If it's daylight, I'm riding!

A wonderful day! Yesterday's ride was awful and I have gone from the lion's den to a biker's paradise by riding Florida's longest paved trail at 46 miles in length. It was also the first time during the trip that I met cyclists and all were simultaneously amazed and incredulous of the scope of this ordeal. All the more so considering my generally poor planning, lack of experience and overall shape. But getting back to the bike path, oh, it was glorious. Some day there will be something like this from coast to coast and this odyssey of mine will be a common rite of passage for anyone who likes biking. But all good things must come to an end so at the northern terminus I rode another few miles northwards and set up my tent in an out of the way foresty area. There was a gate with PRIVATE signs posted but I had no choice being so late in the day and far away from civilization.

I have now completed over 500 miles and can pat myself on the back for getting about a sixth of the way to my goal without too much difficulty from the purely physical aspect of the overall challenge. Mentally, I'm stressed out about having enough money to finish and even on days like today where I sleep out in a tent for free I have still spent over $30 in food. This being mostly drinks like Powerade (tastes a bit better than Gatorade) and the occasional snack. Where else can I cut corners? The only significant way is to pick up the pace. At fifty or sixty miles a day I'm still two months away from getting to my destination. If I were capable of going 15mph instead of the 10mph it would make a huge difference but my physical conditioning is still subpar and, maybe I'm expecting too much too soon but I think 10mph is some kind of glass ceiling. I can do 15 or even 20mph but can sustain those speeds only for a few seconds before falling back to my normal tempo. And at times I struggle to go even that fast.

I also frankly miss my kids a great deal. Not enough to cripple me but their being away wears me down. For success this kind of journey requires one to be able to be away from friends and family for a long time. I'll overcome it but it won't be as easy as just pedaling forward.

Mark Twain once said that he could live two weeks on a compliment. I can see why. An emailed encouragement or a text message to my cell phone gives me an energy boost worth more than a Halloween sackful of candy. It all ties back in to the being away from friends and family of course.

Day 10