I had a good first day despite a flat tire right at the beginning, and a knee that started to get sore about halfway through the day.
There’s a great scene in the movie The World According to Garp where Garp and his wife are looking at a house they might buy. As they walk out, a small airplane crashes into it. Garp says, “We’ll take it!” The realtor looks at him as if he were crazy, to which he replies, “It’s been pre-disastered!”
So was my trip this morning when within the first mile I got a flat tire. I changed it without any real trouble, but I lost a nut and a bolt. Fortunately, I was right in front of Menards so I went in and bought a replacement nut and bolt!
I’m learning that with probably 50 pounds of stuff in the saddlebag, bumps and road debris that I used to be able to take with no trouble can flatten my tires in an instant. So I just have to be very careful as I go. Additionally, the saddlebag kept getting caught in my spokes. Fortunately, I had a bungee cord that allowed me to pull the bag out of the way.
I ate the lunch I packed in Centerville in a little courtyard next to the Mansion House. I also stopped for a good while in Cambridge City. I have documented both of these towns extensively before but what the heck, I did it again.
Today was a 35 mile day — but after 20 miles I started really wearing out. My lower back was starting to crab at me a little bit, and so was my left knee. I’ve had a little trouble with that knee in recent years, nothing too serious. But I will listen very carefully to it on this trip. I’m not afraid to scrub the mission if my knee starts to really threaten.
At the 27 mile mark I hit a wall, so I paused for a good long break. I happened upon a concrete culvert, so I sat on it, and even lay back into the grass. I spent easily a half an hour there, just watching the light move across a soybean field as clouds moved through.
That was the finest moment of my day.