I woke up rather late this morning and was not on the road until almost 9. It was a dreary overcast and before leaving my room I had turned on the weather channel to learn that the region was still under a tornado watch. With that it's a small miracle that I talked myself to ride at all but within an hour or so of pedaling my mood brightened. This state's roads have shoulders! Yaaaaaaaaaay! As icing on the cake once I got on route 1 heading north the wind was straight at my back. I guess that goat I sacrificed worked after all :-)
By late in the morning I got the feeling that I was riding a magic carpet. Simply put I could not dream of a more perfect combination of factors to put together for the ideal riding day save for a dedicated bike path. I am loving every minute of my ride and thinking of sending the Arkansas D.O.T. a bouquet of flowers or something. Meanwhile I'm hauling ass nicely at about 15mph thanks to the flat as a sheet of paper roads and the strong wind which at my speed has the net effect of feeling like one is riding through still air - making for a good example of Einstein's Theory of Relativity at work.
It's also time to give myself a pat on the back. I left a month ago today and have accomplished crossing the Mississippi despite having taken a week off in rest days during that time. It is the first time in my life I have done an extended exercise program and give myself credit for staying in the game in the face of a number of different adversities.
This brief honeymoon though is about to end abruptly because I have the Ozarks staring at me tomorrow and the day after and the day after that. How will I cope with my first serious hills? I'm crossing my fingers and allowing myself the time I need. If I can only ride three or four hours a day that's fine. If I need an extra day off because I'm exhausted, so be it. I know myself better than anyone else and know all too well that pushing myself beyond my capabilities is bound to frustrate me and possibly injure my not so toned muscles too. So if I have any hope at all it is to take it easy. If I can make it to Kansas, it's going to be flat heaven riding again!