Friday, June 26, 2009

Easy Street

Day 23 - June 26, 9:12pm
73 miles. Louisville, KY to Bedford, IN

So the whole 5 hours of sleep before intense physical exertion thing wasn't quite the funnest this morning. Though I got it together and am becoming really proud of how on top of my packing and morning routine i now am. The real key has been using bags to put everything in rather than having loose shirts here and there.

There was a wild thunderstorm still raging as we woke up and there was the possibility we might have to be shuttled and not ride, but fortunately it cleared out for our friend the sun! It's also great how 73 miles is so not a big deal anymore.

Crossed into Indiana right across the Ohio River and we all spelled out the name there in our bodies which was fun. (The D is actually lowercase, thanks Jenny) A highlight today was Miranda and I stopping at a Subway 23 miles in and being treated to free sandwiches by the two awesome girls, Kristen and Britney there. They actually asked if i would be able to handle a footlong sandwich. You can guess how i responded.

The day ran very smoothly and we made awesome time on the flat stretches while in pacelines. We even passed by an actual road called "Easy Street" which was amusing. Even moreso than Ohio, we rode on the flattest land I've ever seen. You legit couldn't even see a curve on the horizon for miles. The road just seemed to disappear into nothing which was both weird and cool. I also saw the largest green fields yet which was mindboggling. I expected to see things like that out here but i still can't really believe it.

The other major theme of the day was heat. lots and lots of heat. Even I had a bit too much today as it was easily over 95 with the humidity. The five hours of sleep didn't really help and yes, it is possible to nod off while riding a bike which is kind of scary though it would never really happen. A real treat was putting ice in our waterpacks. Just imagine pure icy pleasure rushing through your veins and that's exactly what we felt.

The church here and the hospitality is amazing. They have a whole gym and we had a lot of fun playing some pickup basketball while waiting for showers. There was also some healthy amounts of ping pong going around. Bedford is actually the limestone capital of the world which is neat and there are all sorts of caves and quarries that i would've loved to explore if we had more time.

For dinner they literally had, I kid you not, 7 types of pasta dishes and only pasta. I was in carbohydrate heaven and the homemade chocolate sauce for the ice cream just added to the euphoria. Sometimes seeing myself and others eat on this trip is scary. I don't think i need to elaborate on that.

Mail came today and my parents sent lots of fun Greek imported products which was great, albeit extremely excessive in the sense that 1 package as opposed to 4 would've also been fine. Either way, thank you mom and dad!

Tomorrow is only 46 miles to LInton which literally feels like a joke at this point. Hope it will be as easy as it sounds...

Wait, as i was just walking to the other room i saw the most intense red pink sunset sky outside. Everyone is just outside chilling and taking it in. Sunsets are glorious and a really undervalued pleasure in life i feel. What if everyone took 10 minutes to just sit, do nothing, stare at the beautiful sky and see what happens. Hopefully we can start right here and you can let me know.

Careful, please don't drop Mickey Mantle's bat

Day 22 - June 25, 11:59pm
Day off. Louisville, KY

Today was an almost perfect rest day. It probably helped that i got to wake up at 10am naturally and comfortably rather than 5am as i will be doing in 5 hours. The joy of such a simple luxury was inexplicable. I got to take my time with my morning routine, catch up on some journaling, and just generally not be too out of it.

I was really excited to get the day going and every minute was made that much better knowing that i had an awesome concert to look forward to that night. A group of us headed out to the Lousiville Slugger museum first. The whole Louisville downtown area is pretty nice and modern. It has all of these crazy painted horses everywhere which are awesome and really fit well as a theme for the city. I also stopped at a fun bagel shop along the way and tried honey walnut cream cheese. Varied selections of flavored cream cheeses drive me wild so this was great.

The actual slugger museum was fantastic. About five of us took the tour but i personally loved it since i have such a connection to baseball. The history and significance of the place was just overwhelming. They actually took us through the factory floor to explain what was being done as guys were doing real work on bats. I learned a ton about differences between white ash, maple, the different tempering processes, the harvesting of wood, etc. At the very least i suppose i'll be a hit at my next cocktail party.

While it was pretty gimmicky, they let you put on gloves and hold an actual bat that mickey mantle once used, which i must say was super cool. Afterwards Doug and I took some swings at the batting cage using Babe Ruth's bat model which def got some stress out.

Afterwards Doug, Miranda and I headed over to a neighborhood called the Highland's which is kind of like the Williamsburg of Louisville in terms of it being all caught up in its hipness. There we saw transformers 2 with the rest of the group. It's storyline and corny comic relief were almost painful but come on. Cars, robots, and more explosions than there are words in this blog all equaled awesomeness. Hearing about the whole Michael Jackson thing just as we exited the theater was just plain weird and kind of sad. Its odd that we're so disconnected from any media of any sort to follow current events like that.

At night a group headed over to the MSTRKRFT concert at 8. I can't say how much i was looking forward to this all day and how lucky i was to get the timing right. Also i was getting really stressed out about getting there late and was really glad to realize that i could consciously notice myself getting antsy. I was able to take a step back, take a breath and realize that there's no need to stress over being late. I usually do get very antsy for things like this and i was very proud in this instance of my ability to take full focus and control of myself and my emotions. It's something Im working on as a goal of leading a life free of these little silly stressors.

The duo finally came on at ten and totally rocked. I got some serious dancing on and it was just such a great and necessary release that i hadn't done in a long while. It felt so amazing and fulfilling to have been able to be in my element like that in such a random place.

All in all the day off was literally a 10 of 10. I enjoyed every second of it and there wasn't any stress of planning or anything. I did three solid things all of which were great and took up the whole day. We all definitely needed something like this to remind us what real life is like. Though I must say that there was some serious cognitive dissonance going on when i had sudden urges to pee in bushes all day long...

Tomorrow is a 5am wakeup so the concert kind of messed up that whole sleep thing but at least it was fun. Live in the moment right? Right?