20 August – Ceremonial Wheel Dip at Yorktown Beach, Yorktown VA
I rode the final 6 miles today and dipped the wheel in the Chesapeake Bay of the Atlantic Ocean at Yorktown Beach completing the Ride. This has been such a fantastic journey and blessed opportunity. My good friends Roger & Suzy Shull (College fraternity brother and business colleague at Trane for many years) and Scott Taylor (High school friend) joined us to celebrate the Trans Am journey. Roger took us to the fantastic Berret’s in Colonial Williamsburg for a Brunch feast. Mary Beth and I did an awesome hike around the Mariners Lake at the Mariner’s Museum Park. Yesterday, Mary Beth and I enjoyed a day at Virginia Beach and hiking the First Landing State Park. Notice Jacket Fit from Oregon to Virginia 😂.
Miles = 4,423 * Feet Climbed = 213,181′ * Riding Days = 72 * Rest Days = 10 * Avg Miles/Day = 61.4 * Most Miles in one day = 120 * Hottest Day 110F * Days Camped = 26 * WS Nights = 10 * Number of Flat Tires = 12* Most Climbed in one day = 5,689 * Most Days in One State = 15 OR
18 August: Day 72 – Chickahominy Riverfront Park to Yorktown VA
48.9 miles (4,423 Total Miles) with 876′ of climb. Today was the final riding day of my journey. 72 Riding Days and 10 days of rest = 82 Calendar days. I pedaled on to Newport News a bit past Yorktown to meet with Mary Beth at an Air BNB here in Newport News where sons Mic and Jim were both born. Saturday morning, 10 am, I will do the wheel dip at the Yorktown Beach. and after that I will post the final photos and statistics from this adventure. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. From all the support from my work teammates, our clients, my friends and family, all the friends and hosts I met along the way, our collective God, and and Mary Beth. As Dr. Seuss so wisely said… “Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened. Peace, and goodnight.
17 August: Day 71 – Ashland to Chickahominy Riverfront Park VA
69.6 miles (4,374T) with 1,834’ of climb. A really nice day through countryside, Richmond, and then along the Virginia Capital Trail to a really nice James County campground where the James and Chickahominy Rivers come together. It’s just west of Williamsburg. I thought my last night on the trail should be camping… the Virginia Capital Trail runs from the current capital of Richmond to the historic capital of Jamestown … 52 miles. Nice to be off the highway… Had my 12th flat today. Haha. So many flats. I should have ridden Schwalbe Marathons like the cool kids. 😎 Tomorrow is 32 miles to Yorktown. Saturday morning is the ceremonial wheel dip at Yorktown Beach 10 am followed by brunch at the Yorktown Pub or Larry’s… whichever looks like the most fun. Feel free to Join us if you are close enough!
16 August: Day 70 – Palmyra to Ashland VA
76.5 miles (4,304T) with 3,215′ of climb. They said I was past all the hills, but it isn’t flat yet!. Only a couple more days to go… when does it get flat? Last night I got a call from Big Glen (our first Daikin RM and a good friend)… I knew he lived in VA, but I didn’t realize he lived right in Palmyra. He was on the way back into town so he came and picked me up from my Warmshower host and made a great breakfast with lovely Janine and showed me the Gustafson family compound. Palmyra is such a tiny place and what a great coincidence that he checked my blog the night I happened to be there. It was raining so breakfast with Big Glen helped the rain pass and when we finished I rode the rural route to Ashland, VA where I will have dinner with another old buddy, this one from my 91-II Trane training class, Ken Draper. He and Glen actually worked together back in the day at Trane. Ken and I used to see each other at the annual partner exchange and try to get each other in trouble.
15 August: Day 69 – Waynesboro to Palmyra VA
64.1 miles (4,227T) with 3,343′ of climb. Felt like more climbing than that. Today started with a climb from Waynesboro to the Blue Ridge and rain started half way up. It was so foggy you couldn’t see 10′ in front of you. I pulled into Carter’s Fruit Stand (closed) to collect my strength under an overhang… then when the rain let down just a bit, I carried on for several hours of steady rain. By the time I got to Charlottesville, the rain had stopped. I took a break for lunch near the University of Virginia and received a call from …. RURAL RETREAT! They found my wallet!! Thank you St. Anthony… and Nikki Wright at the Dutch Pantry. After lunch, more rural roads and secondary highways of up and down hills until I reached my bicycling host, Linda of Palmyra. Linda wasn’t home, but had her friend David let me into her wonderful home for a luxury night of sleep. The kindness from people who never met me gives me faith in our society and country. Don’t believe the noise of news/advertising…. people are kind and helpful.
