Riding in Shock

Trip Start Sep 13, 2012
Trip End Oct 24, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Missouri
Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 26 Neosho Missouri to Branson Missouri 90.1 miles 4455 ft climbing

Not surprisingly we had a poor night's sleep as we thought about Brett.  We felt deeply for his wife and sons.  We know from when Luke died suddenly what it is like to receive earth shattering, world-ending, life-will-never-be the-same-again news.  An update at lunch time said Brett had had surgery to remove a blood clot (haematoma) from his brain which was the result of a massive skull fracture.  He also had broken his collar bone.  He had still not regained consciousness.

The landscape literally and metaphorically shifted in 24 hours.  The long, straight roads that had been a feature of our riding so far changed to windy, steeply hilly, wooded terrain as we cycled through the Mark Twain National Forest. Up, down, up down, up down, all day long.  It was totally energy sapping. "I love these rollers" said petite trek guide Marquette.  "This is my kind of riding".  Well, it ain't mine!  Marquette dances on the pedals like a female Alberto Contador.  For a big boned, heavy lump like me and a tall guy like David, we have to haul our carcasses over long steep hills up to 13-18% gradient.  It's my least favourite cycling.  This is what the next 10 days' riding will be like.

Our destination Branson reminded me of Blackpool except of course it's 3 times as big and alongside all the tacky tourist attractions are mega-churches for 1,000 people.   It's an incongruous juxtaposition.  A flat tyre for David was the last straw as we navigated heavy traffic.

We went to our first Starbucks to discuss over coffee whether (a) we could physically carry on (b) whether we wanted to carry on.  We've cycled over 2,000 miles in 25 days and I'm at my lowest physically and mentally.  We decided to sleep on it and reappraise in the morning - our 3rd rest day. 
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Lyndel on

Really sorry to read about your cycling buddy - can only imagine how tough it must make things, in many different ways. Steve and I are thinking of you all. Take care. xx

Haris on

Really sorry to hear about Brett, didn't realise it was so serious. Hope you guys are ok and it doesn't get you down too much.

Lots of love xx

Helen on

I think your day off will help...rest...sit with it...trust your intuition.....you'll know whether to go on or not.....(I'm not even going to tempt you with the idea that you could come heal up in Boulder for a week or two....)

Millie on

So sorry to hear about Brett. Hope you are ok, be careful. Lots of love x

Carly on

Don't let the hills get you down. If you need to take a break and not ride EFI, that is ok. Perhaps a little bit of rest bad your spirits will be lifted.
You can do it and you have come so far. Better to take a few miles off and feel better than to throw in the towel. And btw, you are a superb climber and not a big lump!

Holly on

Carly always says it the best! We know about hills like the ones you describe. Just remember, they don't own you, you own them.

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