Right now, I'm sitting on a different kind of seat: wider, comfortable, stationary unless I decide to tilt back and admire my prose. I'm in the library in Warren, Ohio.
I've been picking up the pace the last few days because my daughter, Abby, will be in Cincinnati over the Fourth of July weekend. Originally, I didn't think I had much chance to make it back in time to see her; but my legs are working well and I've done 436 miles in the last five days.
That doesn't include the 1 (one!!) I've logged so far today.
The riding has vastly improved since rain stopped two days ago, although when I came out of the last big hills in New York and started down the shore of Lake Erie, expecting easy, flat pedaling, I caught a ferocious head wind that slowed me up all afternoon and into the evening. It was a beautiful ride, though, on Highway 5, right along the lake shore, and just about dark I ran into a trio of riders who were also going cross country, like me. They were already stopped at a motel and I toyed with stopping there, too, but wanted to find a campground...and they were breaking off their ride the following day in any case (planning to do the ride across America in four yearly 3-week installments). So we shared a few stories from the road and then I had to get going before the sun set entirely and I ended up bicycling in the dark.
Once again, I failed to remember their names (a theme so far on this trip): mom, dad, and Beth, their daughter, about 28, and a teacher of inner-city kids down in Jacksonville, Florida, in the K-2 grades. I asked how she liked teaching and she replied, "I love it."
I could have said the same myself.
Donations continue to come in from all kinds of people, including a lot of former students, and I am much gratified by the kind support. I'm going to be pedaling through the Bath/Richfield area, where I grew up, once I get motivated today. On July 1, I should be going through Columbus and on the 2nd I'll be cruising home for a short break.
Yesterday, I rode from State Line, New York (literally, 100 yards from the Pennsylvania border), through Erie, Pennsylvania and then south 60 miles on a bicycle trail from Ashtabula, Ohio to the Warren, Ohio area.
The roads in five states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Pennsylvania had excellent wide shoulders and I felt very safe. Then, no joke, I hit the sign that said, "Welcome to Ohio." And right there the wide shoulders vanished as suddenly and completely as Jimmy Hoffa.
Still, I had an interesting thought the other day, when the headwind was killing me and making me wish I'd remained seated on the couch at home. Most of the type-1 diabetics I've talked to, young kids mostly, are despite their youth more philosophical than me. They ride against the wind every day, so to speak. They deal with hills and headwinds, insulin and pumps and shots, and keep plowing straight ahead, usually with very little complaint.
So, I decided to stop cursing the wind and keep going on my way. I made 106 miles yesterday. I hope that gets us 106 miles closer to a cure.
Well, it's almost noon and I've only got that 1 mile in for the day. This typing is making me hungry. I need to go find a place for lunch.
Hi, oh, Silver, and away! Time to get riding, folks.