14 August: Day 68 – Lexington to Waynesboro VA
58.0 miles (4,163T) with 5,449′ of climb. Today’s routing took me the hilliest way possible up to and via the Blue Ridge Parkway but was definitely worth the work. Probably the most climb per mile ridden so far on the TransAm including a 4 mile super steep climb from Vesuvius up to the Blue Ridge Parkway with grades up to 12%. The payback included incredible views. Tomorrow I will have some climbing but less than today and after that it becomes just easy rollers into the tidewater area. Stayed with a lovely bicycling host, Francine in Waynesboro VA. She made home made BBQ Pork, corn on the cob, green beans, Cole slaw, rolls, and cookies. Delicious. Her kitty, Griffin, made friends and reminded me I miss our kitties back home. Again, the photos don’t do justice, but they give you an idea of the majestic views.
13 August: Day 67 – Roanoke to Lexington VA
63.1 miles (4,105T) with 4,231′ of climb. I keep saying it, but the views and landscape are truly lush and breathtaking. So far, I have been able to survive with only Apple Pay (in case you haven’t been reading my blog regularly, I lost my wallet 3 days ago!!) At hotels, it takes some fast talking, but the fact I have photos of my drivers license (front and back) as well as my credit cards, passport, DD214, birth certificate, medical card, etc. helps in getting them to waive the physical ID requirement. I suggest you take photos of all your items, keep them in a safe location on the cloud you can access even if you lose your phone. I use iCloud, but google drive or other cloud storage options would also work fine. The DL photo has really saved me. I even opened a bank account at the Woodforest Savings Bank that is inside all Walmart Stores… the photo ID stuff was key. I use a scanning AP for this that takes super clean black and white images vs regular photos. Biking wise… Today was really beautiful. I had a light lunch in Buchanan and a great pizza at Heliotrope Brewery in Lexington. The hills in VA are nothing to sneeze at. My quads were sore today… even after all these miles.
12 August: Day 66 – Christiansburg to Roanoke VA
56.4 miles (4,042T) with 3,301′ of climb. Another fabulous day. The photos don’t do justice to the calm beauty of this rolling terrain. Of all the places I rode during this adventure, this is the one that feel like a place I could easily call home. I do feel closer to home because I am. Heading to Yorktown has special meaning because Mic and Jim were both born in Newport News just a few miles from Yorktown where we went on picnics and flew kites when they were little guys.
11 August: Day 65 – Wytheville to Christiansburg VA
67.1 miles (3,986T) with 4,557′ of climb. Today was among the most beautiful rides, even with a few thundershowers early. A combination of country roads, New River Bike Trail , valleys, rivers, easy mountains, and very steep rollers. Trees and lush greenery everywhere. Lots of flowers, blossoms, deer, squirrels, birds and butterflies. I went to Walmart in Christiansburg and got excellent help opening an account at Woodforest National Bank. They were extremely helpful and provided me with some cash and a debit card so at least I have a backup to ApplePay without my wallet. Had a bit more rain when I got to the Super 8. Dinner was at a place called Lost in Taste… where I had a great dinner with my new friend Twon
… it was just a very short walk from the hotel.
10 August: Day 64 – Damascus to Wytheville VA – LOST WALLET
71.9 miles (3,919T) with 4,944’ of climb. I took the creeper trail to its terminus at White top, then made my way to the Trans Am roads… There was such a nice blend of areas and scenery. I stopped at about 58 miles in Rural Retreat for a milkshake… When I got to Wytheville and my Super8 destination, I realized I dropped or left my wallet at the ice cream stop! I tried to call but no answer, so I got the local taxi service to run me over there, and no wallet. I will discover if I can make it the rest of the way on Apple Pay only. Check out the Jim photos I added to yesterday’s post.
