And so reads my journal entry for my second day of riding alone. Things didn´t go well. The following day i woke to more rain, but had talked myself positive throughout the night and was ready to ride. I had to do this.
Piecing my maps together by torchlight, hovering over them in my little red tent, marking the canals and tracing the flatter tracks. Water level? Good. Traintracks? Great. Anything to avoid those tiny french villages set atop mountains with only up up up as the way through.
The Morning started well, I let the drops of moisture glide off my cheeks, a nice substitute for my earlier tears. I found the canals easy enough… only no bike paths. Not even a footpath. Nothing but grass and forest right to the edge.
I dont remember which hill it was, the steep one or the really really steep one, but at some point that day, the fight was over. The 50th km was too much. I couldn´t do this anymore. Life was supposed to be fun. Challenges are important, but so is emotional health and this was killing me.
It took a long while to shake the sense of failure, but a call to Mandy, a woman with always the right words, made me realise I was doing this for me, only me, and should follow the flow of life.