Today I rode my bicycle 106 miles. And it wasn’t even that bad! We took a scenic route from Petoskey State Park along the Lake Michigan Coast (via M-119 and the “Tunnel of Trees”) to Mackinaw City and back. There were hills, many hills. (Dad says that the 3100 vertical feet of climb equal about 5 1/2 trips to the top of the Washington Monument or three times to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but who's counting?) Anyway, the pretty scenery and the ever-present lake made everything bearable — even the thousands and thousands of mosquitos. In all honesty the most problematic stiffness I’m dealing with at the moment is my hands, which are numb from the seven hours on the bike and not feeling particularly graceful. (In other words I blame any and all typos or errors on hand numbness.)
During the ride Dad and I discussed various topics of debate in the media for the first half, and in the second, I put on my tunes and we just zoned out to that. In consequence, I really didn’t have any time to feel sorry for myself or count my aches and pains — maybe I’ll just ask fellow riders their opinion on abortion next time I’m on a long ride because, whatever said riders’ opinions are, they’re bound to be nice, long rants.
There was one moment of near despair when Dad kept having chain skips on climbs and at mile 94 found a bent link, necessitating breaking and repairing the chain. Took over a half hour and for a minute there I wondered if I'd have to leave him. (Not really! I wanted my century but not that bad.)
Thanks again to all for your encouragement, financial support, and of course generous compliments of my writing. I’m beginning to get a swollen head.
Unfortunately, I shan’t be able to give you much more writing tonight because I am very tired, and (right after I dish out a very personal and individualized insult to each and every mosquito bite I have earned today) I must adjourn to bed! :)
P.S. Here is a triumphant photo of Dad and me arriving back in Petoskey State Park (to a very enthusiastic crowd of admirers including my lovely mother and sisters) along with another shot of me after my ride - see the smile?