June 8: Oxford Junction to Dyersville, Iowa - The Great North American Sticky Bun Hunt - CycleBlaze

June 8: Oxford Junction to Dyersville, Iowa

Oxford Junction's town hall: hot air inside, gas outside.
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OH HAPPY ARE THE CHINESE that they have never heard of Dyersville. We have been riding, all of today, the Y136. It is a disgrace to the state of Iowa and a blot on the Adventure Cycling Association for recommending it.

The road is concrete slabs with a fine tar coating. That is already unforgiving. The slabs are three metres long and each is separated from the next by an expansion joint. The joint is lower than the surrounding road and the slabs are only sometimes at precisely the same height. To move from one slab to the next is to endure a ker-THUMP bodyslam, one every three seconds. All day.

The USA has wonderful libraries, each one a happy place to be. And using them is encouraged by this street sign, which we saw everywhere.
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Many of the slabs have also split or cracked. Steph counted a bump every two metres, using her odometer. That is 500 thumps every kilometre. We were on that road for 70 kilometres today. So we endured 35,000 jolts. That is more than a human should bear. We found it deeply miserable.

What made us all the unhappier was that from Cascade, in late morning, we were due to leave this wretched road and use a longer, quieter and, we hoped, smoother one. But a man in a blue shirt said he had ridden his bike that way yesterday "and you can't get through because several bridges are out."

It also rained all day, but of that we have no complaints. Some days it rains, even on the righteous, and others it doesn't. It was also hilly today, but again we have no complaint. In the moments we could take our eyes off the bumps we could gaze through the mist and see a verdant and rolling landscape that would have been a delight to gaze at properly. It was dotted with the red Dutch barns we have seen for much of our journey, each topped with a white, belfry-like construction. It had woods,

I've grown used to them now but the first time I saw an American letter box I mistook it for a rubbish bin.
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hillsides, valleys and streams. And we'd have enjoyed them all had we been able to look. But you can see only so much when your eyes are shaken to ribbons and you can appreciate only so much when your backside, arms and necks have been hit by a steamroller.

I should also mention the wind. It blew so hard that even the birds were walking. But it blew behind us. It blew with hefty back-pats up hills and then back down them. Of such things may no man complain.

Er... wrong Indians.
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NOVELTY OF THE DAY: There is an imposing basilica in Dyersville, a large Roman Catholic church. It has stained windows. One of them portrays missionaries preaching to the Indians. Sadly, folk realised too late that the artist had misunderstood: it should have been Indians from India and not Red Indians in feathers.


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