DAY 26   JUNE 22   75 MILES

You should ride a bicycle for twenty minutes every day, unless you are too busy; then you should ride for an hour.                             Anon.

Today was a phenomenal day for riding!  Starting with comfortably cool temperatures, there was a nice tailwind which kept a very light mist in the air.  I turned on my taillight but it was hardly necessary because there were very few cars out this morning.  After about two hours, the sun beamed through and remained bright for the rest of the day.

The wind also picked up somewhat but, it was from the southeast and it aided us when going both west and north.  We were easily able to beat the afternoon rain to our destination. 

The crops along our route are essentially the same every day, except that the grain has gradually disappeared leaving only corn and soy.  The ratio is approximately three quarters corn and one quarter soy.  It appears that the crops are rotated for a healthy harvest because old, brown corn stalks usually protrude between the rows of soy.

I seem to be holding my own among the other riders.  There is no substitute for young legs and most of the others could beat me in straight line speed.  However, I compensate by departing slightly earlier each day and also taking shorter rest stops.  In that way, I usually arrive at our destination among the top third.   

Some of the riders are amazing!  Of course, all of us ride with a level of confidence and ability to complete the 4,300 mile trek but a few could easily ride at the professional level.  One female rider won the world championship in road cycling in 2011 (310 miles in 22 1/2 hours) and also won it in mountain biking in 2013.  She, and a few of the others fly past me but I usually catch them at the rest stop and then depart it before they do.

Tonight there is rain in the air but the ladies of the Orion Methodist Church are preparing dinner for us and we have been offered their fellowship hall to spend the night out of the elements.  The combination of distance over the next three days will be the most challenging that we have faced to date so a good dinner and a sound sleep will be essential.  Life is still good!

Tip:  Whenever you ride, whether the sun is shining or the ceiling is overcast, always apply sunscreen.  The most important parts for coverage are the tops of your ears, your nose and the back of your neck.