TransAm – Day 38 – Pittsburg – Springfield

July 22, 2018
Pittsburg – Springfield
150 km (93 miles)
1131 m (3710 feet) elevation
6:02 moving time
4594 km (2855 miles)

Woke up early and called Anja Mist to wish her a happy birthday. It’s sad to miss it but we will do something nice when we get home. After that we were ready to hit the road but even though we had new tires put on our rear wheels the day before somehow Monika’s had a flat rear tire. There was a junior bike mechanic at the shop who changed the tires. He just have pinched the tube just enough so that we were able to ride back that afternoon but then the air must have slowly leaked out. Nothing to do but replace the tube and go for a McDonald’s breakfast.

Soon after we started riding we came to a simple but a beautiful sign – at least it was beautiful to us – which read ‘Missouri welcomes you’. We had conquered Kansas and it’s headwinds! We have probably never on this trip been as happy to cross a state border.

People in Kansas don’t seem to think highly of Missouri or the people who live there. Let’s hope our experience will be different.

Today’s weather was cool and cloudy in the morning but around noon the temperatures were around 34-36° celcius. The humidity makes the heat even worse and we were sweating like crazy. Very little sweat evaporates out here.

Right away we can tell that the scenery is different from Kansas. There are more trees and the trees are taller than in Kansas. There are also endless rolling hills. You pedal up in a low gear, make it over the plateau on top before changing into a high gear and pedaling hard in the Hope’s of reaching the top of the next hill without having to grind the low gear. However most times that strategy doesn’t work and you end up shifting down and grinding the granny gear.

We met two westbound cyclists from Malaysia. We asked them about their experiences in dealing with the aggressive and loose Kentucky dogs which many cyclists have warned us about. One cyclist even blogged about one dog biting his panniers. The Malaysian riders said they had carried an airhorn which they blasted at dogs who came too close. Since they wouldn’t need it anymore they gave it to us. We tried it and it was so loud that it hurt our ears. Hopefully we can scare the crap out of some crazy and untrained dogs.

We started feeling great but our energy levels (particularly Saemi’s) dropped quickly. Probably because of our dinner (and beer selection) yesterday.

Our bodies are like cars which need the proper and adequate amount of fuel so we went for our second breakfast and after that we had the most amazing pies at a place called Cooky’s in Golden City. Best pies we have had, probably ever. That was exactly what we needed and we felt much better and able to finish riding into Springfield which is one of the biggest towns we’ve been to on this trip. The street we rode on into town was littered with flashing fast food signs which is something we don’t usually see in small town America.

Were finally able to do our laundry in a real washer instead of washing our cycling clothes into the shower. Looking forward to riding in clean and nice smelling kit tomorrow.

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