We have been on the road for 2 weeks now. New York seems like a distant memory. Passed through St.Louis this morning, it’s home to the Gateway Arch, apparently the largest free standing arch in the world. Was great to be there early in the morning, the streets were empty. I loved the look and feel of St. Louis, much more than I have some of the other cities we have passed. It was clean and had a great vibrancy about it. After St. Louis we stuck to the historic Route 66 as much as we could. Helen was navigating this morning and thought it would be good to forget which her left and right was, first thing, wrong turn up a huge climb. I’m glad it was first thing and not last thing. Once we found the right road it was great riding, the magic sponge doing its job and the miles flew by. Anyone who loves cycling would have enjoyed the ride this morning, smooth tarmac, no traffic and almost no hills. The historic route runs parallel with the interstate which sometimes ruins the serenity of the ride. Big rolling wagons thundering along the road at one side with fields and forests at the other. Today was the first time we saw how much the interstate has devastated the local towns and businesses, so many houses left derelict and so many business with “closed down” signs on them Interspersed between the closed down shops and abandoned houses are the real gems of America. The worlds largest rocking chair, the town of bourbon and the town of Cuba. Cuba was brilliant, I didn’t see one chain store just all family stores and local business. The bike was ok today. Mechanically it’s not going great, much like my body it’s creaking a bit with the constant pounding of the road. My bike is called Talula much to the amusement of the team. It’s the same name given to the Jamaican Bobsleigh teams bobsleigh in Cool Runnings. Like their bobsleigh, it’s nothing too fancy, it was bought off eBay 5 years ago but I trust that she will do the job. This post comes to you from a truck park. I can hear the traffic from the interstate, it’s not glamorous, far from it in fact but to me it’s perfect. It’s everything adventure should be.
Map of St. Louis Photo Gallery
I’m sure today will be one of those days where I look back in the days, weeks, months and years to come and think to myself “that was really stupid”. Today was a 100k day or 62.5 miles (ish) Everything hurts. I have managed to get back 12.5 miles of the 50 miles we were behind. It was some of the toughest running I have ever done.
We got away to a great start. Having spent the night at a truck stop in Doolittle where due to the heat I got about 4.5 seconds of sleep. Today was the day where going down hill gets worse than going up. Going up effects my heart and lungs, makes me work a bit harder, I can cope with that. Going downhill feels like someone is ramming red hot pokers through my knees and up into my quads. I broke the day into 4 sections, trying to do 25k at a time. It worked, to a point. Over the trip so far I have lost 1 stone in weight. Today, I lost 11lb in one day. Just the third 25k cost me 5lb in weight. The team were panicking so much they were googling whether it’s healthy to sweat so much. I am staying hydrated but I almost can’t keep up with the amount that’s coming out. Although horrible I am happy with the day. There were some great sites. One place called Uranus. They have a fudge company. Fudge made in Uranus. All of the shops and business were funny uses of the word Uranus. The best was the sign as you left which said “Thanks for picking Uranus”. As I ran this morning I hear a scream from Helen as she screams look at the sign Sam The sign read “Tan your fanny”, brilliant. Without the team today I can safely say I wouldn’t have made the 100k. I got back on the RV and was shaking, dizzy and was on the edge of passing out. Kerry literally had to feed me. Stuffing tablets in my throats and pouring water in my mouth and an ice pack on my head. I could tell I was suffering when even my watch felt heavy on my wrist.
We passed a town this morning called Devils Elbow. I’ll never forget that climb. It went on forever. Tonight we are staying just outside Springfield. This is the second Springfield we have stopped in. This may well be my last post. The RV site we are at I’m pretty sure could be the setting for any scary movie ever! I was amazed when I went for a shower that 1. I came out alive and 2. I don’t appear to have contracted any diseases, but it’s $25 dollars a night and they have running water. We can’t complain.
Tomorrow I’m on the bike again, heading out early to Joplin. What today has done to my body won’t really be seen or felt till tomorrow. There was a tornado in Tulsa, Oklahoma today.