Rest and Recovery
Awaking and emerging from the storm, I had a whole cacophony of issues to deal with. And I was hungry. And cold. And wet. And tired.
I needed to get warm and dry – hot breakfast would help no end, and my phone & external batteries were all dead, so getting a charge before heading off was equally of high importance. Knowing I could plug in my phone back up in Celina, and I could get breakfast there, I decided to repack everything as-was, load up the bike and head there.
Then I noticed my flat rear tyre. I wasn’t going anywhere!
So I unpacked, stewed some cold porridge, chatted with some locals, took down tent and separated sheets to dry over the picnic tables, hung clothes and towel anywhere I could to dry, pumped up the back tyre, ate breakfast, repacked everything, chatted with more locals and headed off for Celina.
Rear tyre was getting flat again by the time I arrived, so knew it needed proper repair.
Most of the day was then spent under the sheltered picnic area back in Pullman Bay Park, repairing puncture – caused by one of the vast many nails which litter the side of America’s roads – charging batteries, re-treating leather saddle, trying to dry out all I could, cleaning bike (of the 1,000miles worth of dirt built up on the gears and chain), and getting myself fed.
I had breakfast at the Bay Restaurant, just across the carpark from the picnic shelter. A good portion of biscuits and gravy (an American culinary tradition). One of the other diners recognised me as we’d chatted earlier, and so we chatted briefly again. When I went to pay, I was informed that the couple had paid for my breakfast!
Shocked, but also amazed at the generosity of strangers, I tried to channel a more positive outlook to get me back on the road.
And with the steady, strong Easterly tailwind, I could still put in some decent miles!
Predictably however, in spite of this Constant Easterly as had blown all day, as soon as I hit the road, the wind changed. So much that I thought I was cycling in the wrong direction, and several times had to stop to confirm that, yes, indeed I was heading southwest. Into a massive headwind!
I arrived in Portland (*Indiana) late afternoon, and worn out, decided that the time had come to stay in a motel. After last night, I needed rest.
So I stopped after less than 50km, checked into the cheapest motel the Internet showed existed in town, got shower, and headed down the street in search of food.
I found Subway – where I got a footlong sub – and The Pit, which didn’t do any food. Only beer. Really cheap beer. As in $1.25/pint (US = 440ml).
I didn’t get much rest that night either!