I camped next to the Muskingum river near Blue Rock state park. I wanted to camp inside the park ( I heard it’s nice) but the extra miles made the decision to camp in the trailer park easy. I had my alarm set really early and as soon as it went off, I turned it off. I wanted to get an early start,but I was just too exhausted. I had breakfast and a coffee at the gas station affiliated with the trailer park. I wanted to show up at seven when they opened,but I git there at 8:15. Fortunately, I had five or six miles to warm up before my first Ohio hill of the day. When the first hill came my body wasn’t ready. The past few days were catching up with me and I was struggling. My legs were dead and one of my knees was hurting. Mentally, I was exausted from all the cars passing me so close and fast all the time. My mood wasn’t pleasant for a large part of the day. I didn’t admit this earlier on, but the very first day in Oregon with the hills,rain,cold temps and trucks flying by I wanted to quit. I also wanted to call it quits for a bit today. Then there was a lot of self doubt and four-thousand miles yet to go, but now I’m a touring pro and I should be fine. Right?
The straw that broke marks back was when my front derailleur wouldn’t shift down into my low gears. I’d be flying down a hill and would come to the next uphill and couldn’t shift. After this happened twice I stopped and adjusted it. Miraculously, it worked and I felt almost as good as I did after shoving the 29inch Walmart tube into my 27 inch tire, almost… The very next hill I couldn’t shift, and believe me I said Shift. ( minus the f)
Two or three attempts to rectify the problem failed and so I went with plan B. I just stayed in the small ring up front and just coasted down hills and waited till I was going super slow on the flats before I’d pedal. I had a long day ahead of me and this was making it longer. Any time I was on a long flat surface I’d shift up and as soon as there was a steep hill coming I’d pull over and ,by hand, shift into the small gear. I had come to terms with my predicament and coasted my way into Cambridge. Unexpectantly, there wa a bike shop in Cambridge.( I thought I’d have to wait until Phily. )It turns out my cable housing was messed up and needed to be replaced. After my bike was back in good shape and after I ate a sandwich and a peace of pie, I headed out of town an back into the hills. It was such a relief to have the bike back to 100 percent. My legs started to get some life in them and my mood changed for the better during the second part of my day. As much as I hate to admit it, Ohio really is a beautiful place. Not all of Ohio, there are still the Ohio parts of Ohio,where the only thing crummier than all the dilapidated homes and buildings is the depressing attitudes some of these people have. I must have waved at or said hi to ten people that didn’t even respond. It’s not like I was asking for change or something. Just say hi, weirdos. I’d like to give a shout out to all my Amish friends that did wave back, but they probably won’t be checking the blog. I think a young Amish couple, in there carriage, was amused with my safety triangle on the back of my bike. From Blue Rock to New Philadelphia is 71 miles on the freeway, so I imagine my back roads way was a little longer. By
the time I arrived in town tonight I was in a great mood and had almost forgotten about my struggles earlier in the day.