The day seemed off to a slow and confusing start. There were four of us riding in the van at first—Kira driving, then Robert, myself, and Charlie, a doctor from Illinois who decided to take the day off from riding. The problem was that we could not load bikes on the roof rack, since today’s route passed through three very low tunnels. Robert bike was stored in the trailer until the end of the week, and my bike took up the last set of hangers in the trailer, since I would need it to do my spinning at lunch. So they loaded Charlie’s bike on the baggage truck. Later, though, we picked up Alis, who had a flat tire and found that the rim tape on her wheel needed to be replaced. So, her bike got loaded into one of the back seats. The, we picked up Matt from San Diego, who was having some knee pain, so his bike went got stuffed into another back seat. We were also carrying two large jugs that they had to drop off for the afternoon water station. So it was a tight squeeze until we finally got to lunch.
I did just an hour of spinning again today. On Monday, when Jane arrived at lunch during my spin, I greeted her with “Bon Giorno!” So, we joked about my imagining I was riding through Italy. On Tuesday, I said “Buenas Dias!” So, that evening, she had written out a cue sheet, using the same form and notation used by the staff for our daily routes. However, the route she mapped out was for one of her favorite rides near her home of Cornwall on the southwest coast of England. She also gave me two postcards of the area to help me visualize the local scenery. Although I appreciated the effort she made, I have to admit that I was skeptical at first whether it would be really practical to try to follow her route while on the trainer. However, it turned out that this really did help pass the time and make the spinning session more interesting. And shifting up for the climbs, and shifting down for the descents and flats helped make it a more realistic and effective workout. Jane’s act of kindness and generosity is definitely one of the things about this experience that I will remember and treasure forever.
After I had my lunch, I got in the van with Kira again to head into Worland. We stopped in the town of Thermopolis to snap a few pictures of the Mineral Hot Springs. Soon after we left Thermopolis, Jeremy radioed from the other van. He asked us to pull over so that he could pick me up for the rest of the ride into Worland, and Kira could stay back to support the remaining riders on the route. It occurred to me to offer to stay with her to keep her company, but at the same time, I was anxious to get into town and get cleaned up, since I had not showered since Monday in Dubois. So, I went ahead and got in the other van with Jeremy. I immediately regretted my selfish decision, and I hope that I have another opportunity to spend more time with Kira and repay the kindness that she has shown to me, helping me since the accident.
Kira and I share a similar experience. She grew up in Fox Chapel, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Last year, she rode cross-country solo and self-supported, from San Diego, CA to Jacksonville, FL, in honor of her mother, who had recently passed away. She has told us many fascinating stories of the help that she received from strangers along her journey.
Filed under: Coast to Coast 2004 |