Day 23: Abject Misery

September 25, 2002
Sheridan to Buffalo
37 Miles Google Map

Even for a rain day, which I’m grudgingly learning to tolerate, this was unusually depressing: an unending drip, drip, drip except for the three occasions when, out of spite, it came down harder. I never was able to get dry.

To add to the merriment, there was road construction work going on. Some seven or eight miles of tight, one lane traffic that I’ve come to view with trepidation. On one occasion, the wind and water from a passing truck nearly knocked me over. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, there were the three times that “oversized loads” rumbled by. Even on the outermost edge of the shoulder where I was cowering, it was a close shave. At least the drivers were considerate enough to lightly honk as they came up behind me. I’d acknowledge by raising my left arm.

It was a day that was close to the limits of my cycling stamina. There were the seemingly endless series of small valleys that I had to labor my way out of. Not that physically demanding, but they did wear me down mentally. And since the temperature never got out of the low forties, my soggy feet came to feel like blocks of ice. Yet I gritted my teeth and toiled on. Sometimes you just have to take what Mother Nature chooses to dish out. 

Good thing I had only planned for a short day. 

The good news is that I made it into the Buffalo Pizza Hut in time for the lunch buffet! These affairs are heaven-sent for famished cyclists. I ended up wolfing down five thin slices of pizza, two helpings of pasta, one cinnamon breadstick, a large glass of Mt. Dew and a cup of hot chocolate which in my near-frozen state I initially tried to warm my hands over.

This feast seemed to turn my fortunes around. After eating, I located an agreeable, inexpensive hotel that has ground floor rooms with outside access. This allowed me to wash off the worst of the dirt and grime from the bike right outside my door. Later I laundered my already-soaked riding clothes. It’s amazing how many tasks that need taking care of on a day like this.

Time for a hot shower!

Distances
    Today:          37 Miles 
    To Date:  1,091 Miles / 1,756 Kilometers

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