Before doing any research on this trip, I had never heard of the Ozarks. But today, we got very well acquainted with them. I heard mixed reviews of them from past riders, that they were harder than the Appalachians with others claiming they were easier. Today definitely felt like we were back in Virginia, but they weren’t nearly as bad.
We set out early due to threats of 100+ degree heat. It was a hilly ride, but like I said before, nothing too crazy. We took multiple rest breaks to manage the heat. One break was at Johnson’s Shut-In, a really cool “watering hole” that is kind of hard to explain. It had rocks in the river and was kind of out of this world. It was nice to soak in the cool water during the heat of the day. We even got in a quick little nap before embarking on the last 12 miles to Centerville, which were my favorite part of the ride, mainly because it’s my favorite time to ride (5:30pm). It was a bunch of rollers with some pretty steep hills thrown in there. Even though it was cooler than the rest of the day, we were still dripping in sweat within 5 minutes.
The worst part of MO, by far, are the drivers. We have been aggressively honked/revved/cursed at. There is no shoulder for us to ride on, so the cars will purposely pass extremely close to us even when there is room to cross over the center line. It is extremely stressful riding conditions, and I wish I could give the drivers a piece of my mind, but I promised my parents I wouldn’t. Because like they warned me before I set out, you never know what crazy may have a gun. Words of wisdom.
77 mile day, shorter day tomorrow with more climbs.