Posted by: twistsoffeet | July 10, 2011

A brutal day

Before I get into my brutal day I have to let everyone know that I have officially pedaled over 1,500 miles on this tour. I have ridden an additional 500+ miles in automobiles mostly the 400+ miles when my uncle picked me up in Hermann Missouri. This milestone of 1,500 miles is huge to me especially considering I am pulling a very heavy trailer and the bulk of these miles where in very hilly if not mountainous terrain. So now that I have patted myself on the back for a job I consider well done I will now get on with today’s post.
I left off last night in the midst of the massacre at Mallard. I was sitting in my tent bored and sweating my backside off unable to go outside and enjoy the fresh air due to the mosquito’s so I dug around and came up with enough change I thought to get a beer at the local watering hole. I exited my tent and ran, if that is what you can call an arthritic middle aged man hobbling up the street in his riding shoes complete with cleats, up the the hill to Ron’s ? Tap Inn which was 1 of 2 bars I had seen in this town of 247 people. Fortunately I barely had enough change for 1 beer. I sipped my beer slowly (if you believe this then… well you get the idea) and chatted with some locals who were all discussing the infestation of the area by Mosquito’s and aphids etc. they were discussing their plans to chemically attempt to annihilate the bug menace. 1 man was giving his son instructions on how to mix the chemicals and when the son said that the instructions only called for using so many ounces of chemical per 100 gallons the father said to disregard the instructions and just pour it in glug glug glug and then ad some more for good measure. The bartender mentioned she didn’t want them to kill the fireflies and he said he didn’t care about them he wanted all the bugs killed. And so the conversation went. After mustering the courage to face the mosquito’s again I left and headed back to my tent.
As I approached my tent the hoard of flying vampire like blood suckers descended upon me carpeting my exposed body parts with masses of parasitic flying creatures. I opened my tent and dove in quickly zipping it tightly closed but to no avail as several squadrons of flying leeches had made it into the tent with me. We did battle for half an hour with me swatting and smashing away at their masses. But there were so many many of them that had the opportunity to feast upon my blood. I was making headway but every time I thought I had eradicated them another squadron would fly up from where they were hiding and attack me. Finally I triumphed and laid back with my IPOD to enjoy some victory music. And there I stayed. I stayed most of the night but finally having to relieve myself I looked out and was unable to see any bugs on the mesh windows of my tent to I jumped out and headed for the Men’s room. Oh they are so devious they let me get to my destination and begin the act when out of the darkness they swarmed, instantly covering me in a buzzing carpet of miniature blood sucking tormenters. Again I ran back to my tent but again I was to late and so the battle began anew.
I finally slept amongst the dead and rotting flesh of my attackers. Their bodies were piled up like cord wood and blood, my blood was everywhere. I woke this morning to a tiny splash of water in my face. I had pitched my tent without a fly for better ventilation and wouldn’t you know it rained hard. So I again braved the hoard as I put the fly on my tent. I killed the infiltrators and went to sleep again.
The rain stopped about 07:30 and I decided to make my escape. I put on a heavy fleece jacket and a dew rag on my head to protect from the mosquito’s and packed everything I could while still in my tent and then out I jumped and loaded my trailer and bike as quickly as possible. When packed I took off the fleece and dew rag immediately providing fresh targets for the little pests. and off I rode.
Yes off I rode right straight into the fiercest headwind I have yet encountered on this tour. I pedaled nonstop except for when I actually stopped and got off my bike for over 4.5 hours and averaged 4.3 mph while riding. I rode through 17 miles of this head wind and my thighs are burning, I am exhausted but at least there are no mosquito’s. Actually there are some brave and suicidal wayward mosquito’s that continue to find me but nothing like the masses of yesterday and this morning.
I knew I would be unable to pedal much further when just as I approached the town of Pocahontas Iowa I saw a park. I pulled into Rosenberger park where there are benches and shelters and bathrooms and Bar-B-Q grills , not that I will be doing any grilling but none the less it is a very pleasant little park. I haven’t set up my tent yet as the sun is still tracking across the sky and the shade is continually moving. But since the wind is so heavy there are no mosquito’s and I can comfortably sit in a partially walled in shelter and type my post for the day.
Last night ended up being cool and damp so the RA is making a nuisance of itself. My thumbs and half my fingers are not working properly my elbows wrists hips knees shoulders and ankles are also demanding their fair share of attention by inflicting pain upon me. But the sun is out and warm the sky is nearly cloudless and the wind is still blowing strongly and keeping all flying insects at bay. So all in all I can not complain and am actually enjoying just kicking back.



  1. Keeping my eyes crossed for you that you ride tomorrow is sketter free and ra pain free! And you are doing this because?

    • Hopefully it will be a pleasant morning that will allow me an early start. The mosquito’s are not as bad in my present location but in northern Iowa they are always present. As for why I am doing this well…
      1:riding my bike and keeping active has to be better for my RA than being inactive.
      2:It is much more interesting than a 5 hour airplane flight.
      3:Someone told me I could never do it and I had to accept the challenge.
      4: Very important: it is bringing my relationship with my daughter closer and making it stronger.
      5: I am a masochist!!!
      6:It gives me something to write about.

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