A lot of things have happened since Chicago – not so much scenery change, just many waves of comfort/discomfort and proud/frustrating moments.
I’ve arrived in Tulsa, OK. I’ve ridden over 2300 miles since leaving Baltimore July 9th. I’ve ridden through the initial highs of wonder and excitement and lows of bad days and mishaps.
Naturally, the temperatures have mimicked this variation.
Since Chicago, a few major things have happened.
1. I broke my personal record for most miles in one day: Springfield, IL to St. Louis, MO (129.4 mi / 207.04 km)
2. On that ride, after not drinking or eating for a couple hours, I stopped at Fitz root beer near downtown St. Louis, had nine refills of root beer and a hummus platter.
Ten miles later, I threw it all up a few miles from home.
3. Stayed at home in St. Louis county for a week and totally overhauled my unicycle, thanks to my lovely mother’s sewing skills:
– New top front bag that holds tools and water
– Reinforced seams and many minor alterations
– New saddlebags that straddle the rear bag and attach to the rear top bag
– Sack for backpack, which attaches on top of the back, so I don’t have the weight on my back.
– Repaired/reinforced bike shorts and gloves. Sewed a visor/sweatband (a lifesaver!)
4. Rode my lucky-number-seven-th century from West Plains to Springfield, MO (a century is 100 miles or more). During that ride I broke another personal record – most continuous miles with a full touring setup, no slowing, stopping, or dismounting: about 50 miles (Cabool to Fordland).
The centuries I’ve ridden in this first month-and-a-half of the trip:
110 miles from Buffalo, NY to Toronto, ON
101 miles from Toronto, ON to Burford, ON
105 miles from Glencoe, ON to Detroit, MI
108 miles from South Bend, IN to Chicago, IL
104 miles from Chicago, IL to Ottawa, IL
129 miles from Springfield, IL to St. Louis, MO
111 miles from West Plains, MO to Springfield, MO
5. Amidst all those big days and the intervening smaller days, my air seat has been overinflated, under-inflated, flat, and repaired – much at the expense of my cortisol levels and the skin between my legs.
6. I’ve been interviewed 3 times, on 3 consecutive days! Small town newspapers – Licking, MO; West Plains, MO; Cabool, MO.
7. I’ve received generous donations from family and strangers, thank you! One in particular is the kindest random donation to date! Thank you to John and Virginia, owners of Frisco’s in Cuba, MO. So any folks on their way to St. Louis from Southern Missouri, stop in Cuba (Southwest of Sullivan) and eat at their restaurant – Frisco’s Bar & Grill on South Smith St. (get the spinach salad!)
8. I’ve been intending to incorporate wild game into my vegetarian diet. I eat eggs and dairy, and wild game would include any wild caught, local game and fish. The reason being twofold – I need my stomach to be ready for an emergency meal of meat if I get stuck in such an area, and also my philosophies are always changing and adapting. Thanks to the Halls for cooking me a venison burger! First time, and first intentional meat in 9 years.
No farm animals, though!
Though still tentative, I now plan to connect Phoenix, AZ to San Diego and LA before turning south.
Also, for those of you who haven’t seen it on my Facebook, this is the “Great Lakes” video of Toronto through St. Louis: