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By this point my food and water are finished and I’m starting to fade fast. I’m not alone; after conferring, I learn we have a group-wide epidemic on our hands. Jeremy, our leader, encourages us to push on to the town of Big Indian and Route 28 where he’s certain we’ll find something. He’s right. On a corner is a family run deli-market, built into the bottom of a tall, old farmhouse. Inside, the grill is off and the owner is ready to lock up. As we duck walk, one by one, to the register with our fig newtons, chips, sodas and bars, she’s friendly but unwilling to budge on the issue of a hot grilled cheese sandwich. Outside, we make camp on two rickety, barely standing picnic tables leaning on the ground next to an oversized cooler. The pace is visibly showing on our faces and in Rorschach-shaped salt patterns on our jerseys. Conversation is good and steady but less animated than it has been. Pete happily and efficiently makes the field made-to-order sandwiches of cream cheese, bagels, jelly and peanut butter.
We spend the next fifteen miles on a major road. On which we’re passed frequently by speeding trucks and SUV’s driven by aggressive locals who think exercise is queer. The surface is riddled with holes and cracks and uneven pavement. It’s not challenging or fun just dangerous and ridiculous. In spite of this we’re organized nicely and drilling it downhill with a tail-wind. We’re averaging 28 mph through a mine field; shouting, pointing, hopping and just barely missing snowmobile-sized holes with sharp angular edges.
We come to this deli which doubles as a two-story house. I know I should be consuming as many calories as possible but my stomach was vehemently protesting against any more Cliff Bars, Hammer Gel, Endurolytes or even the PB&J lovingly-made by Peter. It’s days like this that you realize that the stomach, too, must be conditioned.
- Richard Bravo
Lunch is active and brief, just the way I like it. Some Gatorade and a Peanutbutter and jelly sandwich - my first ever. Then we’re rolling again and I feel great.
Why is there a small child starring out the window like from a scene in a horror movie?
The lady who owned the shop or the manager or whatever was very nice but extremely odd. Soaking wet she weighed no more than 98 pounds and her wrists were impossibly frail. I think she’s seen this lycra-clad circus pass through many times before, she knew the drill. Cokes and newtons, soaking wet dollars and a series of Ziploc bags. And grown men that walk funny.
– Daniel Pasley