Day 5, Keep on going


It’s been a long and crazy experience so far, and we have only been riding for 5 days straight.  Of course we have been trying our best to upload everything as fast as we can, but the limitations of WiFi and equipment malfunctions are constantly throwing a barrier in our bike lane.

For me this is my first real experience biking for an extended period of time, because it was only this past April that Keagan called me during finals week on my last semester of college to pitch the ludicrous idea of this bike trip.  Of course I was in, so I got a bike and started training.

My training consisted of riding throughout the hills of Boulder, Colorado, and occasionally I would muster up the energy to tackle a mountain or two, but usually would space everything out to a couple rides a week. 

 Keagan plowing through the sunshine after an early start form the campground in Nazare.

Keagan plowing through the sunshine after an early start form the campground in Nazare.

The past five days have consisted of waking up at 6 a.m. - packing up camp - throwing on some spandex - getting rained on - ride a few miles - grab an espresso and pastry - take a wrong turn - backtrack 6 miles - adjust spandex - go up an absurd amount of mountains (not hills) - finish 40 to 60 miles - set up camp - eat dinner - try and upload photos - beer/wine - sleep - repeat.

This has all been a sensory overload that has taken a while to actually sink it and settle in my stomach.  For those of you that ride, you know how much of the seemingly mundane roads and scenery jump out at you and the beauty in everything is suddenly noticeable.  That concept hit me when I was in Boulder, a town I have lived in for 4 years, and just when I thought I have literally seen everything it had to offer, riding a bike completely changed that.

The best part about being on a bike is that when we see a castle it's pretty easy to just go check it out.

I was blown away when I started, and for the past 5 days, this constant exhaustion of new and unreal experiences hasn’t stopped.  The photographer in me has not ceased twitching to drop the bike every 500 feet and run ramped through a vineyard to explore and photograph.  I have done what I could, setting rules for myself and markers every few miles deeming that it was ok to stop here and take a photo.

We have also come to realize and accept that no matter what we do, bolts will come loose, chains will break, and tubes will pop.

Through all of the rain, soreness, and butt rash that the constant movement is blessing me with, I am still without complaints. Everywhere I go, there is someone new to meet, share a beer with, and have me listen to them telling Keagan and I again how we are solidifying the stereotype that “all Americans are crazy” once they hear about our trip,  but I am not sure about that.