I would love to tell you that today was much better than yesterday as far as cycling goes.
I would love to, but I can't.
However, I'm also not going to go on and on whining about how MIS. ER. A. BLE. I was. ALL. DAY. LONG.
I'm just going to whine a little bit.
It was 36 degrees when we got up this morning. "It won't be so bad," I thought, "as long as the wind doesn't blow."
It did blow.
I guesstimated that yesterday's winds were around 15 mph. Today's had to be 20 mph. We did a loop ride, and I swear with my hand up that the winds were ALWAYS in our faces.
We left around 10:00. We made up our own route for the first part because the SHORT option for today was 68 miles. There was also the option of doing a century.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
I would have been happy (well not HAPPY, but you know what I mean) to do around 30 miles, but I didn't want to seem like a wimp, so I said a 50-mile route would be fine with me.
We set out down Florida highway 53 to Madison, and it was an awesome route. I can't say for sure if there was a lot of traffic on that road, because there was so much pavement OUTSIDE the white line that it felt like we had our own bike lane. We stopped in Madison at a convenience store that is hands-down the neatest store I've ever been in. They had a "bee" theme for the whole store. There was a warning in the restroom that employees who didn't wash their hands would be "stung and _______" (I can't remember the second word). They had a separate little room that was the beer cooler, called the "beer hive." The lady behind the counter was super nice and even took a picture of the three of us.
We had packed sack lunches before we left this morning, and the ride organizer, Margaret, brought them to Blue Springs to a state park where there are springs and the water is ...... you guessed it, blue. I will try to post pictures in the next day or so, when I'm not dependent upon a cantankerous internet connect card. (My new definition of "roughing it": not having wifi.) We stayed at the lunch stop for over an hour because I simply could not face getting back on that bike.
The last town we went through was Pinetta, Florida, where all the street names start with "P": Petunia, Pennyroyal, Primrose, Poplar.
I try my best to remain upbeat and remind myself that no one held a gun to my head and MADE me go ride a bike in this weather, but sometimes my sour attitude wins the battle. It got so bad today that I started yelling at dogs. To the German Shepherd-looking dog that barked from his pen in his backyard, I yelled, "SHUT UP!" When a boxer-looking dog barked and charged at us from his yard, I pointed my finger at him and shouted, "YOU DO NOT WANT TO MESS WITH ME TODAY!" Later when Rozmo was riding alongside us (that didn't happen a lot today), another dog barked from the confines of a fence, and once again I yelled, "SHUT UP!" Unfortunately Rozmo neither heard nor saw the dog, and when I yelled it almost startled her off her bike.
Just as all good things must end, even the miserable ones drag themselves to a merciful death eventually. We limped back into camp around 4:20. Our total mileage for the day was 59 miles and change, and when Rozmo asked if we wanted to ride a loop around the lake to get 60, I almost took her head off. That loop around the lake was actually about 4 miles, and I'm not sure I would have survived it.
Dinner was wonderful, and the wine and music are still going at the pavilion next door to the RV. Katydid left first, then I sneaked away from the dancing, and Rozmo is still going strong. I have a sneaky suspicion the wine has a lot to do with it.
I won't say I will NEVER do this ride again, because we tend to have short memories when it comes to cycling. We always THINK we had a good time. And it has been a good time with Rozmo and Katydid, and laughing with the other folks on the ride. But I don't think I will pre-register for this ride in the future. I will wait until the Monday before it and see what the weather forecast says.
If it's going to be 80 degrees with no wind in North Florida the first weekend in November, count me there. Otherwise you will find me home with Hubby and Gus, watching football and eating nachos.