I leave Paul’s with James, Forrest and Rocky at 7:30. Today we’re going to hit the Hoosier Pass - the highest point on the Trans American bike trail – so we’re all eager to get it done and over with before it gets too hot.
Riding with the guys motivates me not to drag my ass too far behind, so I am really pushing myself to keep up (and hell, they’re fast!). I manage to not lose them from sight until we reach the last 5 miles of the summit. The road is steep, windy and I’m the highest I’ve ever been (11000 feet!) which makes breathing a challenge. To my disappointment, I have to walk those last miles separating me from eternal cycling glory as my heart and lungs are simply refusing to collaborate…
It’s - of course - the ride downhill that is my favourite. It takes me all the way to Fairplay where, once I’ve gotten some lunch, I also get a flat... It starts to rain. I am unable to locate the hole and do not have a spare tub. It starts to pour. I give up and call a local WarmShowers host, Russ, who agrees to put me up at his place and help me with the patching up.
Russ has a lovely baby daughter of 5 – Bella - who loves the colour pink, is crazy about zombies and repairs bicycles (almost) on her own. Oh, and she beat cancer after getting 26 chemos a year ago. She’s also very generous for when I’m in dire need of a nap, she lets me sleep in her bed.