Today's Miles = 85.3
Average Speed = 10.7 mph
Maximum Speed = 37.1 mph
Total Miles = 1681.6
My decision to take the day off yesterday wasn't without consequence. I had a mail stop planned for Friday in the nearby town of Ash Grove but I had just taken Friday off. This meant that if I didn't want to have to hang around idly for two days until Monday I had to pick my mail up on Saturday. The only problem with this was that the Post Office in Ash Grove closed at 11:00 and was a five-hour ride away.
I got up a little after 4:30 in the morning and was on the road by 5:00. I had never intended to do any riding on this trip in the dark, but the predawn traffic was extremely light and my tail lamp and reflectors made me quite visible to cars overtaking me from behind. I rode through the dawn, stopping only once in the morning for a quick breakfast at a service station. Around 10:15 I made it to Ash Grove and my mail.
With such an early start on the day I had pumped out fifty miles before lunchtime and it was too early to call the day over. The town of Golden City was another thirty miles down the road and seemed like a good goal for the day, so I once again started heading west.
I had thought that I was done with hills for awhile, but that wasn't to be. Westernmost Missouri had a surprising frequency and intensity of hills that didn't even show up as wiggles in the road on my map. Although they were nothing in comparison to what was behind me, they did wear me down as I finished what would be my highest mileage day to date.
Cooky's Cafe in Golden City is a well-established stop for cyclists passing through and I stopped there for dinner and to read their cyclist's logbook. The book had a handful of good tips for the miles ahead and I saw the names of some of the people I had recently met as they had signed in as they filed through over the past few days. Since Golden City lies just outside the reach of the Ozarks, the overwhelming theme of the logbook was westbounders congratulating themselves on finishing the worst, and eastbounders mustering courage for what lay ahead.