Day 38 – Spartanburg, SC to Columbia, SC
So, another day, another 100 miles. It’s absolutely surreal that for 6 weeks, I basically get up at 5:30 a.m., power down a huge breakfast (quantity, not quality), go ride 100 miles, arrive at the next hotel, shower, do minor tasks (like blog and e-mail), power down more food, done by 7:00 p.m., and to bed around the 8 p.m. timeframe. The variables are location, weather, amount of climbing, and personal health. Today, I rode 104.8 miles that had 4,745 ft of climbing. It was a beautiful ride but the roads had no shoulder and about 20 miles were bone shaking rough but because it was Sunday, traffic was light and what traffic there was was mostly church-going families. The semis and the cyclist-hating pick-up drivers were on a day of rest preparing for another week of marauding and mayhem. And weather was perfect. It seemed even the dogs take Sunday off.
3,000 + miles behind us and only 141 miles left, 108.7 miles tomorrow. Keep in mind that’s another 7 to 8 hours on the road tomorrow. I am so eager to return to “normal” where a ride up Angeles Crest Highway that is 19 miles one way and about 4,500 ft of climbing and takes a little over 2 hours will be an enjoyable training ride. I want to get back to cycling for fun and fitness on a schedule that suits and pleases me! And I want to get back on my mountain bike, too. Larry Oaks, who is on his 3rd XC trip, told me this morning that he thinks I’ll go into a funk for about a month “missing” this journey we’ve been on for 6 weeks. I don’t think so!
Okay, what else. Meet Tim, who is the youngest in our group at 44, and is the strongest rider and, in my opinion, most liked in our group. He is an extremely affable and interesting person. Tim has competed in a stage race that ran the length of Africa, from Cairo to Capetown. I finally got this picture of him but it had to be in “civvies” as I just don’t see him on the road.
And before we’re done, I want to offer a huge thanks and expression of love for Glenn and Merrily Gumpel. Glenn & Merrily have been supporters and partners in philanthropy of mine for years. It was Glenn who got me going raising money for charity on this ride when he said he’d give me $5.00 a mile for any charity of my choice. Merrily has been a tireless supporter and cheerleader and contributor and I value and respect her immensely.
Cayce and the Casey’s (Tim & Louise) and the Youngs (Phil & Liz) arrive in Charleston today and they’ll all be there Tuesday when I ride in with the group! I’m so excited and thrilled they’re going to help me celebrate this awesome accomplishment.
Okay, more tomorrow! I have so much I want to say about what this has meant to me and how inspirational and motivating it has been to have all of you follow these blogs and offer your support.