Thursday, June 9, 2011

BRAG Day Five.......

Another hot, hot, hot day on the bike. The route has flattened out considerably, and the road seemed to go on forever. Straight and hazy, up and down, up and down. The hills weren't big, but they were numerous. The last rest stop was 17.5 miles from camp, which is pretty far, and I didn't ration my water very well. Nine miles from the end I already knew I was going to run out of fluid, and there were no stores in sight. Suddenly a man appeared out of nowhere, handing out cold bottles of water from a cooler in the bed of his pickup truck. He handed me one on my bike as I passed (precarious thing for me to do, I might add), and I said to him, "Bless you." What excellent timing. That cheered me up considerably. I think he was my guardian angel for that moment.

Rozmo and I saw a young guy go down early in the day. A sort of fast paceline went around us, and just as they passed, the fellow at the tail end of it lost control of his bike and went down. He appeared to have nothing more severe than road rash, but he was shaken up. Rozmo and I went back, and Rozmo got his bike out of the road (that's really the most important thing to most of us). Just a few miles later, Rozmo pointed out a church sign that didn't even spell the word "Lord" correctly. I turned to look at the sign, and I veered right into Rozmo. She screamed, I reached out (we aren't sure whether I was shoving her out of harm's way or just trying to save myself.....I'd like to think it was the former), and I was positive I was going down. Like my friend Tom, who was once hit by a car, I had two thoughts: "This is going to hurt" and "This is going to scratch my bike." By some miracle (ANOTHER guardian angel?), neither Rozmo nor I went down. It had to be a stroke of luck, because I don't think either of us has reflexes and/or balancing skills that are that good. All I know is that I'm very grateful.

We are in Metter, the little town in South Georgia that is considered the Unofficial Capital of BRAG. They had a "party in the park" about two miles from the end, and we stopped there for drinks and snacks. We went back there tonight for live music (the band was VERY good), but we came back to the RV for an early bedtime. Tomorrow is a 61-mile day, with 20 miles between rest stops because we are allowed to travel THROUGH Fort Stewart, but not allowed to STOP in it. It's a desolate 20-mile trip through the fort, and post-911 security is tighter than it was the first time BRAG went through there. Back then, Katydid had to pee so badly that she finally stopped on the side of the road. She was about to pull her biking shorts down when she realized the bushes had eyes. That camouflage works very well. I think the bushes were also laughing as we rode off.

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