DAY 30 JUNE 26 74.5 MILES
My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day is riding a bike to the library. Peter Golkin
The Copper Penny opens for breakfast at 6:30 AM. I walked in the door a few minutes after that and there already were five or six customers. The western omelet and orange juice were very tasty but, best of all, I met a local cyclist named Larry. He and a few of his friends, all retired, meet there every morning.
Larry was the game warden in that area for 30 years. Over that span, he had arrested nearly all of the men who frequent the Copper Penny. He said that none of them holds a grudge and that they even buy coffee for him on occasion.
I thought that I had found a nice shortcut from our prescribed route but Larry knew that the road was under construction and bicycles were currently not permitted. He then rode with me to the next town while relating the history of the area. When we reached the base of the hill I had been trying to avoid, he invited me into his church for a doughnut to give me energy for the big climb. I felt as if I had hit the jackpot!
Maybe the doughnut helped. The hill was very similar to the four climbs of yesterday except that this time I was armed with statistics. This hill gained 800 feet in 1.3 miles. Actually, it did not seem as bad as those of yesterday but maybe it was because this was only one climb versus four. On the descent later on, however, I exceeded 43 miles per hour, a new record for this trip.
The roads today were of good quality with sufficiently wide bike lanes to offer relatively smooth and safe riding. On the road along the Mississippi, the bike lane was nearly as wide as that for cars. There was even a nice, stiff breeze at our back to ensure nearly effortless cruising. We absolutely flew to today's destination.
Our group has now completed over two thousand miles and we are nearly halfway to the Pacific coast. Each day, the running total grows and the distance to Seattle shrinks. I love it!
Tip: Few things in life are guaranteed but here is one that is. If you routinely ride your bicycle, you will become more and more fit.