You ever have one of those moments in your life where everything is going smoothly and effortlessly? When you’re where you want to be and know where you’re going next? And then, with all the suddenness of a bear attack, a wrench gets thrown in the works and you find yourself on your ass? No? Well, fortunately Joey here has taken this sensation and manifested it in a way anyone can understand:
Mono sucks. Much like a cyclocross hurdle it is surprising, merciless and utterly unyielding. Throw in a healthy serving of strep throat–which, for the sake of this metaphor would be… I dunno… the dick friend who was laughing at Joey’s broken pride (read “shoulder”)–and you have a pretty debilitated human being. I got mono halfway through May and displayed symptoms for six weeks. Oh, and strep throat. It was Awesometown, USA. After losing 15 pounds and being released from work for an indeterminate amount of time I realized my trip would have to be postponed. The late summer and early fall weather patterns of my route necessitate more protective gear than what I own. I don’t have that kind of scratch, so I am postponing my trip for a year. While this sucks for forever and back, I am trying to be upbeat about it. Conforming to upbeatedness, here are some positive conclusions I came to:
1) I can be made fun of for one year (That is more of a plus for my friends. You’re welcome, guys)
2) I still went to my start point in Seattle around June 15th to visit my sister. The trip showed me I was in no way prepared for mountains, weather or sitting down for long periods of time (32 hours in a Honda Fit was BRUTAL.)
3) I can plan some smaller tours between now and next summer. This way I can get a better feel of how my days are gonna go, weed out some unnecessary equipment and practice stealth camping.
4) I got to meet Jose Merlos, arguably the biggest inspiration for my trip and a purely awesome dude. He has already helped me more than the months of planning I put into my trip and I can’t say how much it has meant to me.
5) ‘Wall Drug’ is the worst fucking tourist destination on the planet. The Jolly Green Giant is by far better. Go the 1200 miles out of the way–it’s worth it.
So my experience has been humbling and probably for the best. I’m not gonna say I would have died on my trip, but my heart almost certainly wouldn’t have worked by the end of it. So I dodged that one. Further, I can take this time to recuperate and prep myself more appropriately for next summer. Last week was when I first got back on my bike and riding has been rough but fun. I’m riding to ISU to watch my old triathlon club tear it up at Evergreen this weekend. The ride is about 150 miles and I am on the fence as to whether I will make it a two day leisurely stroll or a one day, 12 hour death march. You, my Dear Readers, will be the first to know. Until then, keep riding, keep reading and don’t kiss anyone or anything ever. It isn’t worth the risk.
P.S. I grew up in the Midwest and, from pictures and word of mouth, came to understand it was the most geographically boring place in the world. Wrong. The world looks like this up until Western Montana:
So how about we all stop ragging on Illinois, huh? We have corn mazes, and corn mazes are badass.