Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 4 Pismo

Ah, a much easier ride today.  Although, I couldn't seem to get my legs warmed up because of the rain.  I'm pretty darn sore.

When I called one of my favorite local bike shops prior to leaving, I asked if they had any rain gear and I was told it hadn't come in yet and not to worry it wasn't going to rain.  Yeah, right.  I should have fallen back on my military training and made sure I had it with me anyway.  I should have taken the time to contact my other favorite store.  I was struck by stupid and I'm paying for it.  But, hey I was going to ride whether I'm wet or not.  If our wounded warriors could handle the weather and living conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan, this noncombat vet can handle getting a little wet on this ride.

Lesson learned:  Having your rain gear with you is like wearing a bike helmet.  It's better to be wearing a helmet and not need it than need it and not be wearing one.  Being without rain gear doesn't make cycling not doable, but I'd sure be more comfortable.  You can ride a bike without a helmet, too; but it's much safer (and smarter) to ride with a helmet.  Yep, I learned the helmet lesson the hard way -- literally.  Asphalt doesn't give.

My legs didn't get warm until after lunch, but it was definitely more of a recovery ride after yesterday's grueling ride from Carmel to San Simeon.  I'm still basking in the glory of my accomplishment.  I am set on riding every mile of this ride.  God willing.

We had a great dinner and I can't remember who hosted it, but the city of Pismo had the red carpet out for the Ride 2 Recovery.  There was a very touching moment when John Wordin asked two Vietnam veterans to come forward and they presented them with the Ride 2 Recovery coin -- I think.  I'm having a brain burp.  Both men lost limbs in Vietnam and we gave them the standing ovation they deserved.  You could see that they were a bit uncomfortable getting this type of attention, but it was so richly deserved.  These guys are real role models for our wounded warriors.  I was fighting back the tears because it was so emotional for me.  It's rare that I feel true emotion other than anger since my brain injury, but this was a very, very special moment on this ride.

I was told at breakfast that someone had blogged about me on a R2R Facebook page so I got my computer out and read it.  That was another almost brought to tears moment.  I realized the blog is being written by Jason, the gentleman (US Army Signal Corps officer) who basically rode with Camille and I to the end of the route on yesterday's challenging ride from Carmel via Highway 1 and Big Sur to San Simeon.  Camille is a very nice young female soldier that I had the pleasure to get to know some while riding to the finish line.  OK, it's not a race, but ya' know what I mean.  It touched me deeply when I read:  "I'd take a bike ride with Debbie Palmer over Maria Menounos any day of the week."  Maria Menounos is a young, very pretty and petite NBC reporter.  That was quite a compliment.

Off to Solvang tomorrow on Day 5 of this amazing ride.

Until next time.  I'm still TREKkin' with some pretty awesome and special people.


AKA Deborah Palmer

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