Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Three slick gals
We were so hot today that we stopped, just twenty miles before Palatka. Sometimes it is just too hot. My rejuvenation drink of choice, when I am OUT, is a chocolate milk. This little store did not have chocolate milk, though there WERE cases and cases of beer. A case of beer is too hard to drink on a bike. ONE beer is not a good idea. And the only gatorade they had was purple. It tasted, well, purple. Not grape.
The best part about the stop was that the clerk was wowed by us.
"You're going WHERE?"
"You started in San DIEGO???!!!"
She was a relative youngster. Her stare went from one of us to another of us to another of us. We were mostly just thirsty and hot and we all had to pee but we answered her questions, in between taking turns to pee ("never pass up a flush toilet" is a truism of a ride with a bunch of women)and allowed her to take our picture.
It IS an amazing thing.
We have ridden our bicycles across the whole bloody, friggin' United States of America for cryin' out loud!
Today was our last long ride. It was not easy. We had a head wind. Connie ran out of energy. All of our crotches are sore. Jan's legs are tired. I am tired. We're TIRED.
But we're also thrilled. I am thrilled. This is a huge accomplishment. Even if I missed nine miles after I crashed my bike. And even if I missed 23 miles trying to avoid being flung into Oz like Dorothy on tornado day in Lafayette. Even so, this is a huge deal.
Whatever conclusions I ultimately draw over the course of the rest of my life, this has been a gigantic thing to do. Tomorrow we ride into St. Augustine. We have been invited to wear our group jerseys but I am going to wear the one that was made for me for this ride, the one with my shop's name across the front and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance on one sleeve and the Mission Hospital logo on the other. It has the logo for Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and for Jubilee, my spiritual community. It has the name of the guy who made the jersey. And it also says "Don't Postpone Joy" and, for now, most importantly, "Live. Love. Bike."
Someone suggested I keep writing this even after I get home. Frankly, between you and me, I might not be able to stop just like that. Keeping this going feels comforting to me. Of course it is up to you to check in or not, as you wish.
Anyway - I am getting ahead of myself. First I have to eat and then go to sleep and then wake up and get dressed and ride my bicycle into St. Augustine. Some Chamber of Commerce people are coming. Maybe some chefs. Maybe some cancer survivors. My sisters are coming. And my girlfriend is already here. We're going to celebrate.
Tomorrow I'll send you a picture of me and my bicycle and my teal toes and the Atlantic Ocean. Imagine that. Imagine that.
Love to you all,
P.S. One of my favorite church signs said (forgive me if I already told you this one) "Never pass up an opportunity to say I love you."