8 & 9 August: Abingdon to Damascus VA
18 miles on the creeper trail to my day off… not really a “riding” day. Jim came up to visit and we just bummed around the town and explored. It was really nice to spend some time with Jim, and I feel very blessed he took the time to come up and visit. Got a new chain and shift adjustments at Sundog cycles… I also switched back to front tires to even the wear. Have a lovely Air BNB … just reflecting on yesterday with Julia and Dean warms my heart. Dean rode all the way to Damascus with me and we had a nice lunch… I feel very blessed for all the friends and kind souls in my life. ☮️🚴
7 August: Day 63 – Duffield VA to Abingdon VA
59.6 miles (3,847T) 5,038′ of climb. Final day of my alternate route brought me just a few miles from Damascus where I will be taking Monday and Tuesday to visit with son, Jim who is driving up from N.C. to stay with me at an Air BNB. Today took me about 25 miles on highway 58 which is too busy for fun riding and the berm requires vigilance to avoid flats. Then I went on a smaller country roads for about 25-30 miles that took me through charming countryside and the lovely village of Mendota where I stopped for a light lunch. There were a lot of hills, then another 5 miles of highway 19 over a mountain ridge and into the town of Abingdon where I am staying at a bicycling host home with Julia and Dean, a lovely couple who like all kinds of adventures and camping. Julia Is from England, and Dean from Germany. They have been in the US for many years in Florida and recently moved to western VA for the lifestyle and four seasons. Julia made a tasty pasta and salad dinner with vegetables from her garden and homemade bread, then rhubarb fool for desert (also from her garden). Abingdon is a charming small city with lots going for it. Staying with people that open their homes to a weary bike traveler is a really special treat. Tomorrow I will take the VA Creeper trail into Damascus for my days off. Peace. All is well.
6 August : Day 62 – Middlesboro KY to Duffield VA
60.2 miles (3,787T) with 4,906′ of climb. Day three of my alternate route started with the Cumberland Tunnel, where they shuttle you through the tunnel as no bikes or pedestrians are allowed in the tunnel… Today also took me over some genuine Appalachian mountains. A lot of today was on The Wilderness Road which is highway 58. There is a big berm with a rumble strip, but like a lot of these berms, heavily littered with broken glass, tire remnants and their associated wires and small bits of sharp rubbish…. So you guessed it… FLAT TIRE (I believe this is #11 and caused by a small glass shard). A Good Samaritan, Eric and his son, John I think, stopped and helped me and donated a patch kit so I can use a tube again if need be. Looking forward to getting to Damascus and son Jim bringing up some more tubes. I think I will swap front to back and make sure both tire liner strips are well installed. If I were going to give one piece of advice for this trip it would be ride on Schwalbe Marathons. My friend, Katie had them and she had zero flats from Eugene OR to Fairplay CO and kept telling me how everyone who has them never gets any flats. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get them on short notice (supply chain issues) in the correct size and had to settle for whatever tires are available. Today, I had a nice lunch at Papa Bear’s in Jonestown which turns out to be the best burger in the region. I met a nice family there who were visiting their hometown from Cincinnati. I planned to camp at Natural Tunnel State park, but when I got to Duffield VA, a heavy thunderstorm hit and there will be several tonight, so I luckily scored a hotel room at the clean and economical Travel Inn. Tomorrow will be the final full day of my alternate route, getting me almost to Damascus and back on the ACA TransAm. I’m glad I didn’t try to struggle through the flood stricken areas, and please keep all those folks from Hazard and Hindman and other eastern KY areas hit hard. Peace.
5 August: Day 61 – London to Middlesboro KY
61.5 miles (3,727T) with 2,707’ of climb. Day two of my alternate route to avoid the heavily flooded areas of Hazard-Hindman took me through a hilly and rural section of Kentucky that was quite scenic with lots of RAIN ☔️ … there was about 25-30 miles of busier roads but they had wide berms and so far 🤞🏽my tires are okay. One small town I went through called Pineville has built essentially an earthen dam around the city with large floodgates they close across the roads to keep water out in flooding conditions. Other low areas should see if they could copy this design. Dinner was at Ike’s Artisan Pizza where I met some cyclists and also a local, Andrew who really loves KY and his hometown. Middlesboro is hosting the “Rock the Crater “ ride tomorrow which is part of the Kentucky Challenge … so it’s like cyclist weekend here… Tomorrow I start my ride to Natural Tunnel State Park through the mile long Cumberland tunnel under “Master Mountain” basically under the Cumberland Gap.
