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Day 27, Wed, June 14th thr Day 29, Friday, June 16th

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

At the moment it is 3:15 p.m., Day 29, Friday June 16th and I am camping at the Vandalia, Illinois (population 7100) McDonald's. As of today, I have been on the road for 4 weeks to the day.


I had a conversation with one of my sisters last night and this morning and we agreed that I shall throttle back a bit, for a bit. Tuesday, I rode 64 miles and Wednesday 63 miles. Today will be 50 miles with a Budget Inn motel reservation waiting for me in Greenville, Illinois. I plan to make St. Louis or the surrounding area by Saturday night (tomorrow). As a rule I select Google Maps bike routes. The results have been generally good, but there are some down sides. Three nights ago on my way to Brazil, IN I followed one bike route which was pretty cool as I passed through a covered bridge shortly before 9 p.m.. It was getting dark, but no problem - I have a great headlight... The bridge was closed, yet passage by foot or bike was good. I passed through and continued on the bike route. The road went from asphalt to packed dirt, crushed rock, and gravel, and sometimes a mix of what looks like pulverized concrete. I unclamp my bike shoe cleats out of the pedals when "off-roading" down road beddings replete with precarious loose earthy material. Being able to plant a foot down on the ground quickly may help prevent falling to the ground attached to the bike, should a wheel pull out from under, due to loss of traction. I proceeded down the bike route till I was met with a very steep dirt, gravel and rock, hill. I almost stalled at the mid section of the hill, when my rear wheel lost traction and spun. I had to shift my weight back towards the rear wheel to resume traction and make the top of the hill. And there, at the top of the hill, the road became a path covered in grass, with a soft mud base. My wheels sunk and I had to double down to tread through the grassy muck. All fine, I passed that patch hoping for the road to improve. Instead, I was met with a huge grassy field absent of any path or road. Google Maps showed a clear direction to follow into the oblivion of what was a vast open landscape in every direction except from whence I came. In the 10 minutes from passing the covered bridge, the dusk had turned into a dark night, illuminated only by a headlight, no match for any direction it pointed, except one: to go back before not being able to find my way back. I was out standing in my field, yet the state I felt was not one of accomplishment. Rule number one came back in a flash from the bike ride 42 years ago: When lost, recongnize it quickly and immediately return to the last place known to be on course. I went back over the muddy section described earlier and then down the steep hill, carefully to brake all the way down and not lose control. My years of experience of motorcycle enduro riding through the woods of Greenwich Connecticut as a teenager were in full practice. It was strange. My father was afraid to have the kids riding bicycles, but he was an advocate when I wanted a motorcycle. My mother pushed for the bicycles and went along with the motorcycle and mororcycles to follow, but was never keen. Between the attributes of the bike/motorcycle mom and dad parental efforts, I benefited by valuable experience gained, and found my way back to the bridge. I switched Google Maps back to "automobile mode" with no interstates, ferries or tolls, and found a reasonable route, direct to my motel in Brazil, Illinois. The motel was an old Rodeway, Inn that only had available a room on the 2nd floor with no elevator. It did not matter. I was safe, secure and had a good place to sleep and charge the bike batteries. And besides, the people running the motel that I met, were genuine and friendly. I was where I wanted to be.


I have more to cover with the period of this post. Will get something to eat and come back. Blogging while, eating, resting and charging my bike battery at camp McDonald's is relaxing and a good use of time.


I'm back but now it is Thursday, June 22nd about 4:25 pm. I am at another McDonald's charging batteries and trying to catchup with my posts. I completed getting the photos from June 5th to June 10th uploaded to the blog. My motel stay on day 29, Friday, June 16th was at the Budge Inn in Greenville, IL, my last motel stop in Illinois prior to reaching St. Louis, Missouri on day 30, Saturday, June 17th. I have to post for the 6 days following this post. This 6 day period covers from the time I reached St. Louis, MO to my next overnight tonight in Warrensburg, Missouri. Missouri has lots of rolling hills and some of them are steep. Am managing well and hopefully I will have the energy to catch-up on my posts tonight. I will have charged 2 batteries at this McDonald's stop in Sedalia, MO. Yesterday I rode a lot of gravel roads. Today I'm traveling Missouri state road 50. I am well rested and up for the traffic. Many parts of the highway has wide shoulders. The parts that are not wide, in fact narrow, I am on my game. Second battery is almost charged. I'm going to start packing up to finish the 2nd leg of today's travels to Warrensburg, MO from Tipton, MO where I stayed last night at the Twin Pines Motel. I expect to reach Kansas tomorrow. That or close to the Missouri/Kansas border south of and close to Kansas City. Had a great dinner last night of steak tacos and hot salsa and slept very well. Cleaned my clothes in the sink at the motel and decided not to shave off my beard. That could change, but right now I'm having fun with the beard look! :)





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Steve Weigand
Steve Weigand
Jun 21, 2023

I met you in Pittsburgh ,now good luck and be safe

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Guest
Jun 18, 2023

I am enjoying your blog Anthony. I am guessing you will take the Katy Trail across Missouri. I recommend it. I have done about 75 miles of it and from what I know of the rest the trail surface is always good.

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Guest
Jun 21, 2023
Replying to

Website is bikekatytrail.com


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Guest
Jun 17, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Passion. Persistence. Perseverance

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Guest
Jun 17, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Keep at it, Anthony

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