I drug myself out of bed at 4:00 on Saturday to ride the Hound Dog 124K with James Doggett at 5:00. I am not sure why James wanted to ride so early. I would have preferred a little later start and not have to have lights and reflective gear. I got to the Fast-N-Friendly a little late. James was ready to go and headed out while I went in to get my card signed. I caught up with James before Kansas Expressway and rode with him until Hazeltine Road (FR 115) when I pulled away with the first hills.
The ride out was uneventful. I did not even get stopped by any trains on the multiple rail line crossings. There was still water flowing across the low-water crossing on FR 178 from the recent rains. There was also water encroaching on the edges of Zell Road, which had recently been chip and sealed. About the time I got to Billings, I began to think about breakfast. Usually I do not stop to eat on these short permanents, but I needed a reward for getting up so early. I did not know of a breakfast place in Aurora, but thought I would ask the clerk at the Casey's. Then I remember R & K Smoked Meats in Billings and planned to stop when I got back.
I passed James about 15 minutes out of Aurora, so I was about 30 to 40 minutes ahead of him depending on how long he stopped in Aurora. I had been pretty quick because I would be stopping longer for breakfast. When I got to Billings, I stopped to take pictures of three former gas stations along the street northwest of the rail line. The rail line bisects Billings from northeast to southwest, and US 60 parallels on the southeast side of the rail line. US 60 is where all the business activity is now located in Billings. It appears that US 60, MO 14 or both may have been located on the northwest side of the rail line at one time because of the former gas stations.
I found that R & K was closed, so I went to Petros Family Restaurant instead. Unfortunately, Petros allows smoking throughout the restaurant. They have a pretty good ventilation system, and there were not many smokers, so it was no too bad. They have killer cinnamon and raisin pancakes which is what I ordered. I had hoped to see James ride by while I ate breakfast, but I was only there about 25 minutes. As I left Petros, I saw a new sign for R & K further south on US 60. Looks like they moved. I was so distracted trying to cross US 60 to Petros that I missed the sign earlier.
As I was riding north on FR 57, I was passed by about 15 cyclists heading south. I said hi to several I knew. I was back in Springfield at 11:24, which let me stop by the farmers market on Commercial Street before it closed at 13:00. I bought some broccoli and patty pan summer squash.
|James heading into Aurora|
|Former Gas Station #1 in Billings|
|Former Gas Station #2 in Billings|
|Former Gas Station #3 in Billings|
|Leaving Petros; R & K across US 60|
|Flooding and Chip & Seal on Zell Road|
|Low Water Crossing on FR 178|
|BNSF Train at FR 156|