Cycling Europe Day 8: Missing My People

As the days go by, my perceptions of distance and degree of difficulty are changing.

Toledo, Spain

Toledo, Spain

After a misunderstanding between me and my GPS the day before yesterday that led to a 156km cycle through the mountains, today’s moderately hilly 75km cycle felt like a leisurely morning ride. Leisurely is probably taking it a bit far. It was cold. It was raining. I was absolutely drenched. I decided not to wear my rain coat because it was causing me to overheat. So I dared not stop otherwise I would get unhealthily cold. There were hills. The road went up and down for most of the route. But every time I saw the next hill I’d think, “Those are normal hills like the ones in Yorkshire. I can do those.” Never would I have thought that the day would come when I’d call the rolling hills of Yorkshire, England “normal”. I HATED training on those hills. I cursed at those hills. But that’s why they are such a good training ground for cyclists. Once you become accustomed to them other hills are normal too.

I was worrying about the general health of my bike yesterday. I’ve been having gear and chain slippage problems since the start of the trip. I tried to fix it yesterday and was concerned that I had made everything worse. The bike functioned all right, actually. Better than it did the day before yesterday, anyway. I still want to take it in to a bike shop for peace of mind. I’m really hoping I find one tomorrow.

I’m not sure why I’ve been feeling a bit down today. If this is how I am now, God save me and the rest of the world when I start PMSing. I think I’m really missing my kids, husband, and friends. It’s starting to weigh on me a bit that I don’t have my people with me. I don’t have ANY people with me. To help me deal with that, I made sure I remembered that God is with me so I’m not alone at all. Thinking that soothed my soul.

Toledo holds wonderful memories for me. My Baba organized a trip several years ago for our family – the siblings and their children – to visit Spain, and Toledo was our second stop after Madrid. It was so beautiful and still is. When I saw the old, brown buildings of Toledo as I cycled closer, I could not help but cry for the memory of my father. This was a place he took us to not so long ago.

After setting up my tent while shivering horribly from being soaked by rain, I took a quick shower, got warm, and took the bus into the city. I generally do not like what I call sanitized tourism. But today I appreciated it. Thank you, Toledo, for giving me the spaghetti bolognese I had so been yearning for the past few days.

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