But I am just a pilgrim on this road, boys
Until I see you fare thee well
-Steve Earle, Pilgrim

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Long and Windy Road to Billings

Rae, Doug, Tom, Josh and I rode to Billings this morning under gray skies. The weather sent us to spin class the last several weekends, so it was good to get out on the road. The temperature was fine, but the winds were fierce (+20 mph) out of the south. We stair-stepped our way down and were able to break the south runs with west runs that were not too bad with the crosswind. We were going to stop at Petro's in Billings but stopped instead at Sassy's Cafe and Bakery. The food was good, and it did not have the smoke-filled atmosphere of Petro's. Sassy's is located on the north side of US60 on the block east of the Casey's. The ride back was much quicker with the south wind giving us a good push.

Riding through Republic


Doug, Ralph, Josh & Rae

Sunday, November 9, 2008

First Winter Ride

Saturday, Bill, Dave and I started out for Ash Grove for the first really cold ride of the year. The temperature was predicted to be 38 degrees at 8:00AM, but it ended up being 32 degrees with mostly cloudy skies and a stiff wind generally out of the west. By the time we got out of town, it was evident the clouds were not going to break up and the 8+mph headwind was going to make for a long, cold ride. We ended up breaking it off west of the airport and headed north to Willard where we got something hot at the McDonald's before heading back to Springfield. We had a good push from the wind on the return, and I ended up with 25 miles, rather than the planned 50.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tim Moses Died Today

Tim was my best friend in high school. Together, we learned to fly in the Civil Air Patrol. I soloed but never got my license. Tim continued flying and was soon building experimental aircraft. He died today flying one that he built. I had not talked to him in a number of years, but I will remember him in the years to come.

There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone
-Ripple by Robert Hunter

Sunday, September 14, 2008

SW Missouri MS150 & Ike

The MS150 started and ended yesterday after Hurricane Ike came through the area last night and dumped 4 to 6 inches of rain. It was not raining when we left Clever High School on Saturday, but it started about an hour into the ride. It stopped by the time we rode into the lunch rest stop just before 10:00 AM. The rain started again after we finished the century loop that broke off from the main route about 35 miles into the ride. Like most riders, we got lost on the century route, but we did not add any extra miles. About 5 miles from the finish in Joplin, one of the volunteers noticed my tire was a little low. I stopped and added some air. I made it in about 3:30 PM without a problem, but after inspecting the tire closer, I found about a half inch slit. Josh at the Sunshine Bike SAG did not think it would make it another 75 miles the next day, even with a boot, so I had Josh install a new tire. Unfortunately, I did not need it because they canceled the second day due to flooding concerns at low water crossings. We did cross a number of low areas on the way to Joplin, so it was probably a good idea. The ride back on the old school bus was not the most comfortable, and we had to stop about 20 miles from Clever when one of the other bus drivers noticed the bus I was on had some type of leak. It was not the radiator, so we continued on after about 15 minutes and made it back without a problem. Overall it was a typical MS 150 because it rained as it has the last 5 out of 6 years, but we also had a great route and great support from the volunteers who were out in the rain with us.

At the start

Doug & Tom racing a buggy in the rain

Pirates took over this rest stop

One of the few sunny moments on Saturday

Doug, Rae & Tom racing past the sunflowers

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tour of Missouri & an Indian Motorcycle

The 2nd stage of the Tour of Missouri came to Springfield today. There was a great crowd downtown where the stage ended after completing two laps around a circuit in the downtown. We saw the racers three times at our location on the circuit. The finish was more exciting this year because the entire peloton came through at the same time. Last year there was a small breakaway group with George Hincapie winning the stage. Today, Mark Cavendish of Team Columbia repeated his win of yesterday's first stage. I also saw a nicely restored Indian Motorcycle.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Kevin Umlauf Celebrate Life Ride

The ride started in Battlefield at 7:00 AM, but Doug, Rae, Tom, Neil and I rode to the start, which added over 12 miles for me each way. I rode over to Doug and Rae's house and arrived at about 6:10 AM. The skies were clear but it was cool, and I wore my rain jacket hoping to ward off the rain forecasted for later in the day. Doug and Rae then decided to bring their rain gear along too. Tom showed up about 6:15 AM and we headed out. Neil caught up with us about halfway to Battlefield.

