Racing across Alabama

Day 23: Livingston to Greenville AL: 128.7 miles, 17.6 mph (18.5 moving), 4206 feet of climbing, 8470 calories

What Alabama had to show me was wind: straight out of the east, gusting to 20 mph, aggravating. I went into efficiency mode. I got into a pace line early, took quick breaks, traded leading with Gary, and discovered I was leading the pack at 95 miles. When the Tacoma Train closed in on us, I told Gary I’d lead them “on a merry chase” and took off in a full sprint. They caught me after 3 miles. But I hung with them through many a pull and sprint and ended up finishing with them. I’m tired, sore, and satisfied.

Alabama did show me pretty towns, lovely parks, the usual rolling hills, catfish farms, timberlands, and proudly tended flower gardens.

My meditation was on the healing power of rhythm. A therapy for trauma, known as EMDR, uses bilateral eye movements to integrate trauma memories. Other approaches use bilateral sounds or tapping. 100 miles of cycling uses 10,000 strokes of each leg. There is something normalizing about the simple repetition, something soothing. Bicycle therapy?

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