A friend gave me “The Complete Book of Long Distance Cycling” by Edmund R. Burke Ph.D. and Ed Pavelka. Copywrite is 2000. It’s a bit dated but I’m reading it for the tidbits I can glean.
Chapter four discusses loaded touring. Although my ride this summer was supported, one paragraph still applies: Be mentally prepared. “You must be prepared to face difficult times and work through them. You must convince yourself that things will improve as you continue, because they will.”
I had to stop there, get on my blog, and share these thoughts. Although I did have a couple difficult times where I took SAG to finish the day’s ride, my biggest challenge was my roommate. Very early in the ride, I realized she was an extremely negative person. My way of “working through them” was to shower at the end of my ride and then leave the motel room. That did help, but it didn’t solve the problem.
I never did figure out how to improve the situation. However, on our rest day in Niagara, we spent the day together being tourists. She told me some of her life story which helped me understand why she is the person she is.
Even with that understanding, it did not make our time together more pleasant for me. Another rider asked me, on the last day of the event, “How could you deal with all the negativity? Why didn’t you ask for another roommate?”. My response, “If I had asked to trade with someone else, who else could I wish her on?”