Cornfields, Cornfields, and more cornfields. I just had to jump in! And so did the America by Bike (ABB) van – you can’t avoid ‘em! Today was another long day with another great end! I rode in a fast paceline for the first 30 miles and then went off on my own since it takes a lot of mental energy to ride in a paceline and I just didn’t have it in me. I also stop more often to go to the bathroom so then I have to ride really fast to catch up and I did that twice and then was over trying so hard – we had a long day to go! I was excited to get to Champaign because Sarah Levar, my best friend and roommate for 3 years from college, was meeting me there – I felt like it was too long since we have seen each other and I couldn’t wait.
I had some more tears of exhaustion as I rode to the second sag stop, which was appropriately placed at a cemetery. I sat under the tree and thought I might never get up. Forrest commented “Audrey if you don’t move, they’ll have to bury you here!” I said to him “Okay, can I let you know what I want on my tombstone?” Anyway, it was a hard day just because we are ALL so tired. That was the general talk amongst the riders and even our top notch rider, George, ended up taking an easy and riding with us (he NEVER has taken an easy yet… so that says a lot). I now know why it is called a Cross Country CHALLENGE – it is all a mental challenge right now.
At the second sag stop, I got to ride with Skip for the rest of the way, which was exactly what I needed! He is such a great guy. We rode an easy pace and the roads were rather flat with a slight small headwind – not too bad! I enjoyed his company and he has ridden across country before (a different route) and I was asking for advice on how to get through this part where you just want to not get up and ride and he said to focus on other fun things in the town or in the day that don’t involve the riding – great advice! So, that’s what I am going to start to do. The riding is really only one aspect of this great adventure – and the one aspect I am not loving right now… so there are other things to have fun doing. My butt has finally fully revolted and broke out in a complete diaper rash! Ugh J
One of our riders, Rob, fell yesterday and broke his collarbone and has to go home. He had dinner with us all last night, which was nice, so we could say goodbye. It was really sad because his girlfriend, Terry, just joined us on the trip to go the whole way and it was her first day riding with him. Biking can be a dangerous sport but I am glad it wasn’t too serious and that he didn’t hit his head – he seemed in good spirits last night, though it is never fun to have to go home.
Oh, and the Illinois people aren’t too fond of cyclists on their roads. We had a clear example of this when Skip got CHEWED out by a woman riding by – we weren’t even doing anything wrong… she was so angry like we had killed her daughter or something – it was incredible! Skip just listened to her yell and yell and yell about the trackers that use this road and the children who are around here (it was a deserted road with hardly any homes… I was thinking… what? Children of the corn? Hahaha! She was crazy!). Anyway, Skip patiently listened to her for awhile and when she was finally finished, he calmly said “you are a very angry woman!” – She speed away really fast – hysterical!
It was sooo fun to see Sarah! We can chat non-stop for hours and its like no time has passed. I wish I had gotten a photo and brought my camera with us but forgot. I was so just enjoying talking to her. I was up past my bedtime (til 9:30) but it was well worth it! I feel so blessed to have a friend like her and a friend I’ll have my whole life. She is training for her first marathon, the Chicago Marathon, which she is doing this October 12th in honor of her Oct. 22nd birthday of 26 years – 26 miles for 26 years! Very clever! Her mom is joining her too – right on! I am very proud and wish I could be there. We also stopped by the store to get me some diaper rash stuff, a new cell phone charger (yippee!), and other various items… it was such a nice visit!