|Denny, me and Mary Beth before the ride, 6:30 A.M. I was quickly in their dust.|
Well, the ride from Gettysburg here to the hotel in Lancaster is 100 miles, and I'd hope to do 40 to 50 today, but only hit 26. It's long story, but suffice it to say that by the time I got to the meeting place where my friend Anne and I were gong to bike more of the route, dark, menacing clouds were brewing and we were told to get off the road due to a tornado watch. I was crestfallen but had to call it quits @ 26 miles. [My friend John, who lives down the block from me, was out on the road and got blown into grass and then ended up in a cornfield. Then he saw lightning. But he knocked on a door and a family let him in. Thankfully, he's fine. :)]
I was disappointed, wanted to log a longer distance. But once the skies opened up, I was glad to be safe in a car, with my bike en route to the hotel in a big white Rescue Mission of Trenton truck. [I bike to raise money and awareness for Toni's Kitchen, the soup kitchen in Montclair, but other bikers are raising dough for the Rescue Mission and other good causes.]
Tomorrow is another 100 miles, I will do my personal best, me against me. Maybe 30 or 40 miles? Things I loved today:
- Pedaling past sunflower fields, morning glories, horses [and baby horses], cows [and baby cows], signs about eggs for sale.
- Old-fashioned log cabins, silos, barns.
- Biking with tall, silver-haired Chuck, who founded the Battle Against Hunger Ride 10 years ago. He is charming and kind--and encouraging.
- Realizing that a bike ride on rolling hills in Pennsylvania farm country is a lot like life. You can coast down some hills and that velocity helps power you up the killer hills, sometimes even right to the crest. So it is with life--you can coast sometimes and that carefree ride can take you through the challenging times, which demand every drop of energy and skill you have. And then there are times when you have to get off your bike and walk. But you still haven't quit, you've still kept going. You know your limits. Bike rides, and life, are not always smooth and steady.
- The dinner in the hotel--where Chuck talked about the importance of helping those in need.
- Biking. And like last year, counting my blessings as I pedal and being grateful to be able to help others.
- Hot bath.