Ennis – Livingston, 60 or 116 miles

Macchiatos!!!

We got off to a late start, but I had decent legs, so the 116 mile course was still on my agenda.

I was slow up the first hill of the day, but definitely made up time on the screaming descent. By the first rest stop, I was ahead of schedule. I almost enjoyed seeing the crop dusters flying overhead, but on a day with a lot of miles and climbing, I wasn’t inclined to stop for many pictures.

After some gravel and complicated bike paths, we arrived at our lunch stop. Lots of shade. The domestic partner and I agreed to part ways after lunch. His bike fit still seemed a little off. I was eager to take on the big mileage.

As we arrived in Manhattan, where the courses diverged, one of the other riders commented, “It’s almost time to decide.”

“Oh, I’ve already decided. The only decision I have to make is what flavor I’m having at the Popsicle rest stop.”

A very kind rider let me draft him all the way to that stop.

Banana Popsicles!

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Then things got hard. There was the hard-boiled egg rest stop at a machine shop, just before the second big hill of the day. It was a slog. Apparently, the temperatures were well over 100. My tires were under-inflated. Fortunately, a SAG van came by, gave me some air, and let me know I was close to the top.

The descent was wonderful. The last rest stop at the 100 mile mark was, too. We had been told that if we made it that far, it was worth doing the third climb, just for the last stretch of the course. I envisioned the sort of scenery we’d driven through day zero, and set out eagerly. I hit the top of a little hill and wondered where the big hill was. I saw nothing but down. Thirteen miles of down. Seriously fast down, on a straightaway frontage road with great pavement and no traffic. The views weren’t anything I’ll apologize for not photographing. Wheee!

Met up with the domestic partner at camp. Solar panel recharge FAIL. Local beer win. Moon. River. Music.

My mother gave me a journal with The Sayings of Buddha on every page. The page I took these notes on says, “It is better to travel well than to arrive.” Perhaps, but after 116 miles, arrival is pretty sweet, too.

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