Saturday August 1
Into the third months and yet it only seems like it’s been about 60 days! Actually this adventure is starting to drag on a bit. I would be happy if it was just a bit shorter but not much I can do about it. We woke up in our house in Ash Grove Missouri amid the sounds of other cyclists trying to get an early start. Lewis’ girlfriends departed just before 8:00 and hope to do 100 miles today. I don’t think they’ll do it in Missouri, but I also don’t think we’ll see them again as their trip has to end a couple weeks before ours will. So they’ll be pushing for more and more miles while we are content to ride as many miles as we can comfortably do.
Today we started our own riding at a quarter of 9:00 in a steady but light rain. The first place we rode to was the city hall to drop off the key to the Barnum House. As we rode by the library we noticed that it was already open so we headed in. The blog was finally updated but I was unable to upload the video of yodeling Katy. We waited around for over half an hour and it just kept saying “busy”. In the meantime, the rain stopped. The librarian did a search and found the forecast which indicated that the remainder of the day would be dry and still mild for Missouri (middle 80’s).
By the time we finally left the library it was nearly 11:00. But that’s OK. We set our sights on the town of Marshfield Missouri, a modest ride of almost 50 miles. Immediately the hills were waiting for us. By taking them one at a time we managed to complete our ride today, but there would be no possible way that we’d ever ride 100 miles of these hills. Lewis suffered a couple of minor injuries today that we blame on the hills. The strategy for conquering the hills involves speeding down as fast as possible on the descents and then pedaling like crazy on the next uphill until all the momentum is lost. At this point you either put the bike into the lowest gear and use grunt force to get to the top or else get off and walk. Lewis and I walked a half dozen times today. On a couple of the hills that we chose to ride up, he got his footwear tangled in the chain ring and ended up getting bruised about the ankles. I don’t know how he manages to do this as I can’t see his feet. I have to keep reminding him to concentrate on keeping his feet straight on the pedals and not to goof off quite so much. That doesn’t make him feel any better though as we could tell that he was in pain after both incidents. The second time, was the worst of the two and this one occurred without his mother knowing about it. We immediately got off the bike and I checked him over to insure that no bones were broken but he was hobbling for a while. The remainder of that hill was walked and then just a bit further. At this point he was no longer crying but he seriously wanted to to catch up to his mother. When we finally were able to pull along side Donna, he began crying all over again. For a little while there he was tough. Once we caught back up to Donna though it wasn’t hard to see he is still after all a little boy who needs the comfort of his mother.
We stopped at every opportunity today to rest and take in fluids. This made the 50 miles seem just a bit longer than necessary but it helped getting off the bike as often as we did. We pulled into Marshfield at about 4:30 and immediately came across the Walmart where we stocked up on fruit and snacks to last a couple days. In addition we purchased another transformer that we are hoping to use as a carrot to get Lewis to do his journal without resorting to physical violence or threats or intimidation. We’ll see how this goes. He has to cooperate for a full week before he gets to put his hands on this one.
From Walmart, we got directions to find the community pool and headed there directly. Unfortunately the pool was closed today, but a private party was taking place and we were allowed to use the showers at no charge. So that was nice. For dinner, we joined the locals at a fundraiser for the Senior Class. For $7, a dinner of either fried fish or fried chicken was provided. We ate pretty well, and then as we were leaving, I bought a helping of the fish only to take back to the park for later. Since the dinner was over and there was plenty of fish remaining, the take-out fish that I purchased for $4 was easily triple the amount of fish that came with my dinner. Donna and I had a hard time finishing it all off, but being genuine touring cyclists, we met the challenge head on and we won!
Donna and Lewis are already in the tent, probably sleeping. I’ll be doing the same. Tomorrow promises to be just a bit warmer than today and we have plans of riding just a bit further. Possibly as far as 70 miles but we’ll wait and see how the day goes. If we get that far, we will be officially over half way through Missouri! Yes. And Good Night!