Today was our first of five rest days for this ride. I was definitely ready for today and enjoyed every minute of it. Some of the group visited the Grand Canyon for the day, others went off to find local history and/or attractions. I went for a mid morning massage about a mile away from the hotel. Deirdre had booked me a 90 minute deep tissue massage with Sara, who turned out to be a 5ft 1in, strong fingered, quietly spoken great masseuse. Once Sara started work on my back I knew I was in good hands. One by one she found sore spots, relaxed them and then brought them back to life. After 90 minutes of this I felt good.
Walking the mile back to the hotel I started to think how little I actually walk anywhere now and how much we walked growing up. Even when I looked around I hardly ever saw people walking. Anyway just as I got to the hotel on foot I see Ali, Jay and Bella waiting for me. After some hugs and hello’s it was off in the car to a brew house and lunch. It was great to have a break from the ride routine and riders and actually talk to and see faces you know and love.
A bottle pro (aka Bella) working on Irma
After lunch and a little time together my crew had to leave and head back to Scottsdale. One last favor was to drop me off at Target to pick up some Epsom salts as prescribed by tiny Sara. Yes I too had forgotten about walking now and was happy for a lift at least one way. Back to my room and a soak in Epsom salts. I have no idea what they do but Sara said it might help and I am not one to argue with small women. The result of being brought up single handedly by a 5ft 2in giant of a lady. Now relaxed, glowing and content a nap called to me and I accepted.
I guess its now the wheels and pedals have stopped turning for a day that you can start to think of more than just the next SAG, hotel or meal. People are still my interest and even today, if your aware enough to notice, people were great. The young lad in the bike shop who took a look at my bike, chatted with interest and then said he had done too little to charge a guy riding across the country. Sara with the hands of steel and yet gentle manner who worked specifically to get me ready for another week riding. Ali, Jay and Bella had sat in a car for a 4 hour round trip journey just to say hi and give me a warm family hug of support. People are great if you look around.
Dinner was at an Indian restaurant with three other riders. Back at the hotel we found out that we had lost two riders whom had returned home sometime today. It’s not a jolly holiday type of ride along nice paths and scenic routes every day. This ride is big, beautiful and often fun. It is also sometimes harsh, taxing and severe. I think I prepared well and know that there is much much more to come. We may lose more or not as each of us face our own individual battles or challenges.
It is back on Irma in the morning and continue heading east for me. So I’ll talk to you all again tomorrow.