“You okay?” I asked.
“No, I’m not. I hate this,” she replied with tears in her eyes, as she kicked her wheel into the ditch.
Today was supposed to be an easy day. Today was supposed to be downhill and little milage. Today, we were supposed to get to the Dayville Presbyterian Church early. Instead, we were changing our third flat tire of the day.
I know, I know. This is what bike touring is all about. This is “what makes us stronger”. These are the hard days that make it all worth is. It also sucks. It turns a rest day into a long drawn-out pain-in-the-butt-day.
I hadn’t patched tubes in days. And the two extra tubes that we had left were already on my bike and hers, put there at 6 a.m. and 15 minutes before. And so we sat down on the hot, windy road and started patching.
A truck, going to opposite direction pulled up. “You girls need help?”
“We’re going the other direction,” we said in unison, both trying to paste a fake smile on our exasperated faces.
“Well, that’s okay girls.” And in a haze of motion we were in his truck.
No, I don’t feel bad about hitch-hiking the last few miles to Dayville.
Later that night, after we had put up with the weird guy who was also staying in the church, Melissa started to pump up the third tube of the day. I could hear the air flowing in and out of the hand pump and then suddenly, the loudest popping sound I have ever heard. I ran in the other room and saw Melissa standing with her back to the bike, her hands over her ears. And there was our fourth flat of the day. And this time, all we could do was laugh.
This stain glass window was given to the Dayville Presbyterian Church by a cyclist. Their doors are never locked; open for anyone passing by.