Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Of Mice and Men

Today was our first long ride of the trip--106 miles of smooth roads, nice weather and beautiful country. Last night,  I carefully laid out my biking clothes and all the paraphenalia that accompanies a ride of that mileage. (electrolytes, cues sheets, bike computer...you get the idea).  I was ready; I was organized and my execution of the ride well planned.  I expected it to be about a 7 hour trip and went to bed knowing I was well prepared.

Ah..."the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry".... This phrase, originates in a poem by Robert Burns. It tells of him plowing a field, and accidentally destroying the nest of a field mouse in the process. The phrase illustrates that despite careful preparation, things don't always go as planned.

I experienced that this morning when I awoke at the sound of my alarm and found my back in spasm.  Moving gently, I stretched and flexed to loosen it, then slowly got out of bed. Sitting on the edge of the bed, I turned around to answer a question my room mate, Rita, had asked me, and winced as pain shot through my lower back, radiating across my hips. I had had soreness the last couple of days, and yesterday had experienced electric like sensations down my left leg as I rode, but chose to ignore it, thinking it would work itself out.  Clearly, today, I had better listen to what my body had been trying to tell me.  So the well laid plans from last night changed....I decided  that I was not going to ride today, but rest my back instead.  I suspect the pain is not the result of cycling, but the lifting involved with moving my luggage and lifting heavy items while SAGging.  (I have a bulging disk, L5 on S1)  With the next three days out of the saddle (today, a rest day, then a day of driving SAG), I should be ready to resume pain-free pedaling on Friday without losing much mileage.  (As long as I am throwing cliches around, let me just say that 'it is not the destination but the journey, right?)   I learned on last year's cross country ride to listen to my body when it talks to me....a little preventative pampering now will avert much more misery later!  So here I am, actually having some free time!  Woohooo!!

I spent part of the morning navigating for the SAG, Karen Cooper.  She should have left me at the hotel; I got her lost TWICE in 20 miles!  I don't know why I am so directionally challenged and dyslexic.  I always managed to get where I want to go; sometimes it just takes a little longer....remember, 'it's not the destination, but the journey', right?  It's a good thing I didn't have to take a cue sheet reading test before I signed on to be a SAG driver.   Anyway, I figure those wrong turns were a good way to make sure that none of the riders were off course.... (believe that and I have some land in Florida I can sell to you...)  We did see some interesting sites on our off beaten path. 
Pretty, but abandoned barn in the early morning light

A boat with little dingies that we saw while 'lost'.  Whose dingy?

Karen, still smiling after I got her lost.  Lifting that full water cooler has played havoc with my back.


  1. Great blog as usual. You made the right decision to take care of yourself
    if we hadn't missed that turn we wound never have seen the ducky boat !!

  2. i love the ducky boat with its little duckling boats behind it! rest up lady---we don't need any more back problems in our family!