The Hermann Motel had a comfortable bed but little else. No worries. A couple of Advil PMs put me out for eight hours. I never even made it under the covers.
The motel’s continental breakfast was more like small-quano-island breakfast. I had two cups of coffee and two mini muffins. I took 2 bananas for the road.
Before hitting the road I had to deal with a soft front tire. From what I could tell, an old patch on the tube was failing. So I swapped out the tire for a new one. Changing tires in a motel room isn’t nearly the hassle as changing tires on a dusty trail.
I rode back to the trail over the muddy Missouri. The trail surface was noticeably worse that yesterday. There were signs of flooding from time to time. This created nasty washboard ruts that more than once tossed something off my bike. It was really annoying. So much so that I nearly left the trail for the adjacent two-lane highway. Until, that is, I noticed the 60 mph speed limit sign.
I passed a bakery on the way out of town. I figured, like yesterday, there’d be places to eat near the trail. I figured wrong.
I trudged along barely able to maintain 10 mph. My legs were worn out from yesterday’s overly long ride. Even a tailwind didn’t help much.
After about 20 miles I stopped to inhale a banana. It gave me a momentary lift. I was hoping to find food about 26 miles into the ride at the town of Mokane. Suffice it to say they need to change the name to Lesskane or Nokane because there was no food to be had.
I pressed on wary of eating more of my limited food supplies despite bonking pretty badly. The second banana was too much to resist however.
At a bike hostel in Tebbetts I saw a Coke machine. I didn’t have appropriate coins so I sat down and washed down an energy bar with water.
The snack raised my blood sugar and I found new life back on the trail. I was planning on riding to Hartsburg but the thought of not having food other than energy bars and peanut butter on tortillas for the next 12 hours put me off.
I decided to leave the trail and ride three miles to Jefferson City, the state capital. The route involved a crazy chicane to get up to the level of the highway over the Missouri River. I’ll try to remember to take a picture tomorrow.
Yesterday I saw horses, cows, and a dead possum on the trail. Today I saw a few squirrels, a chipmunk, a box turtle, and another dead possum. (I could tell they weren’t playing possum because they had guts sticking out of them. Then again, maybe they were method-actor possums. You never know.)
I limped into a Baymont Inn, a few blocks from the Capitol. The neighborhood is a mixture of worn out old brick homes, tire and battery shops, and highways. I was starving but, to my chagrin, there wasn’t much in the way of restaurants nearby. I walked to a pizza place and ordered a small pie and a small Caesar salad. I walked back to the hotel and promptly demolished it all. It is my intent to demolish the hotel’s breakfast bar before leaving. I’m on a mission from God.
I’m about 13 miles behind schedule but I don’t care. Better to recover than to grind myself into the ground. As my friend Wendy reminded me during my 2017 tour, “You’re retired. You don’t have a schedule anymore.”
So we’ll just take it as it goes tomorrow. Rain is forecast for the next few days. Are we having fun yet?
Today’s mileage: 50. Tour mileage: 126.