Day 46. Thursday, August 1o Little Falls, NY. 79 miles
I'm back on the bike! After one day of extra rest, it felt good to get back in the saddle.
When I got back to the group last night, I think every rider found me and warmly welcomed me back. Having spent the last six weeks with this group, you get pretty tight and want only good things for everyone. I told them that there were still some issues that I'll have to check out once back in Columbus, but not enough to ground me. I will take it easy the rest of the way and not press too hard. I need to get the swelling down and the fluid out of my lungs.
The second half of the ride presented a few more ups and downs, so between the hills and the rain, the average speed came down. We were able to keep a pace of 14 to 16 pretty comfortably. Today we entered into the Mohawk River valley, passing through a number of picturesque towns, farms and fruit stands. Much of the day was next to the old Erie Canal. Yesterday, the group rode about 25 miles on a bike path that was part of the old tow path.
With about 10 miles left, POW, my back tire blew. We tried to find what may have caused it to blow, but finding nothing, we proceeded to change the tube. On rides like this, it's easier to fill the tube using a CO2 cartridge that pumps air in quickly - POW! It blew again. This time when we looked, we saw the tire (not the tube) had a rip in the sidewall. No way I would be able ride on this! Fortunately, one of the support vans came by just then. We threw the bike and me into the van, drove about three blocks to a gas station, waited five minutes for the mechanics van, and Jim had a spare tire. In ten minutes, tire changed and we were back on the road. It felt good to finally pull into the hotel, get out of the wet clothes and into a hot shower.
I forgot to mention earlier that when I was in the hospital in Rochester, Tam drove up, fully expecting to take me back to Columbus. She will be with us the rest of the way. It's so good to have her here.
Thanks, Yuval, for staying with me today.
Thanks to all of you for your thoughts, prayers and support.
Be well. Do good.