August 15, 2014
We started the day with 4 bowls of cereal at the contie breakfast. We were the only ones there so I didn't feel bad. We took a bike route right from the start and my right leg, not the knee, let me know how it felt as soon as we started to climb. For the majority of the ride I was trying to think of a good analogy for the pain that I felt. Alison loves my analogies ;) The best one I could come up with was: when you have a really good dark purple bruise on your thigh or arm and someone pushes their finger into it...really hard. For every single stroke of the pedal this is the feeling. The funny thing is it only hurts when I pedal. When I'm walking or standing or sitting there is no pain. Just when I'm pedaling. I had to figure out a way to get up the hills as the discomfort (pain) was more intense when climbing so I ended up pushing with my left leg (the good one) and pulling with the right leg (OUCH). It was a little awkward a first but it was the only option other than taking a room at a motel and letting it heal. I don't have time for that. I also picked up some Tylenol and consumed the advised amount but I think my needs were higher than that amount so I did not benefit much from them. Not to go on for too long about this but I have never been in pain for so long and just having to push through. To say it was excruciating would not be an understatement. The climbing seemed never-ending but I knew by the time we got to Pocono Pines we were in for a 25 km decent into Straudsburg. That was amazing and I was almost able to forget about my leg. Pennsylvania has been my favorite state so far with it's rolling green hills, fantastic back roads and lush forests. I was however very cool this morning. It was 9 degrees Celsius and warmed up a bit by after noon and then cooled off again by 5 PM. Francois would not have liked the weather today. Staying on the bikes routes has been a bit of a game of roulette in terms of the condition of the roads/path/animal trails that they take you on. Today we had a bit of a flash back from the deliverance road when our road got gradually narrower and rougher to eventually being a 50/50 mix of old asphalt and gravel. Difficult to navigate and about 3 kms long. we just cross our fingers that it will get better and lead to a paved road eventually. What I really enjoy about the bike routes is that they take you through very small towns/villages/hamlets that you would never see if you took the freeway for even the secondary highways/byways. This is the second last day and I think we are both quite excited about our last ride tomorrow. Bolze has patience today for me with my lack of strength and speed. Thanks Diesel.