Riding my bicycle across Vietnam
It’s been a bit of a day. With both sweeping success and pride, as well as demoralization, fatigue, and helplessness. I spent 9.25 hours on the bike. Let’s begin!
The beginning of the day had a melancholy tinge after Mark and I split ways. He was off to Syracuse to get a Greyhound back to Portland, ME. I was to continue on towards Cleveland. I started the day with some New Order and just pedaled. I was staring face to face with my predicament for the day: 90+ miles of riding. I was quite nervous. The last time I’d attempted a century in Cleveland 2 springs ago, with no weight, I barely finished. My strategy for the day was efficiency. As much time pedaling as possible.
The route for the day was nice, paralleling the shore of Lake Ontario, cutting inland, then coming back to shore. It was interesting. No remarkable stop offs for most of the day. Donuts, hamburger, snacks. At 75 miles, I reached Sodus Point and I came to a realization.
This attempt at a near century felt completely different from last time. Physically, I was feeling pretty OK. I was able to keep a pace of 10-11 MPH without too much difficulty. This was in stark contrast to last time, when I was struggling to maintain 6-8MPH and having to stop every few miles. This is where the success and pride comes in. I was overjoyed that I was able to do this much mileage. The wearing part was purely mental (and oh maybe the derrière). I spent 9.5 hours on the bike all told. I went all out in my media barrage. Audiobooks, podcasts, music, playlists. No matter, some of it was plain boring. To compound on this, I knew I was mentally fatigued. It was difficult for me to think rationally when I arrived at the campground I had planned to stay at and I found it to be closed.
I arrived in Palmyra, NY later than I had wanted, about 8:30. Light was fading fast. I was hungry, but as a sort of secondary priority. Scrambling to find new means of lodging, I found myself having to take a step back, relax, and make sure I was doing the rational thing. It is difficult when you’re tired sometimes. I went to Subway, had a sub, and mulled it over. My original plan had been to go to the Macedon hiker-biker-boater campground along the Erie Canal Trail. That was 4 miles from Palmyra. I’d scaled back my plan slightly to end in Palmyra on account of how late it was. The resolution then was to push on to Macedon. It was a good call.
I was overjoyed as I rolled past the fire station and found an open grassy field with some other tents. This was it. Sleep. I actually saw another fully loaded touring bike that night, but it was gone early in the morning. As I settled into my sleeping bag for the night, admiring the stars, I looked fondly upon the day. Onwards and upwards.
TM: 9:13, AVS: 10.6, DST: 98.78