ERH MAH GERD! ER BLERG PERST!!!

*cough cough*

Excuse me. Sorry about that.

So after a wonderful week long break in Kansas City we were joined by Caleb’s brother and cousin, Isaac and Taylor. It was a difficult to get back on the road after the break. Our week off the bikes had left of soft, and the prospect of getting  back on was a bit daunting. We left the city with our sights set on Warrensburg where we had a warmshowers host for the night. We wanted to get there quickly, so we could watch the Women’s World Cup final. We managed to make it before the game, even with two consecutive flats. First, I got a flat. We pulled off into a field and I patched it up. We got everything ready to leave, and then Jackson noticed that he had a flat as well. It made for a rough day of riding.

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Once we made it to Warrensburg, we found the beautiful home of David and Barbra. They were kind enough to allow us to watch the match while we ate and give us access to their hot tub. The next day of riding started off slow as Taylor noticed his wheel was flat as we were about to embark. Half a hour later, I got another flat! Things were not going well. That afternoon we finally made it to the Katy Trail, an old railroad turned bike path which stretches most of the length of Missouri all the way into St. Louis. Hopefully we wouldn’t get anymore flats! We biked down the path a little ways to Pilot Grove where we camped under a pavilion which protected us from the rain that night.

At this point, I still wasn’t feeling back into the biking groove. We hadn’t settled back into a good routine, and having two more people in the group made things a bit different. The next day started off pretty well. The Katy Trail is a beautiful trail which runs along the Missouri river for most of its length. It felt like we were biking through a tunnel of leaves as we followed the river east. Sadly we did end up getting a flat. That made for five flats in the last three days! We ended our day at Caleb’s aunt’s house in Columbia and order pizza from a local place Taylor knew about. We got their signature pizza which weighed 5 pounds!

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When we awoke the next day we were greeted to a steady rainfall. The trail had been getting wet most of the night, so we got really dirty from all the mud and dirt. We sought refuge in a Chipotle for an hour or so while engorging ourselves on burritos. We decided to push on a little farther through the rain to a bike hostel we had heard about. There we meet four other people doing bike tours, all of them by themselves. It was a good night out of the rain and swapping stories with other tourers.

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I was nervous about the condition of the trail the next day, after all of that rain, but it turned out to be alright. We ended up biking some on the roads which paralleled the trail, and got back on the trail when they turned away into the hills. Two of the cyclists from the hostel, David and Andrew, were going the same way as us for a bit, so we made a large group. They were both had very little gear and were amazed at how much we were carrying, especially me with the trailer. With their light loads they could averaged a much larger distance per day. They inspired us to try and cut down on what we are carrying, especially for the last part of the trip.

The group had decided to make it all the way to St. Louis that day and stay at Taylor’s house for the night. Caleb, Isaac, and I were going to go 75 miles and get picked up by Taylor’s mom for the last stretch. Jackson and Taylor really wanted to bike all the way into town, so they ended up doing exactly 100 miles to Taylor’s. I knew there was a lot of biking yet to come and didn’t really want to kill myself, and Jackson was adamant on not getting a ride. That night we made the final preparations for the leg to Goshen; however, without Caleb. He had decided to go to Little Eden for a family event with Isaac and Taylor, so it would be all up to Jackson and me.

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