55.44 miles (Total: 1189.58) Average Speed: 11.3mph Max Speed: 37mph
I woke to the sound of horses trotting about this morning and got myself up to a breakfast of eggs and bread. Cooper was last to get up as he often is, his face is hilarious on a morning as he takes a few minutes to wake properly and looks around bewildered at everybody packing up their tents. I tell him he looks like death warmed up which gets a laugh then we finish packing up. The early riding was uneventful, stopping where we could to take shade from the relentless sun.
We stopped in Goreville for lunch at a well known cyclist stop, Delaneys. I ordered the Taco Salad which was then followed by free Cherry Pie, dished up to all riders who pass through.
Immediately after leaving Goreville there were storm clouds overhead. We heard rumbles of thunder around and it seemed a matter of time until we got soaked. However the route changes and turns somehow managed to take us right around all the nasty stuff and we remained dry except for a small welcome sprinkling.
As we continued to coast along towards Carbondale Joe’s front tyre suddenly let out a huge scream of air, he had ridden over a thorn. We stopped so he could repair the flat and Cooper took the chance to replace one of his. he had been riding with an extremely slow leak in one of his tyres for the past day, after a pump it would last for hours until it was noticeable.
Once everyone was fixed up we headed out again an soon passed by a huge lake. The chance for a swim was too good to pass up on such a sticky day so we pulled up and jumped in. The water was perfect, nobody even bothered to change out of their cycling clothes, they would be dried within minutes of riding anyway.
After finally arriving in Carbondale we made our way to the motels and got ourselves checked in. Joe had earlier rang a bike shop in the city to get our bikes serviced, being the busy time of year for bike shops they are always full but make special room for cross country cyclists. So we unloaded everything and rode down to hand them over before the store closed. We would be taking a rest day tomorrow and then pick them up in the evening. For supper we went to the Chinese restaurant next door and had some great food with even better beer. This was to be Cooper’s last night, tomorrow he would leave us before then making his way back home for a wedding and then returning to continue the trail in about a week.