4 August: Day 60 McCreary to London KY
62.8 miles (3,665T) with 5,010’ of climb. Beautiful views today but a mix of roads due to my re-route… I had 7 miles on a larger highway which resulted in … FLAT TIRE. Another little bit of wire that comes out of all the tire shreds in the berm. I installed the tough liner so we shall see… This was the first of 3-4 rerouted days to bypass the flood ravaged area of KY just north of me. The ACA TransAm route normally would go right through the epicenter of Hazard -Hinman and other areas hit the hardest. I will make my way to Damascus, VA via a more southern route and take a day or two there to visit with son Jim who is rolling up from Shelby NC to hang out with dad there. Notable lunch stop today was at Down on Main Bar & Grill in Mt. Vernon, where I had a great meal and a nice conversation with Carlos, the owner. I keep being reminded the best part of this trip is the people you meet. Sleeping tonight at the Red Roof Inn ☮️.
3 August: Day 59 Bardstown to McCreary KY
73.1 miles (3,602T) 4,659’ of climb. Today was an extra pretty ride. Lots of hills, rural areas, and small towns. I stopped in Harrodsburg for lunch which was a delicious Mexican meal of Chili rellano, taco, beans, and guacamole salad at La Fonda. After lunch, I made my way to a very rural “camping hostel” for cyclists hosted by a kind cattle farming couple, Ric & Donna, on their next door property. They both came and visited for awhile… they are from Toledo and Columbus but are Kentuckians through and through now after many years here. They even brought me home made banana bread! I am going to have to call some audibles to avoid Hazard, Hindman, and other cities devastated by recent flooding in KY. Please pray for these folks who have been hit hard by this disaster…many have died… they think total numbers may end up at 100 souls lost. Tragic.
2 August: Day 58 – Elizabethtown to Bardstown KY
29.4 miles (3,529T) with 1,123’ of climb. Bardstown was supposed to be my meal stop… but I loved the vibe and decided to stay! This is essentially the bourbon capital of USA and the “best small town” winner for USA. It feels pretty nice here. I am staying at the Talbott Inn/Tavern which has been the safe haven for travelers since 1779! The history and energy here is like a deep dark coffee. Lincoln, Patton, Daniel Boone, Henry Ford … etc. Deep energy. Peace friends. Love life!
1 August: Day 57 – Rough River KY to Elizabethtown KY
62.1 miles (3,500T) with 2,507′ of climb. This was a very nice ride through rural areas and a few small towns…Axtel, McDaniels, Hudson, Meeting Creek, Eastview, White Mills, Glendale, ending in Elizabethtown which is a growing area. “E-town” is home to Fort Knox, the birthplace of Lincoln, and Bourbon. Elizabethtown has benefitted from the growth of nearby Louisville and is soon to be home to a new Ford battery plant. There is already a good industrial base here. I went to small brewery, Flywheel Brewing, and met Yuris who was interested in my ride. When he asked what the best part was, I replied that the people you meet are the best part. I was explaining how the Warmshowers worked, and even though I already had booked a hotel, he offered to host me for the night at his lovely home with his wife, Tiffany, daughter Aubrey and pets Mela, Coco, an Hannibal. We had a great dinner from the local Indian restaurant, and a fire in the fire pit. I got my clothes washed and had a great night sleep. Yuris was born in Latvia and immigrated to the U.S with his family when he was 11. He has a love for the U.S.A. you see with many who have lived around the world and see what is possible here.
