29.7 mi / 11.5 mph / 1258 ft. climbing
Home: Fisherman’s Cove Campground
Rett’s ability to start her bike seems to have come up a bit from its nadir. Or, at least today the mental side was more limiting than the physical side. Not that that reduces her anguish and frustration at all; in fact, it probably increases them! It still took multiple tries before she got rolling, but most of those tries she aborted before she even gave the bike a chance. Once she got angry enough that the pain of failure outweighed the risk of untethering her feet from the ground, she got going straight away.
And then didn’t stop until we were halfway to our destination. And then didn’t stop again until we were at our destination. Yes, it was “only” a 30 mile day, but making only a single stop in 30 miles is unprecedented. And it’s not a sustainable practice. First, it’s usually helpful to take breaks more-frequently than that on longer days, and second, most routes will force stops far more-frequently than today’s 3-turn highway-based route did. The second turn was essentially a highway exit, and for the other two, I rode ahead to scout the stop-signed intersection, and let Rett know that she could go ahead without stopping.
I realized that we may have started that “bad habit” way back in Ohio, on a stop-sign-filled rail-trail when I would ride ahead and make sure that there were no cars to surprise us on the empty farm roads, so that Rett would only need to deal with navigating around the automobile-blocking death-posts and trail-to-road bumps, and not stopping and re-starting. On that day, my only motivation was reducing her energy demands, as we had a long day of riding into headwinds. But I wonder if that planted the notion that stopping and re-starting is a hard thing that’s better avoided, thus taking us down a vicious circle where I needed to increase the amount that I “helped” Rett in this way, which reduced her practice, and moved it further and further from being a “normal”, thoughtless part of riding for her. Ok, I have no idea, but the fact that I had that thought indicates how deep I’ve been digging to find something, anything, that might return the confidence that Rett used to have.
For the ride, we started on the coastal Lighthouse Route, which was nice and empty, but then it merged onto the #103 Fisherman’s Highway, the faster, busier road that cuts across the lobes. Luckily, the low-population of this area meant that it felt much more-comfortable here than it did when we were on it on our way out of Yarmouth. (One of the lobes today had no paved roads at all heading out onto it, the first lobe where we’d seen that).
Tonight’s private campground was a little bigger than last night’s, but had equally-friendly owners (who coincidentally also bought the place 4 years ago). Even though we arrived well before check-in time, the owner was happy to take me around in a golf cart (with her cute little dog) to check out their available tent sites and let me choose.
This place doesn’t have a pool, but has a food truck/boat out front (where we got cold drinks for dinner), and a grandmother’s-house-like bathroom building complete with a kitchen table, microwave, coffee maker, etc., which might be a perfect amenity for breakfast if the morning rain comes again as forecasted (and yes, I confirmed that it would be open and available in the morning this time!)