I say to myself, "My hands are freezing" The challenge is long bike rides in Iowa at this time of year is the temperature differences, like today temps start out at 35 degrees, and end up at 65 degrees. If I dress for 35 degrees I have to bunch up too many clothes somewhere on my bike as temps get into the mid to upper 60s. So I compensate and under dress for 35 degrees, and find myself waiting to warm up. If I stay cold for an hour or more, I made an mistake. I then make myself a mental note, and begin my learning curve of dressing exactly right for the temperature(s) seems I have to have relearn this every approaching winter.
I ride on, I warm up, I remove clothing.
Mile 25: I was moving at a fair pace, about 16 mph, and get passed before I know anyone was approaching. I am on a dirt trail, the man says good morning and flies by. I pick up my pace as I analyze "Mr Mark Cavenish" He is fit, he is young(er), he is on a much lighter bike, and dressed to ride. I am old(er), and on a much heavier bike. That is my handicap.
My ego, begins to flood my blood stream with adrenalin, in preparation for the 'battle' We both start riding faster simultaneously. I look for a mirror on his bike or helmet, I don't see one, how does he know I am working on passing him, and he keeps accelerating at my same rate.
We are now flying, my heart rate is actually 4 beats above my maximum and staying there. 23 mph, his bike is sliding all over in the gravel. I am dying this is now going on for several miles, I can't keep up, I am losing him, he is slowly disappearing, he is laughing inside, I know it.
We cross a county highway, and he pulls up to a parked car. The 'race, is over, but I took 2nd.
Mile 40: I am in Dyersville Iowa. I pull into the town park, to fill my water bottles. The bubbler is shut off, another sign, winter is coming. I decide to ride out to the Field of Dreams movie sight. I buy water.
Mile 50: The road is closed, I continue on, and this is the reason why the road is closed. I cross the creek riding the plank.
Mile 60: Headed home, ate my 3rd and last energy bar.
Mile 66: Drank the last of my water.
Mile 68: I run over a snake, and regret it, I don't like to hurt these creatures. I turn around to see the damage, to see if he is wiggling in agony, and maybe have to put him out of his misery. He is slithering into disappearance, probably OK. I will pay more attention.
Mile 74: I feel a "BONK" I am out of gas. My shoulder is hurting. I try to stretch while I ride. I have a cramp coming on in my right quad, peculiar, never had this before, I stop and stretch it out, and say to my quad, you don't decide when the ride is over, I do. I have a cell phone, I have someone I can call to end this, to pick me up. It's funny how thoughts can fly into your planet brain, like a meteorite crashing into earth. My thought was this. Something I heard a man say after riding in a snow race for 10 hours with hours to go yet to the finish line, alone, frozen, now dark, and exhausted. He said, "I would have quit, but I could not think of good reason to do so" He continued on and finished the race.
Mile 84: I arrive home. Here is the difference of being single versus being in a relationship. If I was 'single' I would eat something, pack on lights, saddle up and make it 100. Being in relationship, and we both had the day off from work, and I just spent the majority of the day light hours on a bike seat, I say "Hi honey it's nice to be home" Grandson Cole says smart move Grandpa.
I love bicycling.
I hope you can follow your passions too.
Thank you for visiting.