As the locals kept telling me, “It’s really hot!” I just smile and say “I’m from Texas,” and they just nod. It was 100 in the shade in Ovando, but since it was so dry, it felt great to me.
Just a warning: this post will be all over the map. Just how my mindset is today.
I haven’t been able to set my mind free yet – not completely. I still keep thinking of things in terms of “the race,” but then, I catch myself and remind myself I’m not racing.
Have you ever watched pro athletes play and find yourself actually believing you could probably play with them at their level? I mean, it looks easy on TV, right?
I’m guilty. I’ve closely followed racers I look up to – people like JayP, Josh Kato, or Mike Hall – and thought “I could do that, too.” If I tried to play ball with Michael Jordan, I would have been destroyed! To all those guys, you have my respect! I can’t begin to compare myself to you.
Likewise, it’s not fair to me to continue to beat myself up because I don’t measure up to those guys. My contest is with myself, and I’m doing pretty good. Three years ago, I had a 99.1% blockage in one of my arteries! After 2 stents, I’ve attempted the world’s toughest mountain bike race 3 times!
I’ve ridden 6 days, and I’ve ridden 3 centuries – one every other day. And I ain’t riding a dainty skinny-tired road bike either! I’m doing alright, alright, alright.
Also, I realized today that I haven’t been limited by my body. Each day I’ve stopped when my mind said to – my body was still giving me the green light.
My friend, Dex (an ultra-athlete and solo RAAM finisher #383) once told me something like this:
Draw a circle. Inside the circle is everything your brain thinks you can do. Outside the circle are things your body can do. Pick a point outside the circle and go there; that’s where you find greatness.
I’ve also heard your brain always seeks comfort, so when your body starts to hurt, your brain tells you to stop. You can do more than your brain thinks you can.
Told you I’d be all over the map.
It was very hot, and I was climbing a big hill when a song I was listening to gave me chill bumps. What an excellent song! Look it up: Gringo Honeymoon by Robert Earl Keen. http://youtu.be/CP5AluEcsmQ
Had lunch at Seely Lake and made it to Ovando for ice cream. Ovando is a legendary Tour Divide watering hole. The residents roll out the red carpet for cyclists.
One of the overnight accommodations:
So, all the food places were closed, so I dined ala gas station:
So, tomorrow’s goal is about 70 miles to Helena; Butte on Friday.
Adios from the rough little town of Lincoln, Montana.