Trip Summary

Day 52: 2929 miles completed, 8 states, 7 flat tires, 4 flat mattresses, 40 new friends and Bruce #1, 8 rest days

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Day 39: Franklinton, Louisiana

We had eighty-six miles to ride from St. Francisville to Franklinton.  The route was filled with rolling hills and green scenery.  We left camp in the rain.  The challenge today was more mental than physical.  Getting caught in the rain on a ride is completely different from deciding to start a ride in the rain with the forecast calling for more of the same.   Our war with the rain has been in our favor, but we lost a battle today.  The rain, with intermittent thunder and lightning, continued all day. 


Jeff's Ride
My goal is always to minimize the amount of time that I am wet, cold, and miserable.

Planned to ride with Stretch, our 2013 C2C partner, for old times sake and to ease the worries of his wife, Carole.  We got a late start and were the last to leave the girl scout camp in St. Francisville.  Almost missed the first turn.  The 2015 C2C tandem couple, Colleen and Randy, did miss the turn and I chased  after them to get them back on course.

At mile twenty, I noticed a strange sensation from the front wheel, stopped to check the tire, and found a wire, pulled it out and hoped for a bit of luck - no flat.

At the first SAG, mile 26, Stretch made a wise decision and decided he had had enough. Shortly after leaving the rest area, I retrieved Ken 2's route sheet which flew off his trike as I was riding behind him.

At the second SAG, mile 48, Bruce gave me a Payday bar, which provided the energy needed to finish the ride.  I missed the third SAG, mile 75.  I wasn't paying attention and the staff had set up at the wrong location one and a half miles before the planned location. I especially appreciated the Payday bar at the moment.

I rode for 4 more minutes today than yesterday, yet did eighteen more miles.I really, really, really dislike riding in the rain.

Lisa's Ride
Rode out with Ken, Udi, and Judy and the sprinkles quickly turned to rain showers.  Thank goodness it was warm, but still having every part of you drenched and still trying to do something physical is stressful. It is great to have a good attitude and always look for the bright side of things, but we sometimes just have a bad day and there is no bright side, and you deal with it as best you can (i.e., not taking it out on others who have no control over any of it). My riding partners are great and always uplifting, but by the time we were done for the day, when my bike would not shift into the big ring on the front (even after Murph and Ken tried some fixes on it) and my Garmin locked up, and I was soaked to the skin on every part of me, I was in a foul mood, so decided to head straight to the showers.  Showering is a new adventure every day.  Today, the showers in the ladies room in the  Baptist church gym had only 1 drain, and the room was built so that all the water drained AWAY from the drain--yep, you read that correctly--so someone literally had to be outside the stalls while we showered and use a floor squeegee to push the water toward the said drain.  I give our great staff person Joyce Gillette a lot of props because I think she saw I was about at my breaking point and let me shower right away instead of making me wait.  When I was done and in warm, dry clothes again, my mood improved a huge amount.  Sometimes even those of us with good attitudes need some time to find that attitude again!

We had the extreme privilege of meeting Immanuel, an 85-year-old man who lives on the corner of one of our turns near Clinton, LA.  Bubba met him many years ago on his first cross country trip, and has been making it an annual stop ever since.  Immanuel was born on Christmas Day, he worked in a saw mill his entire life where he lost most of his hearing, but he is very good at reading lips.  I got to shake his hand and he held onto my wet hand extra long, and told us he would be praying for all of us to have a safe journey.  He also said this was his favorite day of the year when he gets so much company.  He lives in a very meager house, some might even call it a shack, but it is his home.  Up until this past year, he shared it with his loyal dog Meatball.  Sadly, Meatball died this year.

Had a great lunch at "The Cafe" in Kentwood.  A lot of cyclists stopped there, and we all came in dripping wet.  The waitresses just quietly wiped up the water off the tiles and told us to be careful when we walked so we did not slip.  We had a local newspaper reporter come in, take photos and get some quotes from us and fellow cyclists for the local Kentwood paper.  The special of the day was spaghetti and meatballs with a dessert of pineapple upside down cake.

After dinner at the church, we all got a nice surprise and got to welcome Chandler back "home."  He has his back brace and walks a little gingerly, but he was glad to be out of the hospital and we were all glad to see him since his truck accident.  He said he just fell asleep at the wheel and is lucky to have his seatbelt on when it happened since the truck flipped at least twice and was demolished.

Short day tomorrow only 45 miles.  We are planning to ride with Stretch.

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