Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This was a day of extremes.  The weather forecast indicated I would have headwinds again but they were supposed to be just 5 - 6 mph.  With that in mind I optimistically set out from Dallas City.

However, before Cathy ferried me to Dallas City we met four people from Montreal who are also riding the MRT and heading for New Orleans.  They take turns driving.  The other three ride and they switch every hour and a half.
From left to right it is Ghislain, Michelle, Jean and Marcel.  They expect to be in New Orleans in another 2 1/2 weeks.  They will also be staying in Hannibal tonight but, while we are taking a day off, they will be on the road again tomorrow.  I thought I might see them on the road today but they got a much earlier start than I did.

I started out riding through farmland until the road joined the river in Nauvoo.  The next 15 miles were beautiful.  The road followed the river closely and I was largely protected from the wind.  Gentle rollers made the ride interesting. 

I think this is one of the largest patches of lily pads I have ever seen.

I think this shows how much higher the river can be.  Most of the pads are on stems 6" or more above the water.

A few miles farther in Warsaw Cathy met me for a picnic lunch.  While I never saw the rider, it appeared another cyclist was camping overnight here.

Unfortunately, this was pretty much the end of nice scenery and mild winds.  Within a few miles of leaving this site, I was on long, straight roads through farmland and was subject to 3 H's--heat, humidity and high winds.  The gentle headwind of 5-6 mph was now nearly a constant 12-15 with gusts of 20.  It was coming out of the SE and the only time it wasn't more hindrance than help was when I went due west.  The road seemed to go on forever.
I'm not sure if I took this next picture because I thought it was fun or if I was just looking for an excuse to get off my bike in the 90+ degree weather with a hot wind in my face.
You gotta love this windmill that has probably not been working for a while.
I'm ready for a day off.  I have been riding six days for 429 miles and the last four have all been mostly against the wind.  Tomorrow we are going to explore Mark Twain's home town.
Today's data (my power meter which also measures cadence stopped working - I swear I put a new battery in yesterday. Don't believe the maximum power.  That was probably the death throes of the meter):


  1. KS and JR were reading in class today and commented they liked the windmill picture the best. FR and ES are wondering on a scale of one to ten, how fun is this ride so far?

  2. FR and ES--Considering how hard have been the last few days with heat, humidity and headwinds, I cannot give it a 10. However, overall I am really glad I am doing this and would rate it about an 8. I'm truly enjoying seeing parts of our country I have never seen before. When the ride is over, I will have ridden in 10 states and one Canadian province (I started just across the border in Fort Francis, Ontario.) Eight of the states I have never been in before.

    We'll see what the next few days bring.