Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Not my finest hour

One thing I'll never be, an early bird. A lark. I'd give anything right now to still be horizontal, in that low bunk, snug and warm. Covers overhead in a cocoon! Instead, it's back on the road before dawn. One big day deserves another. 345 kilometers (217 miles) to Mansfield.

Still, leaving Laurel Hill you have to be moved by the view, the colors of the sky, the moon setting. Descending the same way we climbed last night, it takes my breath away.

Or is that the cold air? I tried to keep a couple of other taillights in sight, at least for the first couple of turns. But those guys are going too fast. They're not shaky like me. They're tracking just fine. Don't know how.

In a few hours it will be a different story but for now, single digits. My guess would be 4. Wool knee and arm warmers and a vest, not quite enough.

Don't get me wrong, it's good to be here, to have survived yesterday. Coming into Laurel Hill around midnight, Deb and Craig were sitting at the dinner table. Deb having done the smart thing at Cabramurra by getting in that car that passed us. OK on time but behind on food, and in pain. All I could say was, I was proud of her. That could not have been an easy call.

Craig's rear tire hit something and blew out on the bad pavement in the dark. He went down. Right around the place where David and I imagined something like that happening. We actually said to each other if anything goes wrong here, there'd be no way to correct. Craig's coherent but scraped up and in shock. Both are disappointed, of course. They intend to ride today.

This just feels like too much, too much. My attention is still not there. Whoa, the big rollers on what's supposedly called "McGinty's Gap Road"! Where's the gap? Those crazy Aussies plow their roads straight over the hilltops. No winding around. When the sun hits, it's suddenly warm. And of course, breakfast wearing off 10 kilometers before Jingellic.

Nope, not a morning person. Nor an early bird. Nor a lark. Today's challenge? Stay upright, stay fueled, keep moving. Faster than this, eventually, I hope...

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