Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Day 19 Kirksville,MO to Quincy,Ill 97 miles @ 17.4 mph

Another beautiful day! Clear skies and lows in the 60’s…warming to 88 as we rolled into Quincy,Ill. The first 65 miles of today’s ride from Kirksville,MO to the Mississippi River were still pretty hilly. All of us were a bit sore from yesterday’s hill-fest! Today’s were just long and high enough that you couldn’t roll over the top with the speed from the previous descent. Beautiful country roads dotted with horse, cattle and dairy farms. All but a few immaculately maintained (unlike the West!). We treated today’s 97 miles as recovery ride to yesterday’s 145 miler! The non-stop hills still made it tough! It was really cool to see the Mississippi River for the first time. We crossed it on a small ferry...with 15 of us along with a semi loaded with nitrogen and a family out on a fishing excursion. Another state behind us! Once we crossed the Mississippi, the terrain turned dead flat! I mean f.l.a.t….flat! We rolled along the base of a ridge about a mile or so to the east of the river. Nothing but farmland as far as you could see.

Quincy, Ill. is a really nice little town with some very impressive mansions and beautiful tree-lined streets. We stopped at the legendary “Maid-Rite” for a milkshake and a “Maid-Rite” signature burger…really more of a sloppy joe without the sauce. The waitress said they’ve been made the same way since 1924. People come from miles away to eat here. At 3P it was packed!!! We opened the front door and walked in…4 guys in cycling clothes…hot, sweaty and hungry. The entire place went hush and everyone turned in mid-bite to look. Right on queue, Rob announces: “we’re here!!”. Everyone goes back to their “Maid-Rites”…all is good! I always try to engage the locals. They are always curious about where we are going and where we came from. I love the look on their faces when they hear we left LA 19 days ago. Most are simply amazed…they’ve never heard of such a thing! “Why would you ride your bike across the country? Heck, I wouldn’t even drive my car across the country!” One old guy said to me. All offer words of encouragement…even if they don’t “get it”! At today’s first SAG I met a guy named Jim Fast. Ironic name as Jim doesn’t appear to move from the front porch of the local service station much! Great guy who loves to come out and cheer on long-distance cyclists! Meeting a guy like him can really make your day!

I rode alone a good bit today. I find that when I do that I take more photos. When I got to the hotel tonight I discovered my mac battery was dead…even worse it was not charging.
I rode 5 miles back into town to the local mac dealer and got only bad news. The power port has come dislodged form the motherboard…NOT a good thing!

Me and my man, Jim Fast!

The beauty of Eastern Missouri...I loved this section of the ride...even with the hills!

They just kept coming...

Ken and Judd on either hill 19 or 20...I lost count early on!

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