Now that I’m off the highways and mostly on rural roads, I’m noticing that drivers are greeting me with a one finger gesture. No, not that one. With hands firmly on the steering wheel, they raise one index finger in greeting. The simplicity and efficiency of it is all well and good if you’re driving but it is not so simple to return the gesture while riding a bike. I’ve taken to doing a quick wave, down and to the side in the style of motorcycle riders. More grammar of the road.
Campground options are starting to get more spaced out. I have to decide if I’m going to ride 40 or 100 miles today (65 or 160 km). The partly cloudy weather makes the 40 mile option tempting but with the forecast calling for rain all day tomorrow, I decide to push for 100 miles. Doing so with only 2/3 of the solar energy I’ve had for my recent 100 mile days means a lot more pedaling effort and little energy for anything else.
Calling it quits early and pitching my tent behind one of the many piles of straw bales along the route is a tempting option. I cross the continental divide at sunset, shortly before rolling into tonight’s campground right at the 98 mile mark.
A picnic table with a roof over it is the perfect place to pitch a tent with rain on the way. Those little drops will be making their way to the Atlantic Ocean instead of the Pacific Ocean.
The Food of my People, Part 2: Keeping my body fueled on a long-distance cycling trip means paying close attention to my diet. I’ve learned that I need to constantly keep snacking to avoid “hitting the wall.” My new favorite combination is walnuts and dates. Just munch them together. You can thank me later.