I woke up and turned on the TV to watch the weather report. The weatherman said it would rain on me all day today. He was right. Unlike the first day, when I had been lucky enough to avoid the precipitation, I rode in the storm from start to finish. Because of the rain, I put off leaving the motel until check out time, giving me a very slow start. The rain was cold and biting. This time of the year storms usually come from the west, but this one was coming from the east, and had a lot of moisture trapped in it. The wind picked up small bits of gravel and threw it into my face. The wind hurled sand like a fastball. By 6 p.m., it was too dark to ride the twenty-five miles from Joes to Idalia, and there was no campground anywhere near, so I grabbed a motel room. The desk clerk was a bit surprised to learn I was riding a bicycle through town, and shocked to find out I was riding to Florida.
My mileage still was some comfort as I had managed to keep a ten mile per hour average for the day. At this rate, I will be broke before I get to Florida. The motel was cheap, only fourteen dollars, but I had only budgeted ten to fifteen dollars per day. Soon after I stopped, the rain turned to snow, though I was completely unaware of this change until morning.
My emotions got the best of me; I was angry, frustrated and depressed.
I had been kicked out of my campsite the first night, and yesterday I had a breakdown that cost me a half day’s ride, or more. Now, I was staying in a motel I could not really afford. Since none of the people that planned this ride were here, I could not split the bill with anyone. I called my friend Bruce, and we talked for a few minutes, which was enough to get back out of the funk I was experiencing. He really had been surprised how far I had ridden on my own. He also offered to come and pick me up if I really wanted to come home. It was reassuring to know I had friends I could count on. After my breakdown yesterday, and friends bringing me spare parts, I knew there was a lot of well wishing behind me. There are also friends and family looking forward to seeing me, and I did not want to disappoint them either. I was going to ride as far as I humanly could, or until I ran out of money, which was far more likely an end to this ride.
I cooked my dinner, took a hot shower, and then I went to bed, wanting to get a good night’s sleep, so I could attack the miles tomorrow. I had dreams of riding a bicycle down the road, losing part and pieces to every puddle I rode past, until I only had the handlebars in my hands.