Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 18 - Decatur to Hamilton (80 miles)

This morning we woke up with relatively fresh legs and ready to ride!! After downing some bagels and cereal, Sarah and I hit the road. Sarah was pumped to ride today because she has been unable to ride most days due to ailments and other misfortunes. As she puts it, "It turns out, I'm allergic to Bike and Build." Sarah has had an unbelievably optimistic attitude throughout the trip despite the way things seem to be going for her. She really is inspiring and someone that I look up to!

Sarah and I were joined by Ethan, one of our leaders and we maintained a nice pace line for a while. We battled off dogs which attacked us from right and left. Sarah and I unleashed our demon cries bravely as the slobbering mutts approached us with evil in their eyes. "NOOO!!" we screamed. "GO HOME!! BAD DOG!!" I punctuated our shouting by aiming a stream of Gatorade at their eyeballs from my water bottle. The dogs all stopped in their tracks, stunned and defeated. Then we taunted them more. "Oh, I see. Too lazy to chase?? Too slow??? That's right, you can't catch us! We're too fast!!!! Muhahahaha!!!"

Unfortunately, we only made it to mile 20 before Sarah started to feel sick. We stopped at a recreation center along the route to wait for the van to pick her up. While we waited, we took pictures. 

The whole team was having a competition today to see who could find the most interesting thing along the road. We joked that my thing was Sarah and I strapped her to my camelback. I'll take pictures of the results from this competition tomorrow. 

Even though she was sick, Sarah was still really hungry. She joked about how she was so hungry that she was tempted to consume rolly-pollies. After they rolled up in her hand, she whispered, "They are ready..." and pretended to eat them. 

We were joined by be sweep riders, Kevin and Austin who had their own addition to the "things" competition: a creepy baby doll they had picked up at a yard sale and drawn white eyebrows on. They called it the Mr. Clean baby. I wish I could post videos on this blog but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. I have this hilarious video of the baby "attacking" Austin. 

Kevin, drawing on the eyebrows

After Sarah was picked up, I was so far behind everyone else that I had to ride by myself for pretty much the next 60 miles. Riding by yourself is way more challenging than riding with a group because you can't ride in a pace line. You have to break all the wind yourself and "pull" the entire way. But, it was a good day for some independent riding. It gave me a lot of time to think and reflect. 

We are all amazed at how friendly everyone in Alabama is. Nobody had negative encounters on the road with people or cars today and everyone we waved at waved back. We stopped at a church to rest in the shade and this nice woman let us on to refill our water bottles. We talked to her for a long time, sharing stories from our trip. 

Dinner today was delicious lasagne, pulled pork, salad, baked beans, pie, and sweet tea. I don't think I can drink enough sweet tea!!!

After dinner, we all walked to the grocery store to run some errands. We all were so overtired that we could not stop laughing. Everyone was so giddy. We were laughing at each others laughs. It was soooo funny and everyone in the store thought we were insane. Which I guess we are. 

Short day tomorrow, only 50 miles!!! Yay!! We will have a lot of time for rest tomorrow night and then we have a build day! Also, we cross our third state line into Mississippi! I can't believe how far we've already come! In total, we have already traveled 809 miles!

Well, goodnight! I am looking forward to tomorrow. 

Some nice Alabama folks sitting in front of a gas station store at 8 in the morning. "Ya'll have a nice day!"

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