Kazuki, the Japanese cyclist, and I left Farmington a bit late, but Chester, my destination and I guess his too although the night before he had talked about going all the way to Murphyboro. I thought going all the way was a bit much.
I led the way and for the most part Kazuki was pretty close behind but other times he’d be out of view. Halfway to Chester I decided to stop for lunch about a mile before Ozaru. I figure Ozaru being an interstate off-ramp it wouldn’t be too scenic. My spot had a nice patch of grass and views of rolling farmland. Kazuki had not brought any food so he said he was going on. I ate my lunch and then took a peaceful 45 minute nap lying on the grass.
I had not realized that Missouri had a wine country. Crown Vineyards proclaims itself to be Missouri’s finest vineyard. I haven’t found them yet on a menu otherwise I might try a glass. The vineyards also offered fine dining and the surrounding areas seemed better off than some other areas.
After more hills I reached a flat plain and could see to over what I thought must be the Mississippi River. Then I saw the bridge across to Chester. Stopping before the bridge was a sign saying that Lewis and Clarke started their voyage here. Approaching the bridge I realized it was very narrow without a shoulder. It was narrow enough that I didn’t want anyone trying to pass me with oncoming traffic so I rode in the middle of my lane. A string of cars built up behind me for the couple minutes it took to cross. I was hoping for pictures of the crossing but there was no way to stop.
I did stop for a picture with me in front of the Welcome to Illinois sign plus to take a picture of the “Chester: Home of Popeye” sign. Then I went into Chester to find the Eagles lodge. It has a little bunkhouse and showers for cyclists. They conveniently have a restaurant too. There I ran back into Kazuki who had gotten there before me and was finishing his dinner. I showered, set up my bed, and then went for the strip steak dinner. The house special baked potato was good too.
My legs felt pretty tired. I feel that I am using my granny gear way more than I should be considering the hill I am on, but it is the one that feels right. I feel I should be able to do some of the less steep hills at least two gears higher but my legs quickly disagree with my brain.
I have nine cogs in the rear and a triple chain ring in the front. Speaking quite generally, there is a one mph difference switch cogs in the back. Switching chain rings on the front is about a 1.5 to 2 mph difference. The slowest I can go without fear of tipping over is about 4 mph in my granny going uphill. I generally go about 5 mph in my granny. Going on the flat I go about 18-20 mph. That corresponds pretty well with the 13 gear positions (ignoring all the intermediate variations). So on the hills that I have been using my granny gear recently I think I should be able to go 7-9 mph instead of my 5-6 mph that I am going. I guess it is not a big deal since the hills are not too big, but over the course of the day (and week) it adds up plus the immediate frustration of feeling like I could do better. Mind over body works for a few minutes but not long. I can make my body keep going just I can’t make it go much faster for long.
Start: Farmington, MO
End: Chester, IL
Today’s mileage: 49.7 miles
Total miles so far: 2584 miles
Average speed: 11.3 mph
Max speed: 39.6 mph
Travel time: (10:30 to 17:15) 6.75 hours
Total travel time: 329.25 hours
Weather: mostly cloudy, 50-65 F
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