31 July: Day 56 – Clay KY to Rough River Lake KY
78.8 miles (3,438T) with 4,665′ of climb. If you skim these… read down to the DOG CHASE PART. RAIN. It poured last night on my camp but amazingly I stayed dry in the tent. Today the rain was steady from 8 am to noon or a little after. The afternoon was cloudy with off and on showers and a thundershower at the end. The temperature only got to 80, so once you are wet, that is an okay temperature. Plenty of hills, fields of crops lots of corn and soybeans. One farmer I met said everything looks green now, but the corn was close to worthless as the crops were burnt out from the heat wave and drought till about two weeks ago and he declare the rain was too late for a good yield. I decided to get a motel called the St. Clair Motor Lodge “Since 1952” and it was such a pleasant surprise… all remodeled and chic. I really appreciate a bed and nice bathroom every few days. Excellent chopped steak (my fave) dinner next door at the Lake House Restaurant next door. (DOG CHASE PART) One thing you hear from other riders on the trail is that there are lots of loose, mean, and viscous dogs that chase cyclists in Kentucky. Tales of bites, wrecks, all kinds of canine terror are rampant among the TransAm and other riders. I was reading about that phenomenon, and the author explained this as simply the “prey drive” that is the dog’s instinct… pursue, catch, kill, eat. The article I read said stop riding… keep the bike between you and the dog… and in a stern voice with eye contact order the dogs to GO HOME. Today I got chased by two of the meanest biggest pit bulls you ever saw. I tested the stop and go home technique… and it worked great. The more aggressive of the two did settle on his haunches and bark and show teeth in a fearsome way. But within 30 seconds, he calmed, backed away, and just sort of followed along barking in his yard and the neighbors yard as I slowly rolled on. It just took a moment for his dog adrenaline to subside and his domestication to overcome his “prey drive” instinct. Later on, after dinner, this cute dog came over and made friends with me… making me feel like a real “dog whisperer”. Peace… I love you guys.
30 July: Day 55 – Eddyville IL to Clay KY
72.1 miles (3,359T) with 3,842′ of climb. I am beginning to think that Adventure Cycling chooses the roads by the amount of hills. If there are two roads to the same spot and one is more hilly… they use that road. 😂 Today did have a good amount of hills. Like the Ozarks, you tend to stand more to get over these. Today was mostly rural again but there were two highlights. Number one highlight was crossing the Ohio River on a ferry (I was not aware of that until today so it was a surprise). The second highlight was entering KENTUCKY… my 9th state out of 10 total. I stopped in the little town of Marion KY for lunch, and the football team was cooking pork chop sandwiches and lemonade as a fundraiser… It was a nice break and fun talking to the players, coaches, and parents. Go Rockets! I pedaled on to Clay KY, and set up camp at the city park. Dinner at the local cafe, Jeri’s. Chopped steak, baked potato, salad and ice cream! I’m likely to get rained on tonight… we shall just wait and see. Peace friends. With about 1,100 miles to go, I have mixed feelings on being closer to the end than the start. Some of the initial wonder and excitement has been replaced with memories and experience. Peace.
29 July: Day 54 – Carbondale IL to Eddyville IL
61.8 miles (3,287) with 2,904′ of climb. Clarification on days…. 54 riding days, but I have had 8 days that were spent visiting relatives, friends, or just rest days, making it 62 calendar days. I thought this ride would take 4 months including rest days… But it looks like it will take just a week under 3 months…. I still think I will finish August 20 in Yorktown VA. Beautiful ride today… all rural. Some was through state parks around Little Grassy Lake and Devils Kitchen Lake. It was a really nice ride. Plenty of ups and downs. I had lunch in Goreville at Whiffle Boy’s Pizza. They were super kind and the vibe in their place was calm and welcoming. My camp is in tiny Eddyville, population 71. It is called Hayes Canyon Campground, and is set up mostly as a horse camp… people and horses all over the place. I like it. They only charged me $5 since I’m a TransAm cyclist (shhhh, don’t tell the equestrians). The temperature is 79 and should be 65 by morning. Perfect. There is a pretty big and active restaurant in town called Shotgun Eddy’s… one mile from camp! The steak salad was awesome and I also got fries. I love iced tea with lemonade now… no more soda. I hope to get an earlier start tomorrow. Peace friends. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity and be supported by everyone and to have the physical capacity to do it.
28 July: Day 53 – Coffman MO to Carbondale IL
83.2 miles (3,225T) with 4,869’ of climb. This was a diverse route… Rolling Ozarks MO farmland to Mississippi River bottom, to Coal/industrial wasteland to college town. I mean VARIETY! driving through the wasteland I picked up a small piece of wire and … another FLAT (#9)!! I found Phoenix Bikes in Carbondale … got some inner tubes and TIRE LINERS… I’ll let you know how that goes… Dinner at Southern Illinois University hot spot … “The Underground” and yes it is under ground. Got the Pork Belley Reuben and salad… AMAZING!
27 July: Day off in Coffman MO
Much needed day off today. I got all my chores done. Laundry, new tires, email catch up, etc. Today was a very special day because my college friend and teammate, Mark Drajeske, came down from Chesterfield to hang out. He brought delicious frittata from his lovely wife, Mary for breakfast. We went to Farmington for lunch, and he cooked steaks on the grill for dinner. We told stories and caught up on our lives lived apart for many years. This reunion is a big part of what makes this adventure so special. No words for the emotions of today. ☮️.
