room to eat my Jimmy John's and watch the Hangover 2.

My dad and brother went on to ride 85 miles on day two. I was also grateful when my dad said my brother kept him at a 18 mph pace from a long ways. We averaged about 12mph for the whole trip.
No way I'd be able to do 18mph unless we were going downhill. They also had to ride for a few miles on a dirt road. We hit a dirt road earlier in the day that we ended up having to ride, but it was just a mile and I was really glad when it was over. I can't imagine how uncomfortable that'd be for a longer stretch.

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