Saturday, June 14, 2008

Across the Mississippi

Yes, this blog took forever to post. I was waylaid (waylayed? Waylain?) With a migraine for a day. Sorry. So, let me bring you up to date ...

Thursday night we had some rain. And lightning. And some tornadoes, too. Such is Kansas. Jeff finished a four-hour session as the rain and lightning started, so Kevin got all the fun. He was riding along as the tornado siren went off, and he looked around once and kept on going. This scared the tornado away, and maybe the lightning, too. The rain? Not so much.

Chain lightning danced across the sky through the night, and Kevin and Jeff soldiered on in a light fairly steady rain. Kevin had a flat during one deluge, but his team quickly swapped wheels and got him back to work Friday morning brought no relief from the rain, as the riders entered Missouri and the road became hillier.

Traffic around Lake of the Ozarks was a bear, and RAAM gave us a dedicated escort for this stretch. Dave and Chris were surprised that Jeff got thru the area safe and fairly quickly.

Kevin was really tearing up the rollers in this stretch, and Gary reported that he was often doing almost 20 mph on the uphill sections ... Not bad for a fixed gear. The rain kept up thru most of this, and Jeff next got a flat.

Rain plus hills plus a big river equals flooding, and we had some. For the riders, it was an inconvience, but for the good folks of Missouri it was lives and homes. RAAM headquarters did a great job finding an alternate route, however, and Kevin had only an hour of "down-time" before he was on the road again, just before time station 34.

Just afterwards, Jeff rode over the Mississippi into Illinois. By then the rain had stopped, and Kevin took over at the Holiday Inn in Alton, Illinois. Rod Caswell came out to cheer us on in Meadowbrook, in the early foggy dawn, lightening Kevin's mood. The promise of pancakes at time station 35 in Greenville helped, too.

And now we're at mile 22 past that time station, having just rolled thru sleepy Bluff City, Illinois. Jeff is rockin' out to some Outkast, churning up the miles. Hey Ya!

Robert Hendry
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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