58.74 miles (Total: 1375.55) Avg Speed: 11.2mph Max Speed: 44mph
With no breakfast options this morning we had to make the ride to to Centerville on an a packet of instant Oats made up by Terry. We were beginning the Ozark mountains, they are very different from the Appalachians. The climbs are short and over before you know it but then start again just as quick. This morning I also had to make the choice of whether to set off around 5am to get to Eminence in time for the England – Algeria game. As soon as I woke in my tent I decided against it. The highlights are always on ESPN during the evenings and today was going to be a tricky ride. I resolved to make sure I catch the third and final group game.
In Centerville some fat guy in braces was walking around picking up coins, I asked him for a place to have breakfast he pointed to the only diner in town but said they take too long to bring the food, I bet. We ate there anyway then pushed on towards Eminence. There weren’t many services along the route today so I had gotten stocked up beforehand. The hills rolled up and down all day, nothing too strenuous but technically challenging. You change down a bunch of gears at the foot of the climb then its done and you have a split second to change back and generate some speed for the downhill only to have to change down almost straight away. It can make you pretty lazy and I ended up just staying in one of my bottom gears most of the ride.
Dr Lee back in Radford had said Missouri was his toughest state. The hills really do roll relentlessly but its not too bad. Maybe its just my fitness has improved so much since the start. I also failed to really capture it in pictures because like I said I got pretty lazy on the bike today.
We had been looking below at the rivers all day as we passed over bridges, then we saw one that looked too nice to pass on. We put our bikes in some bushes by the road and walked down to it. The water was nice an cool and shallow enough just to sit in. Me an Joe were there for a while when Terry caught up and popped his head over the side of the bridge to see us.
The only problem with the rivers is that they are always at the foot of a climb, and after this stop it was the biggest of the day. I was out of Gatorade and my water was running low too, I huffed and puffed over the final few hills before finally seeing the Eminence sign. Me an Joe pulled into a really old Dairy Queen and spoke with another TransAm guy who had just ended his trip due to continuing bad health, he was fairly old and had shingles! I have been laughed at by the rest for being paranoid about ticks, everytime we stop by the road I manage to see when crawling up my leg, I have since stopped standing by the grass. I glanced down at my thighs to see one embedded, he can’t of been freeloading blood from me very long it was tiny. I got my tweezers out and pulled him from the head, he crawled around on the table a few seconds before I destroyed him. They are pretty harmless but the odd one can give you Lyme Disease which requires antibiotics if you leave them in for a few days.
We booked ourselves a room at a B&B up the street. Joe had said we were cyclists and when we turned up the woman seemed pleasantly surprised, she had been expecting Harley riders. I find the England score, then watch some highlights, what a joke. I was so glad I didn’t waste my day again like the first match just to see them. We had burgers and beers over the road and then returned to slice of chocolate cake at the B&B before falling asleep in the comfy bed.