Today I understand why Missouri and misery sound so similar, and the Ozarks are all to blame. They are steep little boogers that take every ounce of energy out of you to get up. Going up certain hills feels like you have 1,000 pounds strapped on the back of your bike. The jury is still out on whether they are better/worse than the Appalachians. I’m not too proud to say that tears were shed transversing the mountains. During mid crying episode, a few racers passed by and it took all I had to get my act together to say, “good job!”. They probably looked at my teary snotty face and thought I was crazy, but I’m hoping they found it at motivation, because at least they were having a better day than me!
The day started with cold rain (yes, for once this trip we were actually cold, and it was amazing). The only bad thing about the rain was it made my pedals slippery and visibility was poor. Taking advantage of the downhills was also tricky because it was painful to go fast down, as the rain felt like tiny daggers. During one dry spell, I reached my top speed of 43.2 MPH. I didn’t even realize it until after the fact. The crazy thing is I was braking throughout the decent.
At the end of the ride, we went up a fire tower for a birds eye view of the Orzarks, as there are no scenic overlooks. I was severely disappointed when I made my way up, as the “mountains” looked flat and unimpressive. All of our hard work was not represented in the least! I hope the next 2 days have more representative views than today’s.
The cars and logging/coal trucks are still as rude as ever, but everyone was safe.
Sheena and I opted for a hotel tonight, and it is the greatest decision we have made yet on this trip. It’s not the fanciest room, but it does the trick. We have forgotten how amazing real pillows are!
Today was 60.5 miles, tomorrow is a similar day. Here’s to hoping the Ozarks will have more mercy on us!
Best news of the day: Addie is visiting out in Colorado!! 😄😄