|Repping for my Alma Mater today|
|The bridge we had to WALK across!|
This was another great little town, with a designated "lunch on your own stop." I felt like I lost some ground between the water stop and lunch - there were some serious hill climbs that segment, and I still hadn't met my little ring yet - that would come tomorrow. I continue to want to take pictures, but don't end up taking as many because my phone is still tucked away in it's super protective case. For some reason, I noticed the cute little Presbyterian churches along the way and took photos. Today's church was just before the lunch stop at Doylestown PC.
Lunch was a welcome stop. There was a spread laid out for sandwiches, if you just wanted to grab something quick and move on (which in hindsight maybe I should have done). I did make a quick PB&J - the rider's staple lunch - but still wanted to enjoy something else. Another rider came in behind me and we decided to walk over to a recommended restaurant together and get lunch. Hickory was a great spot; I ordered a burger with AVOCADO, potato chips (HELLO, SALT), and the rare real Coke! Unfortunately it took longer than we anticipated, so we were one of the last people back on the road. It was 16 miles to the next water stop and I did my best to move quickly. The last water stop of the day was at Merrymead Farm which apparently is a fun little place to stop, but I was moving quick to get through the rest of the day. As I was riding up to the stop, in my mind I was making a checklist: (1) use the restroom, (2) fill up water bottle and Nuun, (3) eat a protein bar, (4) get back on the road. I sadly lost a nuun in my hurry to fill up - it blew off the table and fell out of the bottle before I had a chance to fill it with water :( whomp, whomp. But I had plenty to sustain me throughout the day, for the last 26 miles of the day!
Being able to mentally break the day up into segments that I was comfortable riding, made this daunting day totally doable. In the end, my watch says I rode 76.52 miles in 7:33.13.
Our camp for tonight was at Camp Innabah (pronounce like Carrie Ann Inaba - DWTS) - a Methodist camp. It reminded me a lot like Camp Calvin. It was fairly rustic, with cabins and a bath house. Luckily our cabin was fairly close to the bath house, but it was a trek up the hill with my rolling bag to the cabin. Good thing L.L.Bean is so tough! Dinner tonight started the chicken trend... but it was good to get a hearty meal in my belly.
We heard at dinner the story of a rider who had an incident with a car during the day. She happened to be sitting right next to me at dinner, and I didn't even realize it until they said something. Luckily she came away fairly unscathed, and persevered through the rest of the ride. But it's yet another reminder of the dangers of riding - it's so important as drivers that we are conscious of who else is on the road and give cyclists the appropriate space when passing! Here's her recap of the ride, including her incident.
The night before, I had made an appointment with the massage team to get some of my kinks worked out and the best part about it was that they were set up outside, and as I laid face up on the table, I got to enjoy the beauty of the night sky, complete with multiple shooting stars!
Oh - and the best news of the day? I found my cash! It turns out I had moved it into my bag, instead of leaving it in my backpack. Somehow I had missed it when tearing through my bag the night before, but tonight as I got out clothes for after my shower, I found the money! I jumped up and down like a kid, screaming at my roommates - whom I had JUST met - that I had found it! They were excited for me and luckily it was still before dinner so they weren't mad at me for keeping them awake! (can you see how excited I still am that I found it - all those exclamation points?)
It was an amazing day and one where I learned that I really can do anything I put my mind to - with hard work and determination. From this point on, it was all going to be easy, even with all the killer hills yet to come!