Roadkill count: 2 UFO's (Unidentified Flattened Object) and two poor turtles, Leonardo and Michaelangelo.Yesterday's ride was another tough one. It took us from Zavalla, Texas, to the Mission Tejas State Park. We left Jeanne's house at about 9am. We rode 20 miles through some minor hills to a town called Lufkin.
This town was the largest we have ridden in since we crossed into Texas. There wasn't too much traffic, and we passed through it with no problems. We did stop to eat at a nice BBQ place called "Bryan's". There we met some nice people who helped us out with some ice.
One of them talked to us for a while, Marcie. She was very encouraging to us. Sometimes the rides get too much for us, but we get through because of the people that helped us. Even if it is just kind words, we draw strength from them and it pushes us ahead.
After we left Lufkin, the hills got a little bigger. We had to brake while riding down them because our trailers are only rated for 25mph. We go a little faster than that sometimes, but the trailer gets speed wobbles if you aren't careful.
I'm not very superstitious, because it's bad luck; but when we were talking to those people in Lufkin, we mentioned how the ride hasn't really presented any major problems yet. Then one of them mentioned the "f" word, 'flat'. I don't like to talk about flats or even mention them, because every time you do one of them seems to pop up soon. This time was no different. We had ridden almost 300 miles with no tire trouble, then we heard a familiar noise about 8 miles past Lufkin!
It was Rheann's bob trailer. The tire had sprung a leak. We pulled over to fix it.
After we fixed the tire, we had no more bike problems for the day. We were still worried about our route to the campsite though, because we started to see a bunch of dirt roads turning off of our road. Dirt roads are awful on our bikes, and take a lot of energy to ride them.
Sure enough, we were 20-something miles out, and the dirt roads started. This one didn't start out too bad. It was lined with trees and was packed firm.
We joked about how worried we were about dirt roads. This one wasn't so bad, we even stopped to take a picture.
All the joking soon stopped though. The terrain got tougher, fast. The road transformed right before our eyes from a tamed pet to a blood frenzied beast! Potholes littered the way. Large, loose rocks were covering the areas not filled with potholes. We had to drop our speed in half. We had to keep our speed to less than 8mph, even downhill, to avoid loosing control. The bumps and rocks threw us everywhere. We struggled to maintain control of the bikes and trailers.
We felt every bump for 20 miles. Normally, 20 miles would take us less than 2 hours, but this road took us almost 4! The rock road was very hilly. We struggled to clump uphill, only to have to hold down our brakes while going downhill. This kind of riding would wear us out quickly, even at full energy; but we had already ridden 40 miles of hills and were already tired.
We were running out of energy. The ride was too much to bear. Every pedal gripped our legs with pain, every bump sent a shock through our arms. We didn't think we could make it. The dirt road was beating us.
Then we began to talk about how far we had come. We talked about all of the people who helped us and encouraged us. We drew our last bit of strength from them. They weren't physically there, but with us in spirit. We pushed our bodies with every last bit of energy we could muster!
We pulled into the campsite, limping in. We had nothing left. We barely had the strength to set up our tent! We both felt dizzy, like we were going to pass out, but we made it! We rode 62 miles (with gear), 20 of it on an awful dirt road! We took showers, ate, and went to bed.
We passed out at 8pm, and dint wake until 8am this morning. We have decided to take a break today. We need to recover our strength. Rheann is re-plotting our route to make sure we avoid any more of those dirt roads. We were strong enough this time, but barely. We feel so lucky to have made it this far, thank you everyone for all of your help!