Day 25 - Marysville to Wooster

We have reached our next destination in Ohio. Last night I was fortunate enough to get in touch with one of my long time friends High School. On a whim I contacted her, knowing that she lived in Ohio. Turns out she happened to be 15 minutes away from the motel we were staying at. She drove out to see us, and it was great to catch up in the brief hour or so that we got to chat. I introduced her to a few of the guys on the ride with us, and even got a chance to show her the van we use to pull all of our luggage around.       

But, like many of the days spent on this trip, there never seems to be a lot of free time out of the saddle. Before I knew it, I was waving her off and getting ready to tuck my tired butt into bed once again. It sure was nice to see a familiar face on the road though, especially being away from home for so long.        

Today was a very unusual day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and although we had some cloud coverage, we avoided the rain that had been threatening in the weather reports. But despite the fair weather and cool temperatures, I was tired and listless in the saddle. Even my dads unflagging encouragement failed to pierce the melancholy that fell over me today, further adding to my confusion and dismay.       

Have I been eating enough food? Maybe not, but I didn't think that it was a nutritional issue. The weariness I felt today went far beyond the normal boundaries I associate with physical exhaustion. As I continued to numbly pedal through the rolling hills and green pastures of Ohio, I realized that my lack of energy was related physically, but mentally.       

This trip has been an extraordinary experience, and I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world. To be able to look back on my life knowing that I accomplished something of this magnitude will be a milestone to be proud of. Not many people get the opportunity to do something like this, and even fewer people are crazy enough to actually take it to the road like we have. I have seen amazing sights, and have grown to know some interesting people while on the road, both on and off the bike.     

But it all comes at a price. You don't just wake up at 5:30 in the morning, throw your clothes in a bag, ride 100+ miles, do it all the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that, and expect to retain your typical energy levels. Although during my training I accomplished two 100 mile rides on two different occasions, they were two months apart from each other.     

This trip has become so much more than just getting up and riding a bike.  It's so out of the ordinary that on more than one occasion I am too tired and worn out to even notice my surroundings aside from the little white line separating the shoulder from the main road.      

But I'm not alone in my weariness. Although I haven't shared these thoughts with my fellow riders, I can see it in their faces. The firm set in their jaws as they gaze out onto the road with grim determination in their eyes. Or the way they shake around up in the morning to get themselves energized for another day of long riding.      

No one is willing to back down from this fight, and although the ride has challenged me on a physical and mental plane that I never even knew existed, I know that I will cross the rest of the distance of this country with the support and encouragement of my father, and the crazy men who ride with us.

Danielle Rivenbark