26 July: Day 52 – Lesterville MO to Coffman MO
61.4 Miles (3,145T) with 3,497′ of climb. This was a nice day, knowing I get a day off tomorrow. The Morning was cloudy and humid. It only got to 90F today, so that was a relief. It was very hilly as I have come to expect in the Ozark Plateau. Tough steep hills, but not too long. Bismarck and Farmington were my only intermediate towns today. The terrain reminded me of Southern Ohio. The Air BNB I got is right on the TransAm which is kind of cool and convenient, basically 12 miles past Farmington. Tomorrow I change out my tires, they are pretty worn out. Hopefully it will stop all the flat tires! I think I have had 7 or 8 flats so far.
25 July: Day 51 – Eminence MO to Lesterville MO
54.3 Miles (3,084T) with 4,993′ of climb. The morning was TOUGH. So steep and so many hills. Very tough morning. I got a flat at about 20 miles in… a small stone made its way through the tire an punctured the inner tube. I was able to use a patched tube which was great because now I am down to only 1 tube!! A nice little beagle (I named him buddy) helped me change my tire. The afternoon was more normal. The views are getting quite nice, but I must say this is real work. I had some issues with my camping arrangements and ended up scoring a cabin at Log Cabin Inn Suites in Lesterville… right next to Lenny’s! A/C again! such luxury. Peace friends.
24 July: Day 50 – Mountain Grove MO to Eminence MO
70.3 Miles ( 3,030T) with 3,373′ of climb. Wore my team Kick’n shirt as today was the last day of the Pan Ohio Hope Ride (POHR). We had 4 Kick’n members riding and 2 virtual riders. They did GREAT as always, surpassing their $50K fundraising goal…. Mark Taft was top fundraiser for the entire event for the second year in a row! Way to go, Mark… #1!! Also it was Kick’n member Scott Murray’s birthday… Happy Birthday, Scott. Weirdly for me, this felt like one of the hardest days on the TransAm. There were sections where I was trying to roll the hills, and for a bit I could do it… but I think that took extreme output and as the day wore on with 103F heat, the super steep grades got to me a bit. I didn’t get my early start 😂. Every morning, I want to sleep in… Oh well. I have 2 days to cover about 120 miles and 8,500′ of climb… so things should be okay. I have a planned day off on the 28th, and I’m pretty stoked that team member, Mark Drajeske, is coming to hang out. I think I need a day off as the last one was with Lizzy on July 11. The locals are warning me that tomorrow will provide super steep grades requiring walking the bike. I’m not above that if it comes to it. As long as I propel it all the way across the US, it is within my definition of success. Peace and goodnight, Elizabeth!
23 July: Day 49 – Ash Grove MO to Mountain Grove MO
95.6 Miles (2,960T) with 5,407’ of climb. This was a hilly long day…. There were lots of smaller steeper hills vs. the long mountain passes. I find myself wanting to get out of the seat, where out west, you knew the grade was so long, you just stayed in the saddle. It’s pretty here and more interesting than KS, but nothing like all the mountains in OR ID MT WY CO. I went a bit off the ACA course to get to a town with hotel. 🏕 Camping in the high temperatures is too rough for me. I stopped 4 places today to grab a drink and sit in gas station or restaurant AC for a bit. Stopping for 15-20 minutes can really help. I was drinking too much diet soda and root beer, so I switched to unsweetened tea with lemonade… Last night, John and Pam taught me to stop the soda!! I didn’t hit the road till 7:12, so I’ll try to do better tomorrow….
22 July: Day 48 – Pittsburg KS to Ash Grove MO
74.2 miles (2,864T) with 2,362 of climb. The morning was pleasant and rolling… Lunch was in Golden City at Cooky’s and they are famous for pie, so I had the blackberry pie! It got downright hilly after lunch and also broke 100F! I was happy to see Ash Grove and completely out of water and hot… Root beer fixed it! They have a free city run bike hostel here in Ash Grove and let us swim in the pool for free! These folks are awesome!! Had a nice dinner with John and Pam on the Trans Am! Hitting the sack early … 5:30 alarm tomorrow!