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Memorial Day, Day 11, End of day post.

I landed at the end of the day at the Rodeway Inn in Altoona, PA. I rode 44 miles which included some decent climbs. Some may laugh when I say this but I feel like I am becoming one with the bike. My confidence has grown and I find myself doing more assertive lane changes in city traffic. Balance on the bike has improved. The bike rides considerably different than my old SR 12 speed from 42 years ago. I am more comfortable giving hand signals to help drivers anticipate if they can pass or to let them know I'm making a lane change. At the start of the day I met another biker at a crosswalk to a busy intersection. We both has the same idea not to fight traffic and enjoy the right of way of a pedestrian using the crosswalk signal. This biker guessed I was traveling and asked what kind of range my Trek delivered. He understood it is relative to terrain. We rode together until Google maps had me turn off to head westward to Altoona, PA. I enjoy meeting people along the way and listening to their stories. Before heading out I stopped at the IHOP next to the College State, PA Wyndam motel to butter up in sun tan lotion and wash my hands. A man in a wheel chair with the aid of his wife stopped to greet me. Turns out this man was an Olympic athlete back in the day. He wished he could be riding a bike. I invited him to ride along with me by flowing my blog and he and his wife accepted my card. We did a photo opp together thanks to his wife taking a selfie of the 3 of us together. I hope to hear from them and to learn of this man's exciting Olympic experiences.

I could have done another 20 miles but decided to grab the low priced deal at the Rodeway in Altoona and not push too hard. I think it was a good decision. I figure it is about 3 more days till I reach Ohio. The biker mentioned earlier said I could look forward to flatter terrain once about 40 miles into Ohio. That fits with what I recall of the 1981 trip.

At one point in today's travels my feet where burning. I stopped and took a break, changed my socks after letting the cool air in the shade where I sat provide relief. The foot massage I gave myself felt great! While doing this I feasted on a very large honeycrisp apple I purchased at grocery store prior to checking into the Wyndham motel last night. I will upload some photos I took along the way today. I still need to learn how to add captions - should be easy, but will call Wix tech support if I need help. All of this is easier to do on my laptop. Am glad I brought it along

I saw 2 dead snakes today. One was a very small "baby" snake. May have been a rattler, possibly a garter snake. When I spot them on the road I do not dawdle! I'm told they like to come out on the road to sun themselves and enjoy the warm pavement. After baby snake I think I met momma snake which was definitely a formidable full grown rattler! Dead, yet, nevertheless I rode well around her. Was it a her? I don't know! Him or her, still a rattler. I eased my fear a bit reminding myself how much bigger the snakes out west were. Short lived relief realizing at some point I shall be out west. Fear can be irrational, so I'm going to keep in mind that I have avoided these creatures before and I can do it again.

Once in my room I took a hot bath. Had to improvise with the tub drain. The drain plunger was not working so I took one of the thin plastic baggies from the room ice bucket, started the hot water running in the tub, laid the ice baggie over the drain, and then kept the baggie in place using my accumulated spare change from convenience store stops to hold the baggie in place over the drain. I put the change in a quart size baggie to focus the weight directly over the drain. This plugged the drain and I got my hot bath. The area surrounding my knees was burned below where my shorts extended. I put sunblock on but this was a day late after setting in a good sunburn. The sunblock still helped, but boy, when kneeling down into a hot tub I felt the heat of the tub water heat up the sunburned area. I pressed my hands against the burned skin to insulate it from the hot water. The pain went away and gradually I adjusted to the heat of the tub water and was able to relax and enjoy.

Next I proceeded to pass out on the bed, telling myself I would tend to the charging of the batteries to all the road warrior gadgets later. And I did after a restful nap. The motels while expensive are giving me a real edge. With the rest I get I keep my mind clear and body able. I am building strength and agility every day. It is noticeable. Thus my belief I am becoming one with the bike. Words of an old man? Maybe, but so far I am in the zone of this tour safely reaching it's completion. Yes at times at the rate of the tortoise 🐢 and not the hare. I do remind myself this tour is to revisit something special. It is not a race.

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Jun 05, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Wow you are really enjoying this trip, Glad you are taking your time, relaxing and having rejuvenating baths. You are definitely a Eagle Scout! LOL

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