Hey seasoned bike tourists-
I am 26 and today returned from my first trip (solo). I live in St. Paul, MN and my route was planned to go from St. Cloud > Brainerd > Itasca > Bemidji > Chippewa Forest > Iron Range > Ely, and was just about 400 miles. I've been a road cyclist for a long time and am in reasonably good early-season shape. Unfortunately, my trip ended at 250 miles in Bemidji. I had some pretty good rain the first 3 days (actually heard on the radio that the radio that the year-long Northern Minnesota drought is officially over - you're welcome!), as well as some strong headwinds. I was rolling at about 10 mph most of the time, which was frustrating. I got some seriously sore knees and major muscle fatigue on day 4. I did have a rest day scheduled on day 3 but had to ride through it because weather shortened the day before. By day 5, I had gotten a cold from somewhere. The weather was scheduled to turn bad again and when I talked to Boyfriend on the phone, he said he could come get me today but otherwise he'd be out of town. So, I jumped on the opportunity and quit. I've never been a quitter before and I am agonizing over whether or not this was a smart move or the lazy girl's way out. So I guess my real question is how to approach my next tour so it goes better. I thought I had planned the crap out of this trip and thought I was in the shape to handle it, mentally and physically, but apparently not. Is this normal? Should I have pushed through it? Should I tell all my friends it was supposed to be a 250 mile trip so they don't judge me? Should I bring a nurse and a cheerleader along next time?
Thanks for the input, everyone