Saturday, June 30. Alton, IL to St. Charles, MO. 31 miles of riding in 2:17 hrs of riding.
Sorry, no pictures again. I'll get it going tomorrow.
This was a total R&R day – for both mind and body.
Gameplan was to get up at a casual hr this morning due to a light day or riding, but I still had the body push the ON button at 5:00 AM. So I quietly worked for a bit while Judy slept. Did the complementary breakfast with 2.5 cheese omelets smothered in sausage gravy and biscuits. Yum. We got rolling at about 7 AM for the short trip to St. Charles in MO.
The humidity is even higher today than yesterday. Couple that with some dead legs and numb mind and it made for a slow day of riding on some extremely flat terrain. Took Rt 94 West once we crossed the bridge, and it’s just flat as a cue ball. Nonetheless, the previous several days efforts have really put my legs in the hurt locker so I was just not in a groove and not feeling very comfortable much of the time. Butt’s also starting to get on the sore side with those long saddle days in a row.
Jude waited for me at like 5-8 mile increments for water stops. And I was guzzling just as much as yesterday. But wow, the temp was at 91 degrees at around 9 AM – with choking humidity. Heck, my jersey top was just about soaked in just 1.5 hrs of riding at a slow to moderate pace. Towards the end of the ride this super cut, super tanned tri-chick passed me while dug deep on her aero bars, with her doting boyfriend about 200 yrds behind her. And like she clicked down just as she passed me – you to kind of put that exclamation point at the end of the sentence! And that pissed me off, not the passing but the clicking down a gear. You do that to kind of show dominance over another rider. So there I am with all this crap going through my head: “drop down, jump and get right up on her ass! No dude, you’re feeling like shit, just suck it up and finish the ride today nice and easy….but she clicked down on me, that’s BS, TT it for a couple miles.” Yea, it was the proverbial devil on one shoulder and the angle on the other arguing back and forth about chasing this chick down or just chilling.
And it was about the time when I clicked down 2 gears and just gradually picked up the pace, still debating in my head if I really want to put myself into the Z5 locker, that her doting boyfriend with hairy and ghostly white legs goes by me. Now he did NOT click down, just kind of went around to the left chasing his diva up the road. And I was like: “the hell with it…get a life Pete!” So I just sat up and continued to ride with just a slightly bigger gear. Now I do have to say that the diva on the tri bike backed off a good deal within a couple of miles so that I was pretty much maintaining the gap she’d put on me. I guess I’ll take that as some sort of consolation today. But it was funny to me when I thought about it - my reaction to being passed like that. Pretty goofy stuff in the grand scheme of things.
Made it into St. Charles, loaded my bike in the van and the ride was over in a matter two hrs. And that felt good to get the hell out of the heat and humidity in such short work. So we had to take care of some busy work today: get the oil changed in the van and I had to buy some spokes at a bike shop, one to replace a spoke I’d broken on yesterday’s ride, and some spares for the future. So we did the local bike shop first, where he only had two spokes my size. Then to the oil change. The young guys there were really a nice group, cuz while they were doing the oil change I got my bike out and was doing the spoke change in their waiting room. They were just jawing away with us about me riding across the US. I managed to get all my bike repair done as the oil was changed. Then to the hotel…er motel. This is definitely not the Hilton here at the Quality Inn St. Charles, but when the temp is in the 100’s every bloody day and we’re doing hotel/motels darned near out of necessity, we have to cut corners on the lodging - as the money is flying out the door quite fast lately – so enter the cheapie today – Quality Inn.
We took a spin to the downtown’s history district to have some lunch and maybe, just maybe to walk around. But the temp is between 102 and 104 with the dew point in the upper 60’s, so the leisurely walk around the district was gone. God, you just want to get the hell out of the sun down here. I mean Judy and I are definitely the “dine on the patio in the sun” people, but today – not a soul was out on the patios at all these eateries down here. And neither were we! It was like a ghost town outdoors. Inside, different story, as the places were pretty packed. Few people are walking and riding on the Katy Trail at around 3 PM today, on a Saturday. I drove around the block 2x just to find a place to park the van in the shade. And I wasn’t the only one doing the driving thing for shade. It’s like a dog-fight for shade spaces.
Hit a little pub for a late lunch and drinks, the place called Loyd and Larry’s. Great price on 99-cent burgers and dogs – that they more than made up for on the wine and beer prices. But hey, that’s what you get in tourist towns. Anyway, had a good time there and then back into the inferno outside to the van to get back asap to the sanctity of the AC in the motel room. Just no desire from either of us to walk around town or ride around town - it’s really that damned hot. So we’re here, almost prisoners of the motel room with the AC and the Cable TV.
Well, that’s about it for now. I’m going to try to be somewhat recreational with the next several days so Judy can ride in the morning with me. That’s about THE only time of the day when it’s somewhat enjoyable to be on a bike. Anytime past 10 AM and you’re into some uncomfortable temps and humidity. So we’ll back down to round about 40-50 miles/day till the heat wave breaks. Good news is I’m back on soft surfaces and away from the “concrete jungle” I’d been putting myself through for the past several days in IL.Have to say that this heat wave for the second time in a row on a cross-country cycling trip, this is really doing a number on me mentally. Just getting the gumption to get up and ride a full 5-7 hrs each day, that’s tough to stomach at 4:30 every morning. But I’ll keep the chin up and try to sojourn on with this thing. Late……….Pete