Biggest mileage day yet!
Little is more motivational than crossing State lines before breakfast.
As was my goal when I rolled out of Erie before 6am, powering towards the town of Conneaut, just over the Ohio border.
My desire to get out of town as quickly as possible wasn’t really particularly fair on Erie. The multitude of problems were my own and it was only my negativity that I reflected upon the city.
But when it’s needed, you’ll draw motivation from whichever source is readily available in that moment.
The first couple of hours were as such past in blistering time and I reached the border just after 8am.
While stopped at the Ohio border post, another cross country cyclist arrived. We exchanged platitudes and briefly chatted about our respective routes – he, an experienced tourer – with about triple the baggage I’m hauling, cycling from Boston to Seattle/Vancouver.
We both remarked about being hungry and heading for somewhere to eat, so we set off the couple of miles towards town. At some point, he must have veered off to do his own thing as when I arrived at the diner, he was nowhere to be seen, and I didn’t see him again.
I guess there are 2 very different reasons for cycling alone: 1) To meet interesting people along the way; 2) To get away from people. Each to their own.
Regardless, I resumed my ritual of diner breakfast to set me up for the days cycling ahead. Rather disappointed with the relatively small portion however, especially in comparison to other diner offerings at same/less price ($14 once mandatory tip included!). I definitely wasn’t going to be set for the day!
About midday, I suddenly remembered my need to call my bank (5pm GMT), and being denied international call had to spend ages slowly typing a secure message which probably won’t be responded to for at least a few business days – so no easy fix for cash-access problem. This time also set me back a bit in terms of necessary mileage.
Shortly on down the road I had to stop. I recognised that I was about to bonk, was about falling asleep on the saddle and was in dire need of a pick-me-up.
Aldi provided the first opportunity and so I grabbed a couple of 49¢ apple and cherry pies and a sleeve of $1.29 biscuits, then spent the next half hour sitting on the pavement outside, overeating.
Eventually though I did make it down to Cleveland. 4 hours for the first 80km, 7 hours for the second 80km.
Legs remarkably well except for very stiff knees – painful if kept bent for any length of time (such as sitting in a car!).
I said in my preparation for this trip that the first fortnight would either break me into the challenge, or just break me.
I’m not broken. And having completed my first ever imperial-century (100 mile) ride, I’m more than ever looking forward to getting this adventure underway. Training is done!
Cleveland rest day first though…