GOLDEN CITY, MO. – Was this a mirage after too many hours in the saddle? We slipped into a couple of valleys after Pennsboro and were climbing out of the second one when I saw something standing up ahead of me in the road. At first I thought it was Bruce, but he was behind me. Then it looked like a tree had sprouted from the pavement. As I got closer, I saw it was a woman sitting astride a horse watching our slow approach. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/10/1984-bike-tour-day-29-charmed-by-flat-roads-finally/
The Ozarks are starting to level out, and we were on pace for a 90-mile day when we saw the homemade sign on Route 38 between Hartville and Marshfield: “Lazy Louie Bicycle Camp.” It was only early afternoon, but we knew we had to stop; we had told the Cookie Lady back in Virginia that we'd check in on him.
Lazy Louie opened the bicycle camp in 1976, the first year that cyclists started passing through on the Bikecentennial route. A eastbound couple who we met in the morning called the camp “kind of rustic.” The camp is an overgrown woodlot across the road from his house and barn. There's a shelter, picnic table, and shady grassy areas for tents. You can tell he has put a lot of work into it over the years. ….
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/09/1984-bike-tour-day-28-lazy-louies-bicycle-camp/
HOUSTON, MO. – The hills in the Ozarks are bigger, steeper, and harder to climb than I expected. At Carl's Cafe in Eminence, Carl said we'd have to walk our loaded touring bicycles up these hills. No way. We pedaled — very slowly.
Bruce isn't feeling well this morning, but I don't think that's holding us back. Gravity's doing that. .
This whole area of the Ozarks draws lots of whitewater adventure seekers. Current River is popular with tourists …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/08/1984-bike-tour-day-27-beautiful-scenery-and-never-ending-hills/
OWL'S BEND, MO. – If you could pick a time to be sick, it probably wouldn't be the day you're pedaling the rollercoaster hills of the Ozarks.
We left Johnson's Shut-ins in a light drizzle and immediately started climbing. A little while later, a carload of Boy Scouts who we camped with the night before pulled up alongside me, and they said my friend was way down the road. I waited for him, and when he caught up, Bruce said he wasn't feeling well. After that, we took it real slow. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/07/1984-bike-tour-day-26-ups-and-downs-in-the-ozarks/
JOHNSON'S SHUT-INS STATE PARK, MO — We're tenting in the group camp area near some Boy Scouts tonight. They're pretty comical, and a couple came over for awhile to talk bicycles, like: “Can you ride no-hands?”
I know Missouri is the “Show Me” state, but I don't know why it's called that. I would like to have people around here show us some common courtesy.
The folks in Ste. Genevieve were very helpful. … But as soon as we entered the Ozarks, things changed. People stare, more like glare. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/06/1984-bike-tour-day-25-cmon-missouri-show-me-some-courtesy/
STE. GENEVIEVE, MO. — We rode up along the Mississippi River to Ste. Genevieve to waves and some applause. If we had festooned our bikes with flags, the people lining the streets might have thrown money.
After crossing bridge across the Mississippi at Chester, we ran into the Olympic torch caravan again at St. Mary's. Everything is very low-key, compared to the scene in Berea.
Essentially two Winnebagos were parked in a roadside lot, some runners were milling around waiting to pick up the relay. AT&T sponsors the torch run, and the guys who do all the heavy lifting between cities are AT&T employees.
Two hundred were chosen, 16 on this week-long stretch, to run four miles twice a day with the torch. The torch, which they get to keep, weighs 2 pounds, 4 ounces, is about 2 feet long, and is filled with butane. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/05/1984-bike-tour-day-24-clearing-a-path-for-the-olympic-torch-in-missouri/
CARBONDALE, ILL. — We had plans to take off this morning for the Missouri border. I jumped out of bed early, did some laundry and putzed around. When it was 10 a.m. and we were just getting to breakfast, we came to the brilliant conclusion that we were still half hungover, we hadn't stopped since Charlottesville, Va., and we could …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/04/1984-bike-tour-day-23-rest-and-repair/
CARBONDALE, ILL. — After three weeks on the TransAmerica Route, we decided that we needed a break here in the hometown of Southern Illinois University.
A bike rider out for an afternoon spin hooked up with us outside of town and guided us along a shortcut to his favorite bike shop. We found a room at the Uptown Motel, took our first showers in about three days, and began to celebrate like cowboys coming off a dusty cattle drive.
We stopped at a tavern called Booby's (it might have been Bobby's, but I wrote double o's in my journal… it's a college town; probably was Booby's) for a pitcher of beer, ate some greaseburgers at Wendy's, watched the just-released, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” and then stopped at a bar for another pitcher. We had landed in dry counties every night since Whytheville, Va., so we had some catching up to do….
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/03/1984-bike-tour-day-22-just-like-cowboys-after-a-cattle-drive/
CAVE-IN-ROCK, ILL. — We crossed the brown-with-mud Ohio River on the Ida L ferry this afternoon on our ride through the former haunt of pirates and bandits and the present-day domain of mosquitoes.
We were happy to leave the Sebree park, what with freight trains passing by all night. Our route immediately detoured because of the flooding (the paper said 30,000 acres were underwater due to the Green River backing up), but we still made good time into Dixon, where folks told us a small group of bicycle tourists had passed through yesterday.
At Marietta's Cafe in Marion, we signed the guestbook and saw the names of three cyclists from Connecticut (the same guys we've been leapfrogging ever since Virginia) just above ours. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/02/1984-bike-tour-day-21-pirates-bandits-and-skeeters-at-cave-in-rock/
SEBREE, KY. — We're at the Sebree City Park tonight, camping downwind from preparations for the St. Michaels annual cook-out. They're preparing 1,500 pounds of mutton and pork for tomorrow, and this evening they're stirring a huge cast iron pot of homemade barbecue sauce.
While Bruce and I were talking with them, a couple of the old hands asked one of the younger guys to sample the hot sauce. He lifted up the wooden ladle, sipped it, squinted his eyes and choked out the words, “Hmmm. Just about right!” Then he gasped for breath.
“Just about right” describes our ride today. ….
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/01/1984-bike-tour-day-20-church-bbq-sauce-is-just-about-right/