As the days go by, my perceptions of distance and degree of difficulty are changing.
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.
Remember, whatever the circumstances and however low you feel, there are LOADS of us out here but there with you in spirit. Ultreïa!