Day 39, to Augusta, Mo.: Back in the saddle — and neither heat nor thunderstorms nor covid nor a flat tire stays this cyclist from the swift completion of his appointed tour - Chris Cross America - CycleBlaze

May 31, 2022

Day 39, to Augusta, Mo.: Back in the saddle — and neither heat nor thunderstorms nor covid nor a flat tire stays this cyclist from the swift completion of his appointed tour

The shaggiest version of me that has ever existed smiles at the camera from under his helmet, wearing his MWABA jersey and standing on the Katy Trail in front of a metal truss bridge.
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Tuesday stats

If you read yesterday's post, you know that I went to bed yesterday thinking I'd have to sit today out because of thunderstorms expected tonight, which meant that I didn't think it was safe to camp, but I also thought it would be inconsiderate of me to stay at a hotel or hostel around other people so soon after having covid. Well, this morning I think I found a good compromise: a cabin at a campground. More protection than camping, but still isolated from others.

Start: Rob and Jenn's place in St. Louis

End: Klondike County Park in Augusta, Mo.

The Daily Progress: 43.59. Round up and it's 44! That's "farty-far" in St. Louis speak. (Oof, I'm really reaching for my forced jokes these days, huh?)

The Ascension: 1,145 feet

Ice cream flavors: N/A. I went right pasta frozen custard shop today. If they offered curbside pickup I probably would not have resisted.

Lodging: $65

Food: $27

Flat tires: 1 more today, bringing the total to 2. Might be time to replace that rear tire. Crud. Shoulda done that while hanging out in St. Louis.

Tuesday ramblings: Feeling pretty smug

Today was hot. I started late (I really didn't think I was gonna ride today until around 8 a.m. and I still wanted to do a load of laundry). I'm pretty much done with my covid symptoms, but I still feel more tired than usual. The threat of thunderstorms and rain just will not stop. And I got a flat tire today. And faced a strong cross wind. If only I'd gotten chased by dogs and had to climb a huge hill, then I'd have had it all!

But none of it stopped me. In fact, the crappy weather forecast for tomorrow is a big reason I decided that I had to get some miles down today. Heck, I might end up taking a zero day tomorrow (Wednesday) depending on weather and how tired I feel. So I decided to suck it up today and get a day's worth of miles further down the road. 

It felt ... okay ... to ride. I don't know if I feel tired because I'm getting over covid or because of the heat, but either way, they don't play well together. Whatever the conditions tomorrow, I'm probably not going especially far. But I'm fine with rolling 20 miles and calling it a day if that's all it is. This is not a competition. If it is, I concede. I'm aiming for the participation trophy, thanks. I'm so slow that it's comical. Call me the yellow turtle. Really. Please. Someone call me something. I think the idea of trail names is fun, but I don't seem to be running into other cross-country cyclists frequently enough for trail names to appear. 

Google Maps suggested a surprisingly unpleasant route from Rob and Jenn's place to the Katy Trail. Too much riding along Olive Road or Olive Boulevard, which had a bike lane for maybe a half a mile and otherwise felt like a small highway. I should've asked Rob for suggestions. Usually the Google machine is really good, but human knowledge would've had the win here.

A couple of things I'd heard about the Katy Trail proved true: Rob mentioned that it was very shady and thank goodness for that! And the guys at the bike shop said it was extremely dusty because of the crushed limestone. In fact, I read somewhere that cyclists should clean and lube their chain every day when riding the trail because of all the dust. Everything got a solid coat of dust — the black rims of my wheels are now a light gray — but ... dang, lube the chain every day? Okay. Maybe.

Might be something to do while we wait out the rain expected in the morning. After deciding what to do about that tie.

Today's ride: 44 miles (71 km)
Total: 1,355 miles (2,181 km)

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Keith Adams"This is not a competition. If it is, I concede. I'm aiming for the participation trophy, thanks."

Amen! I may not even get that far, based on how my mini-tour this week went. But I'll wait a bit and see, before making the final decision. For now I'm home a couple days before I expected to be, licking my wounds and reconsidering whether the grand tour is really the right thing for me.
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