Today was our eighth day in a row of riding. Since our motel did not offer a continental breakfast, they suggested Subway for our morning meal. Believe it or not, as much as we love Subway, we had never eaten breakfast there. It was delicious! The coffee was better than Starbucks! Two of our three meals today were eaten at Subway—we never seem to tire of their cuisine on our tours.
As we headed out of Silver Spring, the road was under construction, the traffic was heavy, and the honks from the car horns increased. Today we got our first shout from an angry driver, telling us to “get out of the road.” That was not heard in the west on our previous tour, or in the south of this tour. We are officially in the rushed northeast—or at least about to cross the Mason-Dixon line, where the roads are narrow and the cars and their drivers are in a hurry!
Once we arrived in the more rural parts of Maryland, we relaxed a little and enjoyed the beautiful pastures and rolling hills—until we realized we had to go up and down those rolling hills. Tim and I were talking about our preferred terrain on the roads. Our preferences reflect our personalities somewhat. Tim prefers the flat and steady roads of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and the Midwest. I like lots of ups and downs. I like not being able to see around the next corner where he prefers the wide open spaces—where you can see forever. I love climbing up a hill and getting all hot and sweaty, anticipating a rushing downhill on the other side of the hard work. I don’t often use my brakes on the downhill, where Tim is more cautious. I still have my original brake pads on my bike after riding over 5,500 miles. Tim has almost burned through two sets of brake pads, although admittedly he carries a heavier load and needs to use them more.
Just like the roads we ride on, we, too, are different. The ups and downs provide excitement, improve our strength, and force us to be flexible in our thinking and being. The flat and steady roads allow us to relax and regroup, to look around and enjoy the ride, and to be more efficient. As we have mentioned before, this bike trip is a reflection of life in many ways. God puts people together who have different strengths and gifts. Just like the variety we see in the terrain throughout the country, we each have a variety of personality traits, temperaments, and perspectives. It is fun to discover more about each other as we ride together and live together in very close quarters, being together 24/7. I keep reminding myself that we are still newly wed compared to most married couples our age! I am grateful I have a strong and steady partner to ride through life with. Our upcoming book, Two Are Better, shares more in-depth about these love and spiritual concepts.
As we neared the end of the day, we stopped one more time for a cold drink at 7-11. As I walked outside, Tim was surrounded by three young teenaged boys. Since we were too tired to think, we asked them to ask us any questions they had about bike touring. The question that seemed appropriate for the end of the day was, “Do you take showers?” Hmmm….I think they were trying to tell us something!