Or part of it anyways.
The original plan was to go from Grand Prairie to Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose on day one, go to Dublin and back on day 2 and then back home.
I got a late start on day one, knowing I had some miles to cover, and then got caught out by rain that I was trying to beat and ended up hanging out in some apartment complex until it passed. So now it was like noon and I have 70 plus miles to go.
So leading up to this, I've been commuting 14 miles a day and have done longer rides anywhere from 25-35 miles with not much difference in the overall feel. However, I had not, as of yet, ever ridden further than 50 miles in one shot and that was years ago.
Basically, what I'm hinting at is that this trip was 100% awful. The route sucked, I had to ride a cratered shoulder of 67 for a good bit of it, even with the CR and FM detours, I experienced some extreme chaffing, my right knee is still in immense pain, what I have self diagnosed as Morton's Neuroma in my left foot now has parts of my left foot numb indefinitely (going on 16 hours since I got home and it's still numb), etc. etc.
I barely made it to camp, only forcing myself there by will and the promise of a shower, only to find out that there were indeed no showers. The forecast had predicted rain, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky, so I originally pitched my tent without the fly because that's the only way sleeping would be bearable. But loud campers at the nearby bathroom at random hours of the night as well as the threat of rain kept me from ever sleeping peacefully. Finally around 1:30 a.m. I decided to just put the fly on, hoping it would give me piece of mind. With the door of the fly still open, it was unbearably warm and I got barely any sleep at all. And yeah, it didn't rain.
I got up, made some breakfast, packed up and left on the bike. Thankfully, my body had not yet become pissed enough at me to start complaining and I didn't wake up sore all over. But riding was definitely a chore from the start and I had to do all 70 plus miles back on the same horrible route.
Without getting into a whole lot of other details, I got back home safe enough at about 5:30 p.m. and got a shower and immediately jumped in the bed. Lots of cramping got me out of bed and walking just to keep my muscles working.
Surprisingly, none of my muscles ache whatsoever, it's just the numb foot and the sore knee that are bothering me.
So what did I learn?
Mainly, I think my trip was too destination oriented and not at all route oriented. I was so determined to make camp at one spot that I put myself in a lot of road conditions that I wouldn't touch otherwise. I think this was my primary mistake. Flexibility in my route and in my camping options would have solved the next problem:
I just thought I was more physically prepared than I really was. I don't think the route (cratered shoulder) helped with my morton's neuroma (it can flare up due to excessive vibration), and my knee, well it's never been my best knee, but I guess when you're only 28, it's hard to accept that you have a bum anything. The rough roads probably didn't help my knee, either.
Overall though, the bike worked great and the gear worked great, and I'll definitely give this another go in the future, I just need to really rethink things and perhaps go with someone more experienced.