We rode into Battlefield about 6:55 AM, just in time to register and take off my rain jacket because the rising sun had warmed things up. We headed out about 7:05 AM into the hills and fog south of Battlefield towards Nixa. From Nixa, we headed west to Clever and the second rest stop with boiled potatoes, pickles and home-baked cookies. We continued west through Billings. Just west of Billings, the 50-mile route headed north and the 70-mile route to the south. Neil had to get back early, so he headed north. At Tom's urging the rest of us headed south. Marionville was the western most town on the route, and there was another rest stop in the City park. We passed back through Billings before it started to rain and I put my rain gear back on. The final rest stop was at the Republic Community Center where there were more boiled potatoes and pickles. It was still raining when we pulled into the finish back in Battlefield. The Unlauf family treated us to great lunch of pork chops, deep-fried new potatoes and green beans.

The rain had stopped when we headed north for home. Doug had a slight mishap on a slick bridge on the greenway trail and Rae had a flat tire, so we were delayed getting back. Overall it was a great ride.

Chris the tri-athlete

Riding east through the fog

Doug, Tom, Rae and Neil

Buck, Tom and Doug passing through the Marionville Square

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Verb to Be by Les Barker

Not really about cycling, but similar thoughts pass through my mind riding long brevets at night.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Waffle Bike

Complete construction and operating instructions are provided in the video.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

RUSA 10th Anniversary Ride, 8/16/08

One couldn't have asked for a better day to ride than Saturday when I participated in the St. Louis Randonneuring 200K brevet in Edwardsville, IL. The ride, like others across the country, was held to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Randonneurs USA. John Jost, the RBA, sent the nine riders off at 7:00. The route out of Edwardsville is along a paved trail, but we quickly broke out into the cornfields of Illinois. I have never ridden in this area this late in the summer, and the corn was quite high. Although, there is not much to see at other times of the year except endless fields.

I did not match up well with any of the other riders, so I rode most of the time on my own. We would usually connect at the checkpoints and visit for a while. On the way out of Okawville, my right knee began to bother me and I began spinning more so as not to aggravate it too much. I am not sure what the problem was, but I had spent the prior two days sitting in very uncomfortable chairs at a workshop. I finished the ride at 16:31, loaded my bike in the car and headed home to Springfield.

The Start

Along the Trail

Into the Corn Fields

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer Streets 2008 (NYC)

The New York City Department of Transportation held its first Summer Streets event on Saturday, August 9, 2008, by opening 7 miles of city streets to pedestrians and bike traffic only. From 7 AM to 1 PM, roads were car-free from 72nd Street to the Brooklyn Bridge with Park Avenue serving as the backbone of the route.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Southwest Missouri Randonneuring Website

I have not been posting lately because I have been putting my time into developing a website, Southwest Missouri Randonneuring. I am applying to Randonneurs USA to bring brevets to the Springfield area, hopefully starting this November. Until then, you can ride one of my three Permanents if you are a RUSA member. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

2008 MS 150 Poster

For the last two years, I have provided a poster to people who help me raise funds for the MS 150. This year's poster is shown on the right with a link to my MS 150 web page for donations. If you donate $25.00-49.99, I will send you the poster printed on 8.5" by 11" paper (80 lb.). If you donate $50.00 or more I will send you the poster printed on 11" by 17" paper (also 80 lb.). If you prefer to send a check made out to the MS Society, send me an e-mail for my address. Let me know if you need a receipt for your tax records.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, progressive, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, MS can impair mobility, sight, speech, balance, and most frequently strikes between ages 20 and 50. Approximately 200 new cases of MS are diagnosed each week in the United States. At this time there is no known cause, cure or effective treatment for multiple sclerosis. The programs provided by the Mid American Chapter include support groups, counseling, an information and research center, medical equipment loans, and funding for national research into the cause and cure for MS.

My daughter produces the posters based on classic cycling posters. This year's poster is a knock off of a Brillant Cycles poster. Posters from prior years are shown on the right at the end of the page.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Boating in the Ozarks

Yesterday morning, Doug, Tom, Rae, Neil, Charlie, Tony and I rode out to Ash Grove to have breakfast at Willy B's. In a couple of places we could have used a boat. There were nice ponds over FR 104, between FR 103 and FR 115, and over FR 94, between FR 53 and FR 61. It looks like the ponds may be there for some time, particularly if it continues to rain every other day. We had to back track a few miles to get around the ponds, but no one really cared because it was a lovely day to ride. The sun was out and the wind was minimal, which was refreshing considering the constant headwinds we seem to have had this spring.

