What a wet day though we still got our miles in and crossed the Mississippi into Missouri.
We got shelter from the rain in a lovely cafe in Ozora with an excellent waitress, who aloud us to hang all of our stinky clothes out and even provided towels. Our destination was Farmington which is a quaint American town.
“We found a bike specific accommodation which was a historical jailhouse converted into a cyclists hostel.
Here we met Thomas (Germany) and Corey (Pittsburgh, USA) both heading east.
We found a bar called spokes that had a selection of 40 beers so of course the boys wanted to go for dinner there.
Due to the comfortable digs we had a late start. Then we did a few chores in Walmart including purchasing a air horn to scare off the daggs!
We missed the state park, but found a infestation of grass hoppers instead, very cool!
More east bounders were spotted!! We took five and chilled in Centerville with them for a while.
We pushed on for the last 10 miles of 67 to Ellington.
“When we arrived we asked for directions to the town park and instead we got invited to join a local church’s BBQ.
Here we met some lovely people and cute kids. We shared our story with them whilst enjoying their hospitality (thanks guys).
Finally at our camping spot and it is sweet! The sheriff came down to greet us and switch some electricity on. Tonight we will test out the new tent, yay. Review to follow.
Day 36 ‘The 4th of July’
Koppen Malestrom 2 Person tent we love you!! We had a great night sleep in our new tent, what a differance having a mesh cover makes!! We have one qualm being it has to be pegged down, so we can’t set it up under a pavilion though grass is more comfortable anyways.
While packing the bikes up Andy notice two cuts in the side wall of his rear wheel. This rendered his back break useless and was a bit of a worry particularly with the heavy load on the bike. We distributed the weight between myself and Sam to lighten his load.
We attempted a early morning but failed again. Though still managed a 70mile day and I broken the record downhill at 47mph.
We were repeatedly told by east bounders we met that todays ride would be the hardest section of the rest of the trip. What resulted was just another day for us following our Appalachian crossing, good luck east bounders you have plenty of hills to come.
We stopped at Eminence for the dairy shack. Where we enjoyed banana splits, milkshakes and burgers (healthy cyclist diet). Here we were offered free milkshakes and a lift by a couple of locals but decline their generous offers and pushed on.
After Eminence we conquered the remaining steep climbs and made it to Alley springs. We crossed the Jack fork river which makes up part of the Ozark national scenic river ways. From here we had our last steep climb up to Summersville.Myself and Sam climbed to the top of the fire tower in the forest to experience this epic view.
“Andy was hungry and being a douche so I pushed him off the tower.
This was a tough day, but nothing we weren’t already used to. We stopped at the garage and met another east bounders following his own route.
“He had been bitten by a dog a few days before and was now on a course of rabies treatment (proof that it can happen).
Andy’s wheel was deteriorating so we decided to put in some precautionary measures, starting with looking at warm showers. There was no bike shops until Kanas so we had to look off course.
Despite me not wanting to push on for the last twenty plus miles, we did anyway. Andy’s mood was lifted due to knowing the problem would be rectified tomorrow. I on the other hand have been suffering with saddle sore so decided to cycle as fast as my leg would take me to get to our final destination in Houston. Must have averaged over 17mph which is nearly 50% faster that usual.
When we arrived we headed to our local eatery Subway and called the sheriff to check in. Here we met two delightful girls that directed us to our camp for the evening at West side park.
Today we chilled next to the town pool and relaxed. We were awoken by a guy called tink playing his violin. Then Andy had an in depth conversation with him about law, politics and war while I lazily dosed in the tent.
Early afternoon Gary came to our rescue. Gary is a kind and genuine cycling enthusiast that smashes centuries for fun at the weekend, what a lad.
“Gary drove over 80miles to come and pick us up, which was just the start of this epic day!
We headed to Springfield which is totally off course, but our closest option for a bike shop. After arriving at the bike shop we instantly got a good feeling about this town. Cycles Unlimited was indeed one of the coolest bike shops we had ever been in. It’s got a great range of products and awesome staff.
“They automatically arranged for the bike to be fixed by morning, then we headed off for some food with Gary and Jerry.
Jerry was gary’s neighbour who is also a keen cyclist and considering tours in the future. He took us to That Lebanese for some tasty authentic food and generously paid for all of us. The restaurant is family run with outstanding service (you must visit if in Springfield).
Finally headed home to Gary’s pad where he kindly open his home for a night. We got to see his man garage which made Andy ‘well jel’.
What a great day of bikling magic!! We woke crazy early because Gary was going to do a century ride. He dropped us off in town at a cafe and then unbeknownst to us bought our breakfast, showing again his considerate and generous nature.
We chilled over at Mama Jeans for the rest of the morning (beautiful space). Enjoying there nutritious scrummy smoothies and gluten free cakes.
Just as we were leaving our top boy Skyler came outside and gave us some energising treats on behalf of Mama jeans. Then Andy hiked to the shop with all his gear, hard core!!
“When we arrived at the bike shop to collect Andy’s mended bike the owner of Mama Jeans had called ahead and paid for it, magic!!
We were loving Springfield and its locals so when James, one of the bike shop crew, offered for us to stay a night we couldn’t say no. This meant we were having another unscheduled rest day, whoops. We headed downtown to wait for James to finish his shift. Found ourselves in Pattys pub sinking a couple of local beverages.
We met a bunch of cool locals here, including Jarrod who is the drummer from ‘The Captions Son’ (awesome band).
That is pretty much how the evening continued, including going to a shisha house, whisky bar and eating the hottest chicken wings in the world!
“We ended the night with some festive street fireworks, before the cops showed up to shut down the fun (boo)!