Endings on My Mind

26: Cordele to Metter GA: 116 miles, 13.5 mph, 3373 feet of climbing, 7141 calories

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Today was challenging. But I got by with a little help from my friends. I had 6 flats. 3 different riders helped, but I ultimately had to borrow Susan’s bike to finish the last 36 miles. It turned out that my rim tape was the issue. So I will ride my own bike for the finish.

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I spent the day thinking about endings.

Ending Polio. We are close. With luck it will be done within 5 years. I will keep supporting the effort. Thank you to all who contributed through endpolio.org. You know that most contributed through their local Rotary, so I have no record of the total raised. But the notifications I have received let me know you have been generous. Thank you!

Ending teams. We have worked together for a month, but now face the immediacy of the ending. There is a tangible difference today. When I moved up from my usual trailing position to take the lead, Rich refused to let me in. We have had each other’s wheel for hundreds of miles. If we had hundreds more, I doubt he’d have objected. But I settled at the back until the first break. Then I rode alone for the next 25 miles. Facing the wind by myself,I got a new appreciation for those like Ken, Ian, and Ted who choose to ride all the miles alone. There are different teams. I respect Charlie, Wes, and the Hart  boys for riding fast; Rich and Matt for loyalty through challenges;  Karen Ann and Brent for riding slow; Daniel and James for riding as if they were totally independent of the tour; and the lunch crew for being enthusiastic when any of us arrive. We all need teams to get us through. Thank you to all who helped with my flats.

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My rear end. I had planned to put in a picture from my back, but decided it was too unprofessional. Count your blessings! I am 3 toned. My legs and arms have never been browner. My back and thighs are summer brown, but distinctly lighter. My ass is as white as snowballs.

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Endings suggests beginnings. I am looking forward to seeing my love tomorrow. I find myself thinking fondly of family and coworkers. The next chapter opens.

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