Today we crossed into North Carolina!

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Today was not one of our best. I think it would qualify as one of the (hopefully) few bad days on the 4k. I’ll get to that later. Anyway, pictures:

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Today my riding group was Heather, Lauren, and Shawna. I’ve already introduced Heather and Lauren, so I’ll write a little about Shawna. Shawna is just… happy. Like all the time. I’ve never seen her upset nor could I even imagine it. She pedals and pedals all day and is always upbeat with a smile on her face. She plays some great music and is a joy to ride with. She also really likes listening to me play the piano! This is her staring off into the distance with a backdrop of amber waves of grain:

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So like I said, today wasn’t such a great day. It started off with Heather getting a flat tire within the first half-mile of the ride. I had a funny feeling when this happened that it was the start of a very long day. I was right.

Our ride was originally planned to be 55 miles. It turned into our longest ride yet: 69 miles. I’m not going to go into all of the details of what went wrong because it won’t be fun to write about and it won’t be fun to read. So this post will be relatively short and less detailed than some of my other ones. I will say that a few small mistakes were made today. Individually, these mistakes could have been handled, but when compounded, it made for a complete disaster. It was definitely a learning experience. We all came together as a team and addressed our problems once we arrived at the host, and hopefully we won’t make the same mistakes again.

A few lessons were learned from this today. The first is that we all arrived at our host safely, unharmed, and before dark. Despite all of the bad things that happened, what is most important is that we got through it, and we got through it safely. The second lesson, is one specific to me. Unfortunately, with all the craziness going on, I didn’t take time to appreciate the beautiful ride today. I was too busy stewing over stupid things to enjoy myself and I’m not going to let that happen again.

In any case, here’s the GPS route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/515854783. This ride took us a long time since some groups got lost today. Actually at one of the water stops, we were waiting on some groups of riders to catch up, so I ate some food then fell asleep hard. Like one minute I was sitting on a tarp on the ground with my teammates, and the next minute they were waking me up saying it was time to ride. Apparently I slept for over an hour, flat on my back on the ground. Impressive huh?

Today’s host is Dean. Dean was gracious enough to open his house up to us for TWO nights! Tomorrow is one of our rest days and we will be staying with him tomorrow night as well. He is SO nice and made us a wonderful dinner! Showering in a shower that isn’t at a YMCA and being able to laundry is fantastic! He also has a beautiful baby grand piano that I played a little bit. As I speak (write? type?), we are all sitting around relaxing, talking, drinking a couple of beers, and unwinding after our first bad day.

I know this post was short, but please still comment and send our team your words of support and encouragement! I love hearing from all of you and so do the rest of my teammates!

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