FR 94

Posts to the blog have been sparse lately, but we have been riding. I rode the Ride of Silence on May 21. The ride started from downtown Springfield and looped through the center part of the city. There were about 15 riders.

Ride of Silence

Tom and I rode the 50-mile route of the Breast Cancer ride on June 14. I rode down from the house and crossed bridge over the Lake Springfield dam. The water on the downstream side of the dam was close to the same level as the upstream side. I rode back on the greenway trail through the nature center. There was some minor flooding on the trail, but I was able to ride through because it was shallow, standing water.

I also rode with The Pedal Group a couple times. They ride from Praise Assembly Church, on North Glenstone, at 1:30 PM on Sundays. They generally ride east to Strafford (about 21 miles round trip), but some times go on longer rides. Buck Van Hooser is the organizer. Riding from the house, it is about 32 miles.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sheila's Place in Fair Grove

The Red Ribbon Ride was this past Saturday, but it did not start until 8:30AM and some of us needed to be back by noon. So, Rae, Doug, Tom and I rode to Fair Grove and had a late breakfast at Sheila's Place. Sheila's is on the west side of US65. just north of CC Hwy. We left Doug and Rae's at 7:00AM, and I was back home by 11:40, even though service was a little slow at Sheila's. It was about 46 miles round trip.

Downtown Fair Grove
Sign on the door says "Keep Out"

Minor adjustments after breakfast

Fellows Lake

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kansas City 400K

Eight riders left Grandview shortly after 5:00AM into a wind that was blowing out of the ESE at about five mph. The temperature was about 52 degrees. The 400K generally runs east through Lees Summit Greenwood, Lone Jack, south to Strasburg, east to Holden, Warrensburg, Sedalia, and finally southwest to Windsor, which is the turnaround.

Two riders pulled ahead and were at the Holden control (49 miles) at 8:15AM when I arrived with three other riders. Five of us left about 15 minutes later into a ESE wind that was blowing about 10 mph. I was able to hang with them for a few miles, but the last I saw of them until Windsor was when they were climbing the hill about a mile ahead of me just before the turn to the northeast on BB Hwy. I stopped at the turn to take off my jacket because the temperature had climbed a few degrees and I was working hard riding on my own.

I rolled into the Casey's in Sedalia (99 miles) at about 12:40PM for a brief stop before heading on to Windsor. The clerk told me the lead riders were about 20-30 minutes ahead. I ran into a cold hard rain storm on B Hwy about three miles north of Hwy 52. The road was pockmarked with small potholes that were almost impossible to see in the rain making for a rough ride. The rain only lasted about ten minutes. I kept expecting the lead riders to come charging towards me on their return, but they were still in Windsor (125 miles) when I arrived about 2:00PM. I had planned to eat something substantial in Windsor, but they said we could eat in Sedalia if I wanted to ride with them. I bought bottles of chocolate milk and water at the Casey's, and we headed out again. After about six miles I fell behind and that was the last I saw of them. I probably should have eaten in Windsor like I had planned because I was losing energy fast. Just north of Green Ridge, I passed the last rider heading out to Windsor. She was at least an hour behind me.

In Sedalia, I looked for the lead riders at the fast food restaurants along US 65 and finally stopped to eat at the last one at Y Hwy where I needed to turn west again. I rode into the control at Casey's about 5:45PM. The clerk told me the lead riders were about 15 minutes ahead of me and he did not think the would make Warrensburg before the cold front hit. The wind was now out of the south at about 10 mph. The temperature was about 62 degrees. I took off for Warrensburg hoping the clerk was wrong about the cold front.

I slammed into the front coming down the hill at Knob Noster at about 7:30PM. Fortunately the lightning was to the north of me. I continued to ride for about 10 minutes until I found a building with a covered porch to duck under. A couple of drivers slowed as they passed me on the road in the rain and asked if I needed a ride. Since I had not given up yet, I said no. After the rain subsided, I rode to the Casey's on Hwy 13, and the clerk told me the lead riders were about 30 minutes ahead of me. Since I was soaking wet from the storm, the west wind was picking up (20 mph with gusts up to 50 mph) and the temperature was dropping, I decided to check into a motel with the idea of getting up at 2:00AM and trying to ride in before 8:00AM. My gore-tex socks each had about a cup of water in them when I dumped them at the motel. I don't know how that much water got in them, but it wasn't leaking out.

