Air Time (40)

We woke early to enjoy the hotel breakfast when it started, and then took our time, finally rolled out around 9am with Chester, IL as our goal. After 3 consecutive 80 mile days, today was only 50. We rode slowly, too, as temperatures were forecast to reach 97F!

There is an alternate route option along the Mississippi River, which we were hoping to do, to avoid a few hills in the heat. Less than a mile into the alternate, though, we found out the road was closed ahead.  While looking at our map to see if there was any option other than the normal route, a man on a motorcycle pulled up to talk. He said it is often flooded in area ahead (and they had a lot of rain recently).  He offered to ride up quickly to see if we would be able to get through or around.  When he returned, he informed us that it was flooded several feet deep near the river!  We chatted for a few more minutes and then parted ways; it was so nice of him to go out of his way for us!

We backtracked up the hills to Murphysboro to avoid the flooded area.  At the top of one hill, a guy in a car stopped to talk to us.  He urged us to stop at the radio station up the road but didn’t explain why. Before getting there, he passed us again and relayed the same message, so we figured it was worth checking out. Upon arrival, they offered us ice water in exchange for a 10 to 15 minute interview which they would air sometime in the following week! It was really fun and unexpected. It turns out that the host of the show (who interviewed us) is also the mayor of Murphysboro.

Link here:

We ate lunch beside a church in Campbell Hill and then set out to finish the day with 20 miles of hot, mostly shadeless roads.

We used computers in the Chester Public Library before going to the Eagles’ Cycle Shack (run by the local Fraternal Order of Eagles).

 It was an awesome spot for cyclists: bunks in an air conditioned shack, a shower right near the restaurant, and it was even volleyball night, so we had entertainment.

After cleaning up, we had dinner with another tourer named Roger, during which we shared plenty of stories and thoughts over great food in the restaurant.

Trip stats, to date (Day 40)

  • Carbondale, IL to Chester, IL
  • Daily mileage: 53mi;  Trip total to date: 2,365.5mi
  • Daily riding time: 4hr 30min;  Trip total time: 209hr 29min
  • Daily ascent: 2,109ft;  Trip total ascent: 126,087ft
  • Flat tires: Rachel – 1; Chris – 0

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