Darren’s Week 1 Recap

Darren’s First week recap

It’s so funny reading Taylor’s post, boy do I feel like a slug. While he was home pounding out 20-30 mile bike rides, I was home packing away the cookies. I dunno, I gained somewhere close to 7lbs of pure cookie weight while I was home for the holidays. I thought to myself, “Ok Bear, you’re going to be crossing the country during the winter and you’re a little on the skinny side. Time to put some meat on your bones.” So, I bought Oreos in bulk, gallons of milk and had my sister make me chocolate chip cookies.

Seriously, I didn’t do any training. I’m not bragging by any means. It was simply too cold in Connecticut to be biking. Well, that is what I kept telling myself. In retrospect, I suppose I could have gotten a gym membership and rode the bike a bit but that is lame. Instead, I opted to mentally visualize the trip in my head periodically throughout the day. Seriously, I sat on my butt dropping my cookies into my cup of milk, waiting until they absorbed enough milk and would then proceed to spoon them into my mouth, one after another, until I finished the pack. No lie! That’s how I roll.

 

Taylor would send me pictures of him on these scenic bike rides almost everyday. He  made me feel like a lazy piece of crap. Everytime he sent me a picture I was downstairs in my living room sitting on my rear end and stuffing face. If I had known how to use my Iphone at that time I would have sent him pictures of me in “training mode” but I had no idea how to use my phone. I still don’t really know how to use it. Taylor shows me something new everyday on my phone. I’ve never had a smartphone in my life. I still don’t really care for it very much to be honest but it was a gift from my mother so I wasn’t going to reject it. Plus, she wasn’t going to let her baby boy cross the country without a phone that could connect to the internet. It has turned out to be rather resourceful. Thanks Mom.

Ok, so moving forward some. You guys have already heard about my wild first day w/ the flat tire and the pitbulls. What else has happened? Well, I remember when we were heading to Gainsville we stopped at a local gas station to refuel. A few people had asked us where we were heading and I remember Taylor telling this particular gentleman that we were heading to Gainsville but that we were going to stop in Putnam first. The guy Taylor was talking to actually reminded me of “Otto Mann” from the Simpsons. Except Otto has more teeth than our friend from the gas station. Anyways, this guy says to us, “Ya’ll best not stop in Putnam, ain’t nuttin good happin in Putnam. It’s real rough up dare, dare something like 800 people in that ole town and their all hopped up on cocaine, crank (ya, just google it, I had no idea either) and crack. I’m mean for real ya’ll, it’s da dope hole of Florida.” Taylor and I looked at one another and were in agreeance that it might behove us to bypass Putnam…and we did. What a character that guy was, he looks like the kind of guy that might do a little crank himself every once in a while. But, he was helpful so I shouldn’t make fun of him.

Fast Forward a couple of days. We are leaving Gainesville and I’m extremely under the weather. I came down with a wicked cold but we needed to head west to some campgrounds to keep up the progress. I didn’t want to take a day off so I told Taylor we would just do a short 40 mile ride. I figured I’d be able to do that if we just went at it easy. Well,  It was 26 degrees that morning which made it that much more challenging. After about 25 miles I’m absolutely dead. My legs were seriously hurting and I wanted to say something to Taylor but I didn’t. Why did I feel so weak? I thought it was because I was sick. No! It was because my rear brake was engaged for the entire first 25 miles. I’m not sure how that happened but wow did that suck. This was the same day we were battling headwinds. Seriously, it was miserable! We tried to adjust the brakes but we ended up just disconnecting them and working on them later that night once we got to the campground. So that whole day just blew ass. I honestly wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it the whole way to San Diego that day. Let’s just say that things started to look up once I fixed my braking issue. You guys ever try climbing hills with your brakes engaged? It’s an absolute death wish.

So we get to the campgrounds. We meet this awesome couple from Nova scotia as Taylor already mentioned. I situated myself as close to the fire as physically possible. I was in really bad shape that night. I got to the campgrounds with frozen toes and fingers. I even had snot cicles hanging from nose. It was something straight out of Dumb & Dumber when they were on the moped heading up to Aspen in the middle of winter. Well, that was me. Let’s see… that night I had the sweats almost the entire night. I woke up cold and my knees were donezo from the day before. We woke up at the butt crack of dawn. I wanted to stay and take the day off but I didn’t want Taylor to think I was soft or anything so I just bit my tongue and powered through it. After traveling something like 30 miles or however many miles we did. We actually ended up staying with the mother and father of Bethany. We had stayed with Bethany and her family in Gainesville two days prior. It couldn’t have worked out any more perfectly. Their house was literally a mile off of our route. It was Beautiful! 30 Acres of land not a neighbor in sight. I’m extremely grateful for them letting us in. What a fantastic couple they were. I watched the Uconn/Harvard game with the husband and we shared stories for most of the night. It was so great meeting them. They seriously treated us like family and helped me get my health back. I can’t thank you guys enough. I truly had a great time with you two and I know that Taylor did too. We talked about you guys almost all day on the trip to Madison. Say hi to your dog Jenny for us. You can say hi to the cat too even though I’m not a huge fan of cats. I just don’t want the cat to feel left out.

So now we are in Madison,Fl. I’m currently lying in bed and Taylor is passed out. It’s about 12:30am and I can’t sleep. You’d think I’d be exhausted as all hell but I’m not. I guess I’ll put the tv back on and hopefully I’ll fall asleep soon enough. I guess the one funny thing that happened today was uhhhhhhh. Well first, I guess I should apologize. I’m not sure if I’m giving you all too much info but I feel like it’s not too bad or anything. Look, when you bike for hours on end, you need to apply certain creams and powders to certain parts of the body. I generally start my day by lubing up my rear end with butt butter. Butt butter is what cyclists use to prevent saddle sores. Today after my shower I felt a little a chafing going on down south so I grabbed what I thought was my gold bond and proceeded to powder my “boys.” Well, I accidentally used my foot powder with MENTHOL to powder my boys. Let’s just say my I’m still feeling the burn about 5 hours later. That’s probably why I’m not sleeping to be honest. Not too much else to report on thus far.

Alright. Taylor said he would teach me how to upload videos and photos and all that jazz tomorrow. Until then you will have to deal w/ plain black and white text. Goodnight Ya’ll! I’m going to try and get some sleep. Hasta luego.

 

– Oso

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