At 2:00AM, my clothes were still damp, it was still cold (45 degrees) and the wind was still blowing out of the west (25 mph with gusts to 40 mph), so I went back to bed. I called Bob Burns, the RBA, just before 8:00AM to tell him where I was. He said he could not pick me up then, but could later in the morning. I told him I would call him about 11:00AM and let him know my status. We also laid out a shorter route that basically had me ride most of the way back to Grandview on MO 58.

I left the motel at 9:00AM. The sun was out, but the wind was out of the WNW at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. I headed west out of Warrensburg on Division Rd. It shorten the ride by several miles, but there was about a 3-mile climb up a hill to MO 58. The 4-mile ride south on MO 58 with the wind somewhat at my back made up for it. I made it to Holden a little before 11:00AM and had a pizza at the Subway before calling Bob. Bob picked me up a little after noon and drove me back. I am glad he did because there seemed to be a lot of traffic of MO58 in Raymore and Belton. Thanks Bob!

Three riders completed the brevet. Two abandoned in Lone Jack, and the rider behind me abandoned in Holden.

As I noted above, I probably should not have tried to ride back to Sedalia with the lead riders because I was pretty low on energy after riding through the storm heading into Windsor. I also should have ridden into Knob Noster and found shelter before the front hit. If I had been dry, I might have been able to continue on. I thought about waiting for the woman rider behind me when I was in Warrensburg, but I had no idea if she was still riding. Also, I could miss her in the dark if she rode by quickly and I was not paying attention. Each ride teaches me something to use the next time similar situations occur.

Riding east at dawn towards Holden

Casey's in Holden, MO

Antique car on road to Sedalia

Windsor, MO

Division Road looking east to Warrensburg

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dogwood Metric Century

This annual Springbike Bicycle Club ride is always held on the first weekend in May. This year and last, the ride has been on a new route starting in Republic on Saturday. The old route started in Sparta on Sunday and was much more challenging. The route was changed because of the increased traffic on the roads.

This year saw a good turn out even though the day started cold, cloudy and windy. Although there was some sprinkles on the drive to Republic, it never rained on the ride. The wind was another issue. It blew out of the west to northwest at 12 to 18 mph the entire ride. The route generally goes southwest to Billings, west to Aurora, northwest to Mt. Vernon, east to Billings and then back to Republic. So the wind gave us a great push on the return. There were rest stops in each of the communities.

I met Doug and Tom at the sign-in at 7:00AM, and we started a little early because we were cold. I rode my new commuter/shopping bike since the ride is short and relatively flat. The bike worked great considering it is set up for short commutes and shopping. I had a little problem with the shifting, but that was fixed after I adjusted the cable, which had stretched, at the rest stop in Mt. Vernon. I also tightened up the chain. I rode with MKS sneaker pedals and Keen-type sandals, rather than my normal crank pedals and Shimano-cleated sandals. The MKS pedals and the sandals have plenty of grip, and I had no problems with slipping. The lack of different positions on the albatross handle bar was uncomfortable after about 30 miles. I would not want to ride more than 100K with this handle bar setup.

We were back in Republic at 12:30PM for the cookout. Thanks to Bill Hill and everyone else involved in organizing and supporting the ride!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Commuter/Shopping Bike

Last night, I finished building up a new commuter/shopping bike on a steel Fuji Sagres frame that I used for my first randonneuring bike when I bought the frame about four years ago from Queen City Cycles. I replaced the Fuji with a new Rivendell Canti-Rom three years ago. I don't know the age of the Fuji frame.

I stripped the paint from the frame and had it powdercoated clear. Rather than a crystal-clear coat, it came out a soft steel gray with tan highlights where solder is exposed. The highlights are visible on the fork in the image of the head tube. I had put Boeshield in the frame when I first built it up for randonneuring, and the Boeshield may have had an effect on the powdercoat when it was heated.

The drive train is a Shimano 105 crank driving a Shimano Nexus 8-speed red band hub. The shifting on the hub is quite smooth, although the jump between the gears seems greater than my normal 7-speed freewheel.

