Training Day 3

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Up at 6 am. Did my small load of laundry, brushed my teeth, saddled my horse and was off in search of food. This morning I had a wonderful breakfast of country fried steak and scrambled eggs with potatoes and an English muffin. Coffee goes with out saying.

I planned my route last night with Haines City as my target. From there I’d decide if I’d go on to Lakeland.

It was an exciting ride for a few miles just outside Kissimmee. Suddenly the bike path was no more and cars and bike had to share the road. I went into the grass a couple of times in an effort to look behind me to cross the highway where small lengths of sidewalks were available. At the end of this highway was Kissimmee Gatorade! Wow! I’ve been drinking Gatorade by the gallons. I thought it might be an opportunity to grab some discount tickets or freebies from the source! No luck. It was just a secure bottling plant and none of the suits that could authorize such a thing were there. Drats!

I left the plant and rode on for a few miles. This was very busy highway with semi-trucks passing me as frequently as the cars. I had enough room on the shoulder to stay out of the way. My eye caught a small black and white kitten scrunched down in the grass about five feet away from the road. It looked very scared and maybe hurt. I stopped my bike a few feet away and laid it down. I walked slowly toward it so as not scare it. I could see a couple of ants on it’s head and thought it had probably been there a while and maybe even injured. I approached slowly and it watched me. I reached for it and just before I could touch it, it shot out onto the highway. I watched in horror as his little body went under the wheel of a semi-truck and bounced between the road and the bottom of the trailer. My hands instantly grabbed my head and I yelled out loud but was drowned out by the blast from the truck’s air brakes. The truck couldn’t stop with all the traffic behind him and I watched as he slowly went down the road.

I looked back at the kitten as the rest of the cars straddled it as they went by and I thought, what I have I done?! When there was a break in the stream of cars I picked the remains up and placed them in the grass. It was awful.

I guess sometimes you should just be the observer and let nature take it’s course. His death stuck with me the whole day.

I have been drinking gallons of water and Gatorade but my bathroom stops seem unnecessary.  I’m sweating it all out. Today my legs felt great and had no soreness or pain from my knee.

Lake Alfred Water Tower

The weather was ideal all day. I had the wind with me most of the time. Although it helps to move you along, you end up not having any breeze to cool you off. Basically you’re riding in still air. The sun was much brighter today and I can feel it on my face.

Just a few miles from Lakeland I had my first flat tire. A small screw that I could hear tapping in rhythm. To make things worse my air pump broke. Luckily, Dale, a man about 60 years old pulled up in his pickup. He had an air compressor that worked like a charm. I thanked him, shook his hand and told him I’d mention him in my post. Done.

© Ron Wynkoop and Bike2Cloud9, 2011.
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About bike2cloud9

Recently retired and going to attempt crossing the U.S. on my bicycle. Please become a sponsor or just cheer me on!

9 responses »

  1. Cathy Goretsky

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your adventure with us each day. Today’s post made my heart sad for the little kitty. Another bit of “schrapnel in your heart” too I am sure! I remember your book. I don’t know if I still have it somewhere packed in a box on some closet shelf. Your writing is excellent and I see this journal as a great book to be published when your journey is completed! Keep rollin! And keep writing! God speed you on your way!

    Reply
  2. Moebius Machiavelli

    Man, I can’t believe it… Ron told me they just started making ice coffee… and all Denny’s will be making it Tuesday!

    Reply
  3. Dennis "Bondo" Bruno

    What a story! Every day is a day all of us following you in spirit, will feel the experiences your going through. Some will be humorous and some will be sad. Don’t be so hard on yourself, everything your going through is a learning experience. Take care & be safe. “Bondo”

    Reply
  4. AussieAnnette

    I think I am going to enjoy my vicerious trip with you 😀 perhaps at times more than you are enjoying it yourself!!!
    Especially when dealing with kitty remains etc.
    I hope the traffic is kind to you, thought of you yesterday as I was wending my way to work and saw a biker being tousled by a semi-trailer. I find it scary enough driving beside one of those big rigs let alone biking beside one!!!
    I enjoyed the photo too, quite appropriate.
    Enjoy, stay well, stay safe.
    Keep a’pedalling,
    AussieAnnette

    Reply
  5. Jay, I can see your horror on your face at the time of impact and want to hug the pain away for you. I agree with Bondo and we here in Penna. wish you a safe travel. Michelle said she will catch up with you soon but know she is following along also! Do you have a helmet rear view mirror?
    Jake’s graduation was fabulous and Dad looks great and was smiling the whole time.
    We all missed you last night.
    Love you ~ Dee

    Reply
  6. Checking in on the road warrior… keep it up! Your adventures are already making for a good read – full of highs, lows, and surprises. Here’s hoping for mostly the good kind from here on out. 🙂

    Reply
  7. I do so enjoy reading your journal stories. I’m sorry about the kitten, but maybe you did him a favor by sparing him a long slow death from fear and starvation. You tried to do the right thing, and that counts for a lot.

    Keep safe and healthy.

    Reply
  8. Ron I enjoy reading about your day. As I get home I can not wait to see how your day has been. And between Bondo, Moebius And my self we are keeping the people at work and hang out at Dennys, updated on your coming and goings :). Bondo has been coming and getting fix of coffee. we chat about your day and what going on with your training. Hey if you have time you need to setup a course like you did with me driving home from Dennys only with your day on the road. If you do send it to me and I will take my laptop to work and show the gang. BE SAFE AND HAVE THE WIND AT YOUR BACK.

    Reply
  9. You are a spirited rider and writer!
    I have included a web site to Bike Across Kansas, check out their Facebook page and the archives. A great way to see KS next summer!
    http://www.bak.org/

    Reply

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