Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 21

Thursday, July 28

Miles today: 82

Ok, so tomorrow we will really take a half day. We did sleep in today but after looking at the map, we realized that we wanted to stay in Farmington because we heard of an awesome hostel to stay in there. If we took a relaxing 40 mile day, then we would either have to take another short day the next day or not stay in Farmington, so we decided to go for it. We went to Panera for breakfast and came across a group of other cyclists who were doing an assisted trip from Oregon to Florida. (Assisted means that they have a van to carry all of their luggage/gear and they stay in hotels every night.) There were 20 of them total but only 5 at the Panera. They don't travel together during the day but always meet up at their hotel for "social hour" with cocktails and appetizers... how luxurious! One of the men that we were talking to is 80 years old (but looked under 65- maybe cycling is the anti-aging secret?) and one couple was riding on a tandem bike!

Our ride was really great for the first 40 miles because it was incredibly flat and the wind was giving us a slight push. We were cruising at 16-18 mph, which is unheard of for us! We usually average 11-12 mph on a good day. We went about 30 miles with no services, so we were relieved to come into the town of Chester to cool off and refuel on Gatorade and subway sandwiches. Chester is the hometown of the creator of Popeye, and the town seems dedicated to letting people know it. There was a Popeye museum, statues, parks, murals, stores, and much more all celebrating Popeye and his family. They even had one of those boards that you put your face in the hole on Popeye's body

One of the many tributes to Popeye- a mural on the side of a building
After a short break in Chester, we rode over the Mississippi River into our 4th state, Missouri! Illinois, we hardly knew thee...

It was flat but extremely windy (in the wrong direction) for a few miles, but then we turned and hit some hilly sections. This might be an introduction into the Ozark Mountains- I think we get into them tomorrow. We rode into Farmington and found Al's Place, an old jailhouse that has been converted into a bike hostel. This place is gorgeous! We walked in and the A.C. was on (even though nobody is here, or will be here- it is an honor system for staying here) and we were amazed at what we saw! Kitchen, living room, tv, computer, beds, clean sheets, towels, washer/dryer... its just incredible! My first order of business is to go buy some coffee so I can make iced coffee for the morning! Ben and I did get an iced coffee fix this morning at a Starbucks, but I still want more! We are going to sleep like babies tonight, I'm sure and then tomorrow we are headed to the bike shop across the street to get Ben's back wheel straightened out. He's been having problems since early in the trip after his bad fall. Its annoying because he just bought a brand new wheel before we left! But, it shouldn't be too hard to fix and then we will do a short day tomorrow. Now, off to find some ice cream...

Today marks the end of week #3 but I'm too lazy to go look on my speedometer for the totals. I think we are at around 1,100 total and 470 for the week (or something close to that). We are finally above our desired average of 420 miles per week! Flat terrain really does wonders for us. We also have sent home abut 3-5 lbs of stuff each, and I think that has made a difference for us.


  1. I think you should dub your trip "The Quest for Ice Coffee". It seems to be as elusive as the Holy Grail. A Popeye museum was something I never thought would have existed, but I'm glad you went. This must be what is meant by a cultural education. Congratulations on the great week of pedaling!

  2. There should be a museum dedicated to me.