The Nitto Abatross bar has shellacked cork grips. I put a Pletscher rack and a large Wald basket on the rear for shopping trips. The headlight is a Cateye EL-300 for those winter-evening commutes. I live less than a mile from work, so my commute is pretty quick and I can wear my work clothes. With the more upright riding position than my former commuter bike with drop bars, I will really be styling in my sports coat and tie.

Monday, April 28, 2008

300K in Edwardsville, IL (St. Louis)

I drove up to Edwardsville on Friday evening. Actually, I stopped at Granite City, IL, where I camped at the KOA. The radio said a front would be moving through soon, so I located a tent site and went to dinner at Ravanelli's. The front had still not come through when I finished dinner, but it looked like it would start pouring any minute and there was some lightning. I stopped at K-Mart for a gallon of water and sat inside the store for about 15 minutes until the front finally passed. By the time I got back to the KOA, the rain had stopped and I set up my tent. It rained some more during the night, but when the alarm went off at 5:00AM the sky was clear, the tent was dry and it was definitely cooler.

I was at the start in Edwardsville about 6:05AM. John Jost, the RBA, and one other rider were there. There were about 14 riders at the 7:00AM start. Five or six were riding a 200K. I left with the first riders that were all riding the 300k. I hung with them as we headed east through town and along the Quercus Grove Bicycle Trail, but as soon as we hit the first farm road (Fruit Road), they stepped it up and pulled away. With a 10 mph wind out of the west and the flat terrain, I was able to speed along at 20+ mph, but the lead group kept increasing the gap.

I stopped in Pocahontas (16 miles) for a bottle of water to mix more chocolate Spiz and to remove some clothing. On this ride, I rotated through bottles of Spiz, HEED and Perpetuem. On future rides, I am going to drop the Perpetuem. I have a hard time getting it down late in the ride. When I made the turn south at 8:43AM in Stubblefield (30 miles), I was averaging 19.3 mph! Too bad I could not maintain it. At the first control in Breese (51 miles) after riding generally south, my average was down to 18 mph.

There are not many picture opportunities because most of the route passes through farm fields. There has been a lot of rain in the area, and the route had to be revised because one of the roads had been under water for several weeks. At Queen's Lake, there were a number of houses on stilts that were surrounded by water. The last two years I rode that segment, the houses were high and dry. I am not sure how the septic systems work in the wet conditions. I hit one of the expansion joints on a bridge at about 15 mph and my camera popped out of the Bento Box. It hit the deck and a car almost ran over it, but the camera continued to worked.

At the 3rd control in Okawville, after riding mostly west and south, my average was down to 17 mph. The next 15 miles out of Okawville were due east, so I had a good push from the wind that was up to 13-15 mph. That was the last segment to the east, but about the time I turned south, the west wind slowly began to decrease.

The 4th control was in Oakdale (121 miles), home of the Easter Eggstravaganza. As I was heading into town, one of the other riders was coming back towards me. I was passing a small c-store and I stopped in the parking lot.The rider told me it was the control. I used the restroom and bought some water and a V-8. When I asked the clerk to sign my card, she said we had the wrong place. So we rode up the road to the actual control.

The other rider pulled away a few miles outside of Oakdale. He was in a hurry to get back because he did not have any reflective gear. I stopped again in New Baden (151 miles) for water and V-8. I finished off a bag of potato chips I bought in Okawville. I was feeling sleepy, so I also popped a caffeine pill. My final stop was in St. Jacob (166 miles) for water and to put on reflective gear. I pulled into the final control at 9:22PM. The fast group was back 2.5 hours earlier. I spent the night again in Granite City; this time in a motel.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

200K Brevet in Liberty MO

John and I went up to Liberty for the 200K brevet on Saturday, April 5. We left at 1:00PM on Friday to scout out a new permanent route from Strafford to Humansville. The original route I mapped out had some gravel roads west of Buffalo, but after driving around the area, we found a paved route.

We were at the Perkins Restaurant, the start of the brevet, at 6:00AM. John ordered a big breakfast, but did not finish it because he was feeling queasy. I gave him a couple of antacids to try to calm it down.

There were 28 cyclists when Bob Burns, the RBA, sent us off at 7:00AM. There were more cyclists than I expected to see following a PBP year, but the weather was predicted to be nice (high around 65 degrees and sunny) except for a stiff south wind later in the day.

