Day 36, Deridder, LA to Mamou, LA
Wow, interesting day indeed. I had just been saying how great I am feeling, and then reality hits me directly in the face (and head) today. The day started out as all my other days, felt fine getting up, although I did have more tightness in my neck. As soon as I got on the bike, I could feel the headache creeping in, and to add insult to injury, I had a 8-10 mph headwind. The first 20 miles were mostly rolling hills, lots of farmland, and the skies were overcast with the threat of rain, and in fact, it did rain a little, but not enough to make me need to put on a raincoat. The wind persisted, as did the headache, but I pushed through, but it wasn’t as smooth and seemingly effortless like the past few days. I really had to work for my 60 miles today, but in the end, it was definitely worth it. Louisiana definitely has a lot of churches! I also have noticed, so far, that there is a lot of poverty down here, and that is sad. I had a stretch of about 10 miles where the road was really rough, and after sitting in the saddle for over 2,000 miles, there are some tender spots that rough roads seem to accentuate! I managed to complete my ride without getting chased by any dogs after having three each of the past two days. I guess I don’t understand why people would leave their dogs outside on busy roads when they have a propensity to chase vehicles, or even just bikes! After all, the route I am riding is a well traveled Adventure Cycling route, so I am not the only one. Most of the dogs don’t seem to be attacking, really just trying to run along and bark, but a few have been very aggressive sounding, and have required me to really crank it up, liked 12 mph to 30 in seconds, lol! Really gets the adrenaline flowing!
My lesson for today is that not every day is going to be perfect, and that is true with whatever we do, whether riding a bike, working, or relating to our loved ones. It is up to us to forge through those tougher days and not let it slow us down. Don’t let it re-define you. I know tomorrow will be a new day, and I hope I will feel better, but regardless, I am going to make the best of it and not dwell on today! For those who may be following my route, I have updated the rest of my route to finish in Jacksonville on 18 Nov instead of the 20th. Hope everyone has a great night, and I will have more to share tomorrow, rain of shine!