Friday, April 9, 2010

Smelling the Roses (April 9: Day 37--Silsbee, TX)

At 7:30 a.m., the weather this morning was much like yesterday--cloudless robin egg blue skies, cool temperatures and wind.  Today's ride was also short--only 64 miles. As such, I decided today would be a good day to slow my pace, enjoy the company of some of the other riders and smell the we started out. Our first stop was at a doughnut shop on the way out of town; now this was fun, though I have to confess that even though the donuts looked wonderful, and despite the rave reviews from Karen, Lynn and Mary, I wasn't hungry, so all I got was a Gatorade.  Since Pam and I didn't eat, we left and started our ride....and, of course, immediately went the wrong way.  Getting directions from a local went something like this:
 "Well, ya go out here, then turn left at the light.  Then you go go to the first stop sign and go right.  Then you go over them two railroad tracks.  After y'all do that, turn left at the next street and that will be Rt 727.  Ya can't miss it." 
Clearly the man didn't know to whom he was speaking as we did miss it and had to ask again for the directions.  As we turned around and headed back the way we came, here came the group we had left at the doughnut shop......they had gotten lost also.  Lynn had the directions down pat, though, leading the way  to the highway with no problem.  Yes...I had slowed to smell the roses, and this little foray made an interesting detour.  I am becoming a master at these detours!

So for the next 20 miles, we rode at a leisurely pace, taking in our surroundings, even as the 18 wheelers whizzed past us, loaded with logs and pine chips.  We were showered regularly with  sawdust and debris, but that's ok--it was all part of the ride, and I was smelling the roses.  I even got to practice yelling like a trucker driver a few times when the 18 wheelers disregarded those of us moving under our own power, squeezing us onto the 10 inch shoulder.  Too bad we are single file, clinging to the white line and the tiny shoulder as we could have had some lively conversation. 

Evenually we came upon the 20 mile sag stop, where I dropped off my base layers, put on sunscreen and filled my water bottles.  I then left with the 'sweep' team of Patti, Kathy and Kati.  We rode five miles to a little restaurant, where we joined some others for refreshment.  It was about 10:45 or so, and I still wasn't hungry and neither was Patti, so we left after about half an hour to get back out there on that state route.  We rode about 10 miles, then split company as Patti wanted to stretch, and I was eager to go on. Straight into a headwind, I cranked up my speed and covered the remaining 30 miles in no time. 

I stopped at a little cajun BBQ joint to get some lunch sometime after noon; I got it to go, tying it onto my handlebars.  Upon opening it to eat when I got to the motel, I was sorely disappointed and mildly disgusted.  I had order homemade sausage BBQ; it came in a circle, like a doughnut.  In the middle was the BBQ sauce; it was not quite what I expected.  (and what did I learn about expectations earlier in the trip...?)  My room mate, Mary. looked at it and said  'Ugh--that's gross' ..... Well, I was hungry and willing to give it a try anyway.  Ugh--she was right, it was gross. I had also gotten something called 'boudin', which is a regional dish, (it was somewhat like a sausage, but stuffed with rice and some kind of ground meat).  I didn't really know what it was, but when in Rome....  It was gross, too, though more edible than the sausage, (why does this keep making thing of 'The Sopranos'?)   So for lunch, I had some chocolate milk and grape tomatoes I had bought yesterday at Wal-Mart.

What came up for me during these 35 miles was that while I enjoyed riding with others in our group and going at the slower pace, it played havoc with my body.  My back was in spasm (still not fully recovered from the bad bed in Vanderpool), my saddle sores were starting to make themselves known again, and my left knee felt like a hot knife was being jammed into it, painful enough to bring tears.  In riding slower than that to which I was accustomed, I rode in a low gear, spinning at my usual cadence (same amount of work, but lesser results than in a higher gear) doing so, I relaxed my posture, sitting hard in the saddle, rounding my back and mashing the pedals. At least, that is what I think caused my problems.  Tonight, my knee is swollen and painful, despite icing and elevating it, and my back aches. So for me, smelling the roses will have a different look that just riding at a leisurely pace.  Smelling the roses will be what I enjoy doing the most--riding swiftly with the wind rushing past doesn't mean not stopping, it just means I need to do it at my own pace.

So this place we're staying at, oh my.  As I type this, someone is puking outside of the door, screaming he can't breathe, then fighting with another person that is trying to help him.   A little girl, about 5, is standing outside my window,  looking wide eyed at me, as if I should do something.  When we came in this afternoon, I had to ask 'Miss Kitty", the proprietor, for some hand towels.  She said normally our 'wing' of the motel didn't get hand towels...just the deluxe front rooms.  Our wing was for permanent motel residents...the 'pay by the week' people.  The room next to us has a whole family in it--they're they ones that are drunk and fighting.  Anyway, since we were part of Woman Tours, we could have some hand towels.  Some of our group is housed in the 'deluxe' rooms, so I asked her if they had nicer bath towels than us--ours were ratty and stained.

Miss Kitty: 'Yes, they have nicer towels'
Me: 'May we have some better towels, please'
Miss Kitty:  "Well, normally those are only for the deluxe rooms, but since you're with them you can have some too"


There is also something very strange going on here.  Families keep pulling up with these fat little kids, and going into Room 110.  They get all dressed up in old fashioned clothes, go down to another room, then leave in their street clothes.  Someone said that a photographer that does antique photos has a studio there.  Hmmmm.  Very odd....hope I don't read about this in the newspaper.

So Miss Kitty is here now breaking up the fight....hope they keep it down tonight, I need to sleep.

64 miles

1 comment:

  1. That antique photo studio reminds me of when we went to that camp at the Ohio Historical Society and made a stop at the mall afterwards in our costumes... People thought we were Amish except for the fact that you were dressed in normal street clothes... Awkward!!!

    Hope your body feels better! :)