Thursday, June 5, 2008

June 5 Topeka, KS to St. Joseph, MO: 85 miles

What a day! We started out with 11 turns in the first 12 miles, which was kind of fun. After dreading the continuing high winds, we found out that we had a quartering tailwind most of the day--very nice! The hills in Kansas were OK today, that is, not too high and not too steep. Of course everything is easier with a tailwind... pulled into the first sag (32 miles) at 9:30. Not too bad for leaving around 7:15 and stopping once for a comfort stop!

We crossed the scary bridge into Missouri around 11:00, this after riding almost 60 miles. Stopped at the welcome sign for photos. I would have liked to take a photo of the bridge over the Missouri river but traffic was pretty thick right there and it was not safe to stop and snap. I only stayed 15 minutes at the second sag (61 miles), not knowing what would be ahead of us...

The wonderful tailwind followed us for about 15 miles on MO State Rd. 59. The terrain was different as soon as we crossed the state line. Funny how that works! I could see a ridge of hills, but we did not encounter them right away. Pulled into St. Joseph and all of a sudden things changed... There were hills! And traffic! And at mile 77.6 a left turn onto SW Parkway, a beautiful road with monstrous hills. Granny gear, repeatedly. Not fun at the end of the day. On the plus side, there was little traffic and it was very scenic. But the hills were brutal. And they continued even after we turned off Parkway on to the city streets. I was really glad to get to the hotel, and surprised to find it was only 1:23 PM.

The charts say we climbed 3,500 feet today. I expect half of it was in the last 7 miles... a low cloud cover kept the temperature under 90 for a change! A few raindrops found me in the last 5 miles...

The phone works fine today, and Mary Ann found my watch lying on the road on her way in last night. It is broken such that I can't put a band on it, but it still tells time, so it has become a pocket watch. That'll keep me from being a clock watcher!

I'm glad to be out of Kansas--that was a long haul. I hear MO is very hilly, steep and continuous. Onward and upward. We dodged all the thunderstorms and tornadoes while we were in KS. A very good thing, since storms were predicted almost every day we were there! For me, Kansas was fields and farms, horses and cattle, rolling hills, green grass, water in the rivers and creeks, a return of trees to the landscape. I have more photos of Kansas but did not bring the camera down to the lobby. If I get back on the computer later I will post them later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just want you to know that I went for an 18.5 ml ride yesterday, hills and headwind and charliehorses. I wanted to sag in (call the hubby to pick me up), but I kept thinking about you and how much harder you had it, so I sucked it up and finished in 1:12.35 (3.91 That duathlon is approaching, must be prepared. You are such and inspiration, keep up the great work.