We've hit 1,000 miles for the Grand Gaspé Cycling Tour! It feels like a significant and particularly gratifying milestone. We've also been away from home for four weeks, and cycling for over three. Time to take a temperature check on our bodies and state of mind!
Physical fitness: Despite three weeks of repeated cycling, we still feel strong. We continue to mount our bikes each day ready to ride. We haven't necessarily been good at taking rest days, and that began to take its toll. A few days ago, my thighs began to complain each time I started up until I got going. And my body was tired. Rich's legs were “toast” in his words, and he was moving slowly. We ordered up a rest day and vowed to repeat it more regularly in the future.
Cycling challenges: So far we've been able to handle the cycling regime. Steep hills are tough, as are strong headwinds, but it's just a matter of pushing through them. Rich did draw the line at going over to the outer coast of Nova Scotia – he didn't think he was up to climbing up and over the ridge line. So we followed more moderate terrain (for Nova Scotia).
Health: Okay, truth be told, we haven't scored as well on this front (pun intended). Rich caught a bug in the very beginning of the trip that plagued him for a couple of weeks. It zapped his strength, left him in fits of coughing, and caused him to lay low in Acadia National Park. Just abut the time he hit 95% healthy again, I succombed to his malady. Continued cycling hasn't helped our recovery much. But we did make concessions on our lodging choices, trading a poor night's sleep in a tent for a real bed in a motel a few times. Hopefully all that will soon be behind us.
Missing home? Not really. It sounds kind of cold and hard when put that way, but we're living in the moment and thoroughly enjoying our experiences. There is nothing at home that could top this.
Missing family? Of course. There is nothing I'd like more than to hug my grandkids. Or gather with one or all of our kids. I hate missing some traditional family events while we're gone. But two months in the grand scheme of things is a small period of time to devote to this trip of a lifetime. So we do our best to keep in touch by email, Facebook and eek out a phone call when we can.
Tired of traveling? Not at all. There is still so much to see.
Still talking to each other? Mostly. Our biggest disagreements are over where to eat (Molly: healthy, local and a nice setting; Rich: food when he finds it), and when and how long to linger along the way, including scenic detours. Other than that, we're still good traveling buddies.
What do we miss most? Molly: Healthy home made food. Fresh fruit and hearty bread with raisins. Good coffee, even better, a latte. Rich: Having an occasional lazy morning.
What don't we miss? Our wardrobes. Having no clothes choices makes life very simple. And nobody else knows we've worn the exact same clothes every other day of our trip.
Rich: 2 flat tires, fixed en route. Lost 1 pair of socks.
Molly: Gears out of adjustment and repaired. Rear view mirror flopping; electrical tape a mediocre repair job.
Overall, I'd say we've passed this check-up with flying colors. And we're ready for the next 1,000 miles!