Day 4: So. Much. Gravel.

I’m gonna be honest, today sucked. Physically I’m exhausted, mentally I’m worn out, and my morale is pretty low. The day started pretty well, the weather is nice and I got a lot of sleep. I rode for about two miles and came to the Paw Paw tunnel, an unlit cave through a mountain. I kind of wish I had Gandolf around in case the Balrog showed up. I didn’t encounter a Balrog in the tunnel but there were four goblins (Federal Park Rangers). About halfway through the tunnel I blew my rear tube again, and it was all my own fault.

A couple days ago a friend of mine posted a status that said, “if you listen to your body when it whispers you won’t have to hear it scream”. The same is true for bikes. When I blew my rear tire the first time I fixed it but kept hearing a rubbing sound. I stopped to investigate and found the tire wasn’t seated properly, I forced most of it in but figured it was good enough. I should have deflated the tube completely and fixed it correctly but I tried to take a shortcut. Well, the tire rubbed through straight to the tube causing the most recent blowout.

I was pretty morally beat and beating myself up over the incident. After making the repairs I was sure I wouldn’t make it to my friends parents house like I planned and this added to the stress. I hate being late and I felt like I had let them down. I also started doing a count of my finances and realized I was cutting it pretty close. The only upside was that I was almost done with the Canal Trail, 184 miles of beauty along the river. After that I started the Allogonquen Trail… Which is destroying me.

So far it has been rough gravel all uphill. At one point I had to get off my bike and just talk myself into continuing. I realized that all my stresses.. Time, distance travelled, money… Would work out if I kept a positive attitude and remembered why I was there: to enjoy the journey at any pace that came naturally. The Allo trail does not have water points or camping like the previous trail so I need to plan my daily route a little better. I decided to stop a little early for the night to rest and refocus.

During my walk I was able to call my brother who told me that i have another neice or nephew on the way. This is awesome news because I am a great uncle.I really look forward to being the eccentric bachelor uncle who pos in every year or so with stories. I was also able to text with some dear friends and read some encouraging notes. It is nice to know that I may be by myself on this ride but I am never alone. I also received some unexpected financial support while resting. I received some unsolicited money via PayPal for my ride. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you so much Tim and Jaron, your help and support means so much to me.

1 thought on “Day 4: So. Much. Gravel.

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