The route is hilly with 8,580 feet of climb (profile) and meanders around generally north and west of Liberty (map). Shortly after the start, John dropped behind the group and I slowed so he could catch me. He had dropped his chain and said he was doing okay and not to wait for him. That was the last I saw him until after the ride.

As we climbed to the northeast towards Prathersville, I connected with three other riders: Jack, Eric and Brian, who I rode with off and on most of the day. The ride was generally uneventful until I turned south on B Highway just outside Ridgely rather than heading straight west on E Highway. Eric was with me, and we ended up riding an extra 5 miles, about half on gravel roads. Jack and Brian were behind us when we left the route and were surprised when we later pulled into the halfway control at Platte City.

The first part of the return ride went well because we were generally heading north and east. We turned into the wind for the last 25 miles from Plattsburg back to Liberty. It took almost 2.5 hours to complete that last leg. I am not sure how strong the wind was blowing, but the Perkins' flag was straight out when I returned. The ride took about 10 hours and 20 minutes, 40 minutes less than last year even though I rode 5 more miles.

Meanwhile, John's stomach had gotten worse, and he heaved his breakfast on the front of his bike. He had to abandon the ride about 9:30AM and checked into a motel in Kearney, the hometown of Jesse James. He was only about 10 miles from the start as the crow flies, but since I had the truck keys, he did not have anyplace to go. He tried to call my cellphone to let me know his situation, but my phone was off. I called my wife after I returned, and she called back about an hour later after John called her. For some reason, John's voice mail message was not registering. I drove up to Kearney to get him, and we dropped his brevet card back at the Perkins before heading back to Springfield.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cold, Wet Ride; Hot Pancakes

The Ladies' Auxiliary cooks pancakes at the VFW in Strafford on the 5th Saturday of the month. Since it only happens a few times a year, the weather has to be really harsh to call off the ride. It was about 44 degrees, but not raining, when I left the house. It started to sprinkle when Rae, Doug and Tom met me downtown at 7:30AM. We had to be at the VFW before it closed at 9:00, so we headed east into the headwind (about 11 mph) that made the rain seem more intense. The rain stopped outside of Springfield, but picked up again just outside Strafford. When we crossed MO744, we passed a stream of runners and walkers doing a 5K. As usual the pancakes were great. For some reason the women make better pancakes than the men who cook them the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month. Since it looked like we were going to get more rain, we decided to head back to Springfield after breakfast. The rain started again after we crossed I-44, but with the wind at our backs it was not bad. Instead of a 50-mile ride, I only did about 33 miles. More than enough in the cold and rain.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Spirit was Willing, but the Flèche was Weak

We put together a team (Emily, Hunter, John and myself with Rudy in support) to ride a Flèche from Springfield to Grain Valley, just east of Kansas City. The 237 miles had to be ridden in 24 hours. The intermediate checkpoints were Miller, Golden City, Nevada, Holden, and Greenwood.

We left Springfield at noon on Friday into a headwind that wore on us most of the ride as it swung from the west to the north. We were little late getting to Golden City, in part due to a flat the John had about 10 miles out. Emily also dropped out prior to Golden City. Dinner took some more time, but we began to make it up on the road to Nevada until we hit a gravel section just south of town. We had ridden four miles up MO 71 to avoid a gravel section between DD Hwy and E Hwy in Vernon County. We made good speed on the wide, smooth shoulder, and there was not much traffic that late at night. When we got to E Hwy, the map was not correct because E Hwy only went east and we were heading west. The road to the west was paved, so we kept going and hit gravel after a few hundred feet. The gravel was not too bad, but after two miles we came to a road closed sign. Fortunately there was a road to the north and it was paved. We made it into Nevada about an hour behind schedule, so we actually lost ground we had started to make up.

We were also a little slow getting out of Nevada (12:30AM), and we hit more gravel, that we were expecting, before we got to M Hwy that would take us northeast toward Holden. While M Hwy is flat, we were not keeping up a speed to make it to Grain Valley on time. The wind had picked up from the north again, and it was getting colder. Just before 3AM and after 140 miles, we decided to abandon and called Rudy. Fortunately he was only about 1/2 hour away. Everyone was really chilled, so John wrapped up in a space blanket, and Hunter and I took turns in his bivey bag until Rudy arrived.