Posted by: twistsoffeet | May 18, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Taunt Fate

Yesterday, I got cocky in my post.

I was happy and excited that I had reached my goal, even though it was my most difficult day yet.  I was in pain and cold and tired, and I had succeeded in surpassing what I thought I could do. I then, in a very cocky manner, said, “please sir can I have another?”

Big mistake.

Today, I paid for my attitude ten times over and now all I can do is pray for mercy.  I woke early warm and cuddly in my sleeping bag, but unable to stay there, so I promptly froze my backside off.  I am serious; it was extremely cold.

E.T. Presley said he has never seen it this cold in May in Georgia.  My first 200 yards were downhill just to tease me.  I thought I had gotten all of the big hills out of the way yesterday, but in reality I had not even seen them yet.  Today, the hills were bigger, longer, and steeper than any I had done yet on this tour. Yesterday, I had about 10 miles of level, straight road, but not today.  Today was all hills and that pesky headwind became a fierce adversary.

At times I thought I was going backwards. Even on the steep long downhill sections, I never reached above 17 MPH and that was with me pedaling for all I was worth.  Today, I received just punishment for my cocky attitude on yesterday’s post.

I succeeded in riding 24 miles today in six hours. I should say it was six hours over 24 miles, while in constant pain from my arthritis, with my muscles on fire and my lungs gasping painfully for oxygen.  Most of the day was in 200 yard to 1/4 mile pushes, then a rest before trying again.  I tried to quit before I reached Barnesville, but was unable to find a place to camp, so I pushed on.  I tried to find the police station, but everyone kept giving me wrong directions, so I gave up on that.  I thought about going to the Primitive Baptist Church, but that would have meant backtracking. The other Baptist church was empty, so no one to ask for permission to camp; besides, it was surrounded by restaurants so probably not very restful.

I finally stopped at the Church of the Nazarene, which also happens to be a staging point for Red Cross aid to tornado victims in the area. The Pastor agreed to let me stay in back, but said he would have to tell the police I was here. I really think he wanted to see if that would scare me off.  I offered to give him my name so he could give it to the police, but he declined. It is finally getting warm but I am too tired to ride any further and have already set up my tent, so I am staying right where I am.

I ran into my new friend E.T. Presley about 10 miles into today’s ride, returning from the peach orchards. He pulled alongside of me and asked me to pull over.  He just wanted to chat a little and also make certain I had plenty of fresh water.  He said he tries to help everyone because Jesus will return someday, and he doesn’t want to refuse someone and have that person be Jesus.  He looked at me and said as far as he knows I may be Jesus, so he has to help me.  I assured him I am not Jesus but still appreciate all he has done for me.

Still I will not give up on this ride of mine.


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