Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 19, The heart of Missouri

Day 19, Summersville, MO – Fair Grove, MO 101 miles (1508 total)

Time on bike: 09:42:02

Avg: 10.7 mph

Daily Ascent: 7081 ft (70 ft/mile)

Max: 41 mph

Pat and I began the day early to make up for our lost time due to rain the day before. We began at 6 and by 6:30 we met Steve heading East Bound and stopped to talk. Steve was from Oregon. We chatted with Steve for a while, discussing the terrain and other cyclists we had seen along the way. Then we pressed on through the towns of Houston and Hartville. There’s not much between towns here so it’s important to stop at each and “re-fuel”. I saw an armadillo (road kill) just outside of Houston. That was weird. Pat gets chocolate milk at EVERY stop we make! He swears by the stuff. It was a good day for cycling, weather wise. Cooler from the rain the day before, and sunny. But it was also windy and we did our fair share of climbing. The hills of south/central Missouri are rolling and not very steep, but they are long. You find that you’ve climbed a lot more than you expected by the end of the day. I’ve also discovered that the store that I’ve seen the most along the whole route has been Dollar General. So many of these small towns have one. More than any other store. Sub-way might be second.

We met Rudy just as we were about to finish for the day. He was a Floridan who had done the route 2 years ago but had skipped over Missouri and wanted to finish it, so here he was. Generally cyclists stop and talk to each other, but not always. You find that some cyclists, if they’re flying down hill especially, don’t want to give up their downhill momentum, so they apologize and keep going. That’s understandable.

Pat and I got our ‘hundred’ in, which was what we wanted. We’re camped out in town along the highway near a mill in a city park. I asked a volunteer fireman and this was where he recommended.

The sun is setting and I’m tired. I’m ready for bed. It’s 6 days until July 4 so I’m hearing fireworks around me. I hope they subside soon. We should be into Kansas by Tuesday morning. I’m looking forward to reaching my 5th state.

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