Samsun : Dachau
Today Leg started in Boone Missouri. It was around a 30 minute drive from the hotel to the start of the ride. This was a very scenic area with lots of green hills and woodsy areas.
The riders for Leg 18 were Sasoon, Rafi, Artin, Ed, Mark and I. We started at 7:55 and it was already pretty warm out. The freezing mornings and rainy days seem to be behind us now.
The road started off nicely with lots of rollers similar to yesterdays ride. My back was sore from yesterday’s crash. In fact it hurt so bad that I could not sleep most of last night. When I first got out of bed my back was so stiff I was not sure if I would be able to ride the entire Leg today. Those first 20 miles of rollers hurt me on the climbs. I put the pain up on that shelve and rolled on.
Our first stop was the historic town of Saint Charles Missouri about 25 miles in. The streets are cobble storn and there are many old brick buildings here. Then we would ride parallel to the Missouri River for a while. At mile 58 we crossed the mighty Mississipi River! Shortly after crossing the river we found a shady spot for a lunch break.
We were cruising along on a flat section and I felt something strange on my left peddle. I thought something had happened to my cleat. Sasoon was next to me and said he heard something drop on the road. Then my left crank came off. Luckily this happened on a flat section and not on a fast downhill section! After I was able to find the crank bolt a few hundred back, Bobby our mechanic quickly reattached the crank and we were on our way once again.
By 80 miles in the tempature was in the low 90’s. We could feel the heat radiating off the pavement. Not to mention the humidity. We were all feeling it but Mark was really getting cooked. We stopped for a break in the shade and poured some water over his head. A local resident came from his house across the street and asked if we needed anything or wanted to use the restroom. These folks out here are so hospitable.
Today just like the past several days we had strong crosswinds blowing to the north. Everyone smiled when we had the brief sections heading north and we could enjoy the tail wind. It was a nice break.
3573′ of climbing.