I felt good this morning. I got up at about 7:30, took my time, showered, and was on the road by 8:30. At that moment I was poised for a big day. Unfortunately I ran into my first few mechanical problems. It is what it is; charge it to the game. Probably 20 miles into my ride my chain got caught in between the two gears on my pedal. I mean it was really stuck. At first I wanted to just break a chain link, slide it out, and use the spare link I had in my pannier. Instead the engineer in me decided to unbolt the gear with my multi-tool (incredibly handy). So I flipped the bike over (turns out to be the fatal error) and began removing each of the five bolts. After I had spun out three of the bolts the gear was loose enough to let the chain slip out. Thinking I was in the clear, I threw everything back together, breathed a big sigh of relief, and thanked the Man Upstairs for helping me dodge a bullet.
Ready to get back in the saddle, I noticed that my right hand man, the handlebar bag, was slumped over the wheel like a truck driver who had been riding the white line. I guess the leverage I was using to loosen the gears ended up ripping the steel cable out of the mount that was holding the bag in place. After 20 minutes of finagling, I cut my losses and gave up on the bag.
Almost as if it was a reward for my good spirits, a Lowes was located on route (just a mike or two detour) 10 miles down the road. With the help of some employees I was able to replace the cable with one of the same length and similar size. As we speak, everything's holding up; knock on wood.
I enjoy the ride, and I enjoy the challenges that accompany this ride. This isn't a journey to "find myself" or figure out my life. I know who I am, I know what I am capable of, and I know how truly special this summer is. It's going to take a 100 mile walk to a bike shop to tarnish my outlook, and it's going to take a body cast to keep me of the road.
I made it maybe 40 miles today. No real notable stops, except my trip to the Wytheville Lowes. Nestled in the hills just off my route was the Rural Retreat Lake and campground. Not to dwell on the past but I was able to camp here for under $20; a letter to my congressman is in order about how these little guys are cheaper than the state parks. Anyway, to the girl working the office at the campground, I really enjoyed the conversation while you let me recharge my electronics. The movie was called "A Perfect Getaway". It turns out that you were right that I was wrong. I owe you tomorrow's music privileges which to me is priceless.
It's 10:30 pm now. I haven't even looked at the map yet so I couldn't tell you where I'll be. I might have looked at it earlier but I spent too much time wandering around looking for the showers. It was dark so give me a break.
Tonight's one of those nights where a songs stuck in your head before you fall off to sleep. I can't help but think of Kenny Chesney's "Don't Blink". Don't blink, because just like that, your six years old and you take a nap, wake up and your 25...