“The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”
Look at the map below.
If you’re observant (and I trust you are), you’ll notice that, unusually, I have marked a water stop. I marked this specifically because by that point, I had drunk one and a half of my two water bottles. If you look at the map again, you’ll notice that I still had about 25 miles to go at that point. With temperatures between 75 and 80 (I know! It will only get hotter!), it became clear that I would need to obtain more water some time before the end of my ride.
Fortunately for me, it seemed like every other family decided to hold yard sales today. It seemed more appropriate for me to beg for water from people already planning on talking to strangers, so I decided to stop at a yard sale when a handy one appeared. I passed several, mostly by accident, before I finally came to one at mile 46 that seemed somehow auspicious.
I stopped, got off my bike, and started walking down the driveway. A review of the — let’?s not mince words here — total junk they had on display made me doubt my choice, and the driveway seemed interminable as I walked up it to the shaded table the family had set up. They watched me all the way. Finally I reached them and explained that although I had no intention of buying anything, I did need some water…
I didn’?t get past that before the matriarch jumped out of her chair with a profusion of words amounting to “Yes, of course!” She bustled off to fill my bottles with nice ice and water, leaving me standing on display before her four relatives. The entire family was short and fat — not just a little bit, but a lot of both. They also turned out to be incredibly nice, as well as very curious about my particular brand of insanity. One guy (Al) noticed that my bike had disc brakes, which caused him to heave out of his chair, not neglecting to bring his cigar, to come examine my bike in greater detail. We discussed its various features, with family members interjecting comments and questions, until the matriarch (Marge) returned with my deliciously cold bottles. They then engaged me with questions and chatting, cordially offering me Munchkins*, plain donuts, or egg salad (all of which I politely refused — I shudder to think of riding 25 more miles in hot weather with a stomach full of donuts!) and were astounded to discover that I rode to work, too. They had never seen a bike like mine (they found the clipless pedals a particularly amazing feature), and finally did get around to asking what it cost. When I told them, they expressed more amazement, which prompted me to explain that my bike essentially serves as my car.
Just as I was about to wind up and leave, Al once again heaved himself out of his chair, told me to wait, and went hurrying off back towards their house. More friendly chatting. When he returned, he informed me that he had one of these that he wanted to give me, but he couldn’t place his hands on it. So he strictly required me to come back, ask for Al or Marge, and obtain my reflective ankle-band. What could I say? I promised to try, not mentioning that I only very rarely travel on the Central Turnpike, and took my leave.
All in all, they turned out very nice. I liked them. And the rest of my ride proved ever so much more pleasant with nice icy water to wet my whistle.
The ride itself was exhausting, and I have no real reason why. It involved about 1200 feet of elevation gain, pretty hefty for around here; the heat probably sapped some of my energy; but since I’ve gotten home, I’ve felt even more exhausted than usual. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s 70-mile ride… Ugh. I’ll go earlier in the day, though; it’s supposed to definitely hit 80. Hopefully there are nice people having yard sales on the way to New Hampshire, too.
OH! I made it into Thompson, Connecticut, which means I’ve now reached all the states I can easily ride to from home: Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. I think Maine and Vermont are too far away for a roundtrip ride.
*Dunkin Donuts’? name for donut holes.
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