Sunday August 3:
I am trying to do this blog update while riding on a school bus to a church in Lincoln, Nebraska. The ride is less than smooth and here is minimal space to work.
We have just finished the highest mileage week of the tour. We are glad to have a day off the bikes. It is very warm and humid here. Last night was very uncomfortable. It did not cool off much and the number of trains running through town was amazing. There was a busy set of tracks to the east and west of us and we could hear the trains talking to each other all night long.
As we are getting closer to Michigan, the condition of the roads continues to deteriorate. It is beginning to feel more like home. In the state of Nebraska we have seen little more than small towns and agriculture consisting mainly of corn fields and cows. Thankfully the last few days of riding contained a small section of rolling hills to break the monotony.
Last week we fought head winds at least some of every day but one. Saturday the wind was out of the south east. It was very difficult going east but very easy going north. Fortunately, our day was about half in each direction. Had we fought the wind all day, it would have been extremely difficult. On days with a head wind, it is important to ride in groups so we can help each other break the wind. This is helpful to accomplish the miles but does require more attention to the rider in front of you so as not to run into him. It makes it more difficult to watch the scenery. Oh well. Once you see the first 20 miles of corn fields, they all look the same.
We have several 100+ mile days next week as we cross Iowa. We are praying for the prevailing westerly winds to take over. Once we get through next week, the mileages become a little lower.
This afternoon will consist of bicycle cleaning and maintenance and a little relaxation.
How to keep yourself occupied while biking across Nebraska:
1. Target practice- Try to hit the grasshoppers or bubbles in the tar with your tires in order to make a popping noise.
2. Play Guess What- Attempt to guess what is open in the next town based on the number and size of the grain elevators, water towers, and highways.
3. How Many- Count how many seams in the road you have to pound over before you go crazy.
4. Another version of Guess What- What crop is growing in the field on either side of you, and what crop was in the field before and is now popping up (this game was better in eastern Colorado where there was more than just corn).
5. Perfecting The Wave- Since there is a big motorcycle rally near where we are biking; there are a lot of motorcycles on the road. There is a wave (more of a finger wave) that is common among motorcycles. We are working to perfect ours as the motorcycles drive by.
6. Mind reading- Trying to figure out what the road crew was thinking when they put this horrible road surface down (although we did get some nice newly paved roads on Saturday).