Today's Miles = 10.0
Average Speed = 11.0 mph
Maximum Speed = 29.9 mph
Total Miles = 1262.1
In the morning the Dutch cyclists and I said what will most likely be our final farewells, then I took the short ride into Carbondale for the day. I arrived in town before most shops were open so I spent a little while riding around learning where things were, then I visited the public library just after they opened.
As I was heading back downtown from the library I spotted a couple of touring cyclists I hadn't seen before so I stopped and introduced myself. They turned out to be Hugh Thomas and Teresa Morales, the first eastbound cyclists of the year. Hugh and Teresa had started in San Luis Obispo, California, and had taken what is known as the "Western Express" route across California, Nevada, and Utah before connecting to the TransAmerica route in Pueblo.
I left my bike at the shop of the Bike Surgeon and went for coffee and breakfast with Hugh and Teresa. They had been on the road since March and had lots of stories to tell about the headwinds and snowstorms they had fought to get this far. They also said that Nevada had been one of their favorite states so far, and it was nice for me to hear someone else praise the state I still consider to be first in my heart.
Heading back from breakfast on foot I spotted yet another tourist and I waved down Bob George from Michigan. He too had decided to spend a day in Carbondale to catch up on his chores. Bob told me that he had been riding off and on with a friend his named Joseph, but they were currently separated and not quite sure where each other was.
When I returned to the Bike Surgeon, he had patched up my rear wheel well enough to get me down the road for a few more days. REI is in the process of building a replacement wheel for me, so I had not have my current one rebuilt . As I was testing my wheel with a brief spin around the block I ran into Steve and Linda Strauss, the tandem riders from Wisconsin I hadn't seen in a few days. Steve and Linda were in town to have one of their wheels rebuilt and they had seen Bob's partner Joseph in town as well. I was running into so many other cyclists all at once that it almost seemed like a comedy. The gang of us kept meeting each other all over town until after lunch when Hugh and Teresa continued east and Steve and Linda left for the west.
I had read that the Bike Surgeon of Carbondale was known to tourists for providing inexpensive or free repairs and for offering to let cyclists stay in his home, but when I inquired at the shop I was directed next door to the Greyhound station and told to speak to talk to Rachel. It turned out that the current Bike Surgeon had purchased the shop (and the title) from Mark Robinson. Mark and his wife Rachel still greet cyclists into their home, and that was the evening's destination for Bob, Joe, and myself.
It had been awhile since I had been able to cook a real meal for myself, so I offered to make a dinner of goulash and salad for everyone. Without too much argument my offer was accepted so we all hung around in the kitchen and chatted while I prepared dinner.
Since I spent so much of the day meeting and talking with people, I found that I didn't get all the chores completed that I had intended. I've decided to take Friday the 31st off from riding as well and stay in town for another day. I should be on my way again Saturday and I should also be crossing into Missouri very soon.