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

Monday, November 2, 2009

Apple Butter 200K

Yesterday was another great day to ride a 200K. I joined Nancy and Mike Myers for the inaugural run of their Apple Butter 200K permanent from Baxter Springs, KS, to Mt. Vernon, MO. Mt. Vernon has an annual apple butter festival. With the change from daylight savings time, we planned to leave at 6:30AM. We ran into a glitch when the first control was not open, but we were able to get a gas receipt. The time switch was a problem at several of the controls because their cash register clocks had not been reset. The temperature at the start was 48 degrees, slightly warmer than predicted, and the wind was out of the south. The route goes right through Joplin on 20th Street, but traffic was light both outbound and inbound. It probably helped that it was a Sunday. The temperature was close to 60 degrees when we got to the second control in Sarcoxie, MO, so we shed most of our outerwear. The south wind held until we started back from Mt. Vernon when it shifted to the southwest. It was stronger than predicted, at 14 to 19 miles per hour. To keep up with the low-profile recumbent, I drafted quite a bit on the way back. An interesting feature of the route is that there is a significant hill as you enter almost every city or town. There is a fair amount of climbing on the route. Overall, I measured 4,500 feet, and at the turnaround in Mt. Vernon, it was 2,130 feet. This gets me through five of the 12 months I need for the RUSA R-12 award. Nancy and Mike will have 12 months when they complete a 200K in December.

Sunrise in Galena

Nancy & Mike outbound

Getting ready to leave Mt. Vernon

The wind shifted to the southwest