I realize it wasn't a race, but still, I can't help but feel proud of myself for completing the route at all, much less doing it in a faster time than I expected. I pushed myself the entire way, and because of the early start time (I was pedaling by 6:35am), I was able to avoid a lot of the crowds and had many relatively open stretches. Although there were plenty of rest stops set up along the way (some of which really bottlenecked the bike traffic), I didn't stop at any, opting instead for quick breaks at 7:30 and 8:30 to stretch out a bit and drink some water. Conveniently, these breaks were right at the tops of the Ross Island and St. John bridges, so I got to take in some scenery as I relaxed and fueled up.
I also feel a different sense of pride, and gratitude, related to this. Yesterday I went for a warm-up ride in the late afternoon and blew my back tire on kind of a remote bike path north of town. Since I hadn't replaced my bike kit since my last bike was stolen a few years back, I had no way to repair it ... and, since I'd decided not to take my phone with me, I had no way to call anyone.
Fortunately, I live in a town where sometimes it seems like no one hesitates to help out someone in need. One guy out on the bike path let me use his phone to try and reach L, and offered to keep me company while I waited for her ... since I couldn't reach her, I opted instead to carry my bike (it's light) back toward her house. Before I'd walked a mile, another cyclist and THREE motorists stopped to offer assistance (patch kit, phone use, and/or a ride), and I accepted the final dude's offer because he was the only one driving a pickup.
He let me use his phone to call L again (still couldn't reach her), and gave me a bottle of water too. He wouldn't hear of anything less than dropping me off at her doorstep, even though L called his phone back to track where I was so that she could come to pick me up, and he politely refused my offer of some cash in compensation.
It was about 6:30, and I had the Bridge Pedal the next morning, with a start time of 6am, so I needed to get my flat fixed, like pronto. I knew there was a bike shop in St. Johns, so we headed there ... as luck would have it, they were open til 7, and agreed to fix me up.
So yeah, I'm pretty much beaming with love for my fellow man today, and flushed with a sense of accomplishment. On top of that, the sun is shining brightly, it's a beautiful late summer day, and my Sunday's only started.
But I'm beat. I think a quick nap is in order. :)