Slowing Down

  • It’s been nearly a month since I’ve ridden a bike more than 40 miles in a day. On tour, I aimed to ride 40 miles by lunch but now that I have the comfort of a bed and a car and unlimited snacks, 40 miles seems like a big deal.
  • I recently switched to riding Little Nellie, my folding travel bike. It’s little wheels are hard on my back. Yesterday, for the first time in over a year, my lower back started aching. Before going on a 30-mile ride, I raised the handlebars about a half inch. The new position felt great while I was riding. I ended the ride, ironically, at the drug store. That’s where my back started to send shocks of pain into my hips. So today I am laying about the house feeling glum as I look outside and see the perfect blue sky. Ibuprofen goes great with corn flakes for breakfast.
  • I’m back in the habit of lifting weights. After only five visits to the gym, my arms are no longer twigs. It feels strange to have meat on them after they withered away on my bike tour.
  • After drinking beer three times in a week, my tummy is not happy. I think it may be time for a beercation soon.
  • I am still waiting for documents for my Irish citizenship application. I need three more. Two of the three require a notarized affidavit which I did not provide with my applications so I know I will have to resubmit them. The third (a certified copy of my father’s birth certificate) requires a court order. I’ll blow that bridge up when I get the affidavits out of the way. The documents take 10 to 12 weeks to process.
  • Yesterday I read the blog posts of Gretchen, a woman who is solo hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. She’s been hiking for over four months. Although she complains about being slow, she is covering up to 20 miles per day with a monster back pack on. Go girl!
  • Another blog that I am really liking these days is by my former co-worker, Jessica. Jessica left DC to teach in the desert of northern Chile. Who’d have thought such a remote place would be so interesting?
  • I have made no progress on plans for a bike tour next year. Reading Gretchen’s posts brought to mind how much I loved the solitude of my tour. Basically, I am contemplating a cross country ride that includes the Grand Canyon or a double cross (to the Pacific and back).
  • This week autumn arrived. We skipped the first two weeks of gentle cool down and jumped right into the windy cold part. The trees didn’t get the memo. They are mostly still green. I broke out the holey sweater for an evening ride. Dang. I don’t mind though. The heat and humidity of DC summers really wear on you after a while.




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