The wisdom of today: children, take your rest days as religiously as you go to church. Every SINGLE freaking Sunday or whatever other day you pick and choose. I am speaking from experience for I have learnt it the hard way today.
Having talked to one of the fire guys, I decide to listen to his advice and cut across the trail along the 150 highway as it should take me to Berea faster.
Lethal mistake number one: do not take advice from a car driver. Never.
“You sure this road is good for cyclists?” I enquire.
“Oh yeah: wide shoulder, great ride, many cyclists.”
Unfortunately, highway 150 is NOT cyclist-friendly. There is practically no shoulder and trucks race in both directions RELENTLESSLY. The vibe I am getting is that of a pancake waiting to be splashed flat across the table. Or the road, for that matter. Not a good feeling.
Lethal mistake number two: do not ride on zero rest.
After two hours of trying not to die under the tyres of speeding cars, I pull over at a gas station feeling drained, scared, demotivated, with a headache and a sore throat. I’ve had enough. I am ready to drop everything, leave my bike where I stand and hitch a ride all the way to NYC, all whilst stuffing my face with ice-cream.
Lucky for me and my cross-the-country challenge though, nobody’s going all the way up there. I do manage to get a ride to Berea where Maya - my WarmShowers host - is expecting me. We’ve been in touch ever since JeanMarie lured me into her house back in Toronto, Kansas. The day we met, she put Maya and me in touch, saying that we *have to* meet.
JeanMarie and Maya are actually pretty close but have never seen each other in person. They connected through Facebook a couple of years ago through cyclists they had both hosted and have become best-friends ever since. All thanks to social media.
I get to Maya’s and collapse in bed as I stand. It’s 4pm and I do not emerge from my coma until 11am the following day.
That’s some 19 hours of sleep, if you counting.