Margaret and Dick   

     

    
Atlanta to Austin - Day five: Monroe LA to Carthage TX
 

Distance:  127 miles

Rolling speed:  13.8 mph

Total time:  11:55

Calories burned:  5,386

Weather: upper 80s with a headwind

Close encounters of the dog kind:  1

Irate motorists:  2

Other cyclists seen:  0

Roadkill report:  too crabby to keep track

Road surface:  from sublime to ridiculous; generally fine

Muscles:  tone is fine, glycogen is shot

Mental state:  could be better

 

When I first saw the movie Mondo Cane in the 60's I couldn't understand the self-flagellants.  Now I are one.

 

No more hills, please:

Yesterday I went to sleep believing Louisiana is flat.  Today, after crossing the Ouachita River about a mile from the hotel, I learned better.  I had rolling hills the rest of the day and wasn't anywhere close to happy about it.  To make matters much worse, it was a hot day and I let my liquid consumption drop below target.  Usually my pain threshold drops when I start to become dehydrated, and pain is my signal to drink more.  I think I'm just getting used to pain, and I'm certainly getting tired of eating and drinking.  Anyway, after dragging my butt across most of Louisiana, a sheriff's deputy strongly suggested that I let my soigneur husband drive me across rush-hour Shreveport.  (I owe twelve miles to any donor who wishes to impose a penance.  I'm dedicated, but I'm not stupid.)  We also stopped at a Waffle House for eggs/bacon/grits/toast, which during my brevet experience was the best meal I'd ever eaten (midnight, halfway through the 600km/400mi marathon, with Veloman Mike)  That plus a gallon of energy drink helped more than a little.  Also, cher soigneur brings pictures like this to cheer me up:

 

 

It's different in Louisiana.

 



The Texas line:

I can't believe I cycled to Texas.  I wheeled over to the convenience store that you see behind the Texas sign to use the facilities and asked the storekeeper, "So, am I in Alabama or Texas?"  Oops, seriously loopy, forgot about Mississippi and Louisiana in between.  She was amused and set me straight, and of course I explained the purpose of the ride.  Then I walked out to find my first flat tire:  a wire staple had found its way through the Kevlar belt of my UltraGatorskin tire.  During the short time that I was changing the tire, the storekeeper came out with $20 to add to my donations.  Dick went into the store to get her name and address and came out with another donation from one of her customers.  The next three days of riding through Texas are going to be just fine.

 


Day six:  I forget; time for bed and we're rethinking the route anyway.  Stay tuned.