Crossing over the state line, Jamaal and I traveled from Tallahassee to Valdosta, Georgia. The day promised to be another 70+ mile ride bringing our mileage to nearly 150 miles in two days. However, having my bike back in commission gave me high hopes for the day. After checking in with family, and doing the daily task of speaking with media, we got on the road and soon made our way into Georgia.
Once we crossed into Georgia, I almost immediately regretted waking up this morning. The highway had a rumble strip used for keeping drivers that fall asleep from driving off the side of the road. At first, Jamaal and I both thought that maybe this would only keep up for a couple miles or so, but no, it has been this way since we crossed the state line. This caused today not only to be physically exhausting, but mentally as well. Imagine having four or five inches as a margin of error with traffic on one side and miles of dips in the road that can potentially throw you over the handlebars or destroy your bike, whichever comes first. Riding was tense all day.
The one thing that you could possibly say went in our favor was the wind. It provided a constant breeze most of the day, but the only drawback of this is that we had to pedal through it- our first headwind of the trip. The wind was a double-edged sword that, with the passing of speeding vehicles, often felt like it was blowing out of all directions at once, making us feel like we were suspended in motion. It was frustrating to say the least.
Later in the day, traffic picked up. Cars and trucks of all sizes sped past us throwing off our balance to an extent. When you're out on the road, you get used to the sound of cars, and after a while you can use this to judge the location of the vehicle behind you. Using this, we could, at times, shift to the outside of shoulder. Other times all we could do was brace on our bikes and flinch when the semi or speeding car passed. Not to mention the heat. It made the air feel thick, like you had to chew it up before you could swallow it down.
To be honest, I almost felt like giving up on today. I wanted to pack it up and sit in the air-conditioned van. I wanted to lay down and sleep and rest my weary legs. I wanted to get out of the sun and the heat and breathe easy. I stopped and thought about what I was considering. I wasn't just flinching when cars zoomed by. I was flinching at every obstacle placed in my path. I was flinching in the face of a challenge, and it is this same pattern of thought that prevents many of us from doing that which would make us happy in life. Luckily, Jamaal was there to struggle along with me. We channeled our frustration and completed the day by 4:30PM and made our way to the hotel.
Now, to give credit where credit is due. Thank you, Christian of the Courtyard Marriott in Valdosta. He donated two beautiful rooms to me, Jamaal, and my family, and they even had a banner and refreshments waiting for us when we got here. It was very much appreciated after such a long day. I am truly thankful for people who have been so supportive and I just wanted to shed some light on a person who has gone above and beyond to assist us in making the tour possible.
Alright. Tomorrow, Valdosta to Waycross. If all goes well, Jamaal and I will be finished by 4PM. (That's our goal, at least.) Oh, and the lost artifacts segment has been put on a hiatus. There were too many stressors to distract us from interesting road litter.(But I did see a whole carrot.) Sorry folks. Anyways, take care.
John and Jamaal.
P.S. Here are some videos from Day 03 and Day 04.
Believe in the Cure Cycling Tour- Day 03 from John Ellis on Vimeo.
Believe in the Cure Cycling Tour- Day 04 from Masta Jaymall on Vimeo.