I Love New York!...
Because it’s significantly less hilly than New England! I’ve learned a lot in the last 7 days:
First, I’ve learned that cycling across the US alone is VERY physically demanding, but that isn’t a surprise. The first day felt normal, even though the rain and wind made for an interesting day. Day two was arguably the toughest thing I’ve ever done. Endless hills, a strong headwind, a quickly disappearing sun, and a significant energy drop with 35 miles to go forced me to dig deeper than I ever knew I could. Interestingly, the knowledge that I can get through a day like that has served me well since. It took a few days to recover and feel “normal” again. My body is now getting used to the constant riding, and I’m starting to get into a groove.
Second, I’ve learned that this journey is primarily a mental challenge. Managing the “what ifs,” being out of my comfort zone, being away from my family and friends has been far more of a challenge than I anticipated. The support I receive from all the people I love and respect is critical in getting me through this. In the middle of a tough day I often check Facebook to see what people have written. It really inspires me to see that so many people support and believe in me and helps “fill in the blanks” when I get overwhelmed. That said, please keep the positive vibes coming, they’re much appreciated!
Third, I’ve learned that after I ride 100 miles I tend to do some pretty silly things. For instance, 2 days ago, as I pulled up to my hotel and lifted the bike onto the curb, I tripped and fell onto my bike awkwardly, knocking it over. In the process I badly bent my rear wheel, and bent my rear rack. I fixed the wheel the best I could, with the advice of my friend William Cheramie (I’ve also learned that It doesn’t really bother me if my wheel isn’t straight!).
Finally, and most importantly, I’ve learned that my wife is the reason this is possible. Every night she helps me plan my route, book hotels, find food, and give me the necessary pep talks to get me ready for the next day. She also takes care of my beloved hairy son Al. This is not a one-man effort. Many people make this possible, but my wife deserves the lion’s share of the credit for all that she does to keep me pedaling with a smile on my face and the required nutrition in my body.
OK, that’s all for now. I need to rest, I have a bit of riding to do tomorrow…
© 2014 Marc Purslow All Rights Reserved