Missouri has beaten me up. After such a magical time in Kansas, I should have put my mind in neutral and been open to another magical time in Missouri, but it hasn’t been that way so far. As soon as I crossed the border from Kansas to Missouri, the road shoulders became skimpy and dirty. The gentle imperceptibly rolling hills of Kansas became accordion pleats in Missouri. You can see them on the Strava track. They are described as endless and relentless, but, of course, they do end and can be counted. I didn’t want to count the hills on the Strava track, though, so as not to relive that effort. img_4591

However, there was something else going on. At dinner at the Crappie Hole in Hermitage, I  was cold. I could not wait to get back to the hotel to dive under the covers and get warm. What I didn’t know was that I was already running a fever. From Hermitage to Osage Beach, Sandra had to coax me up hills. She’d offer Peanut M&Ms and lunch in Osage Beach, both of which had previously been good incentives but that now felt repulsive to me. I said all I wanted was a nap. While riding, the cough didn’t bother me. When we got to Osage Beach, I took a very hot long shower and took a long nap, but when I woke up, something just wasn’t sitting right. For me to ask Sandra to go to an urgent care place was significant. We found one in town that closed at 7 PM and we were there by 6:50, but I was refused service. The emergency room of the local hospital was nearby, so we went. We anticipated hours of waiting but it went pretty quickly. The doctor decided I had a touch of bronchitis and prescribed a short course of antibiotics. I have to say that the triage nurse, nurses, and doctor at the Osage Beach hospital were friendly, helpful, and understanding. None were from Missouri and one was from Kansas. They talked me into taking one day off of riding. This was a hard sell and contrary to my plan because I was trying to figure out how to finish the ride one day earlier on Sunday, October 23. Do you remember when the early GPS devices would say, “Recalculating,” instead of “You idiot, you made a wrong turn?” I’d have to recalculate my route and end date.

I was like a limp noodle. In fact, that is what I had for dinner. Plain fettucine with no sauce at all. When we woke up this morning, Sandra found a delightful prospect for breakfast called Blueberries. It appealed to me and I went, but I actually put my head down on the table while waiting for food, and then I couldn’t eat it. The only thing that I happily put down was hot tea. I could not wait to get back in bed. When I finally got there, I slept for four hours straight. 

After that long nap, the cough began to subside and I had a little energy back, enough to write this blog. I’ll continue to nap and use little bits of energy for recordkeeping and preparation and I hope to resume riding tomorrow.

Ride details

Start location: Hermitage MO

End location: Osage Beach MO

Distance: 46.8 miles

Cumulative distance: 1883.8 miles

Elevation gain: 2759.2 feet

Strava track:

Special features: Steep rollers (up to 7%), heavy loud traffic, road construction 


38 thoughts on “Recalculating

  1. Hang in there Lynn. Hope you continue to feel better. I have been following your blog and have enjoyed reading about your experiences. You are such an amazing inspiration! – Tim


  2. Please take care of yourself, Lynn. I hope you feel better soon. Listen to your body. It may need more than one day of rest before it’s ready to resume your quest. Is this the end of accordion hills or will they continue on the next day of riding? That’s quite an impressive elevation profile!


  3. Take care of yourself, Lynn. Another few days won’t matter in the end, but pushing yourself too hard could have serious repercussions. We love reading your blog and hope that it gets better!


  4. Lynn – feel better dear! Get some rest – you deserve it. Btw, your writing gets more beautiful each day. I love reading your blog. Next project (after you rule the world), write a book! Love Kristine


  5. During my 2008 cross-country, we crossed Northern Missouri. On a 75 mile day from Chillicothe to Kirksville, we encountered 148 rolling hills during the last 50 miles.


      1. Our hills were between Chillicothe, MO and Kirksville, MO. They were sort of fun though as we could get up enough speed going down to coast about half way up the next. Best wishes on the remainder of your trip.


      2. Wow, two Chillicothes. Did not know that. Fortunately, that’s well north of where I am. Did you count the hills as you did them, beforehand, or after the fact on an app like Strava or RideWithGPS?


  6. Your adventure and fortitude are amazing! Your blog is so interesting. You are the Anthony Bourdain of cycling across the country and you have earned rest so you can keep your eye on your goal.


  7. Too bad my home state of MO isn’t treating you as well as my adopted state of KS. Sure hope you feel better tomorrow and are up to getting back in the saddle. If not, don’t push it – take another day; it will pay off in the end.


  8. So sorry to hear. The worst nightmare for someone with a cross country ride and calendar for sure. I have been there. Its a constant changing of plans and goals. But believe it or not the finish date is not nearly as important as it seems and your health is so much more important. Take a few days slow down and try not to stress out. Believe me I understand. You can do it and you will feel better soon and glad you slowed down a few days. God bless Guy


    1. Felt much better by evening and will ride in the am. May do fewer miles if I’m not feeling it. Thanks for your encouragement! Did you see the newspaper article and TV interview? I referred to you in both!


  9. Be careful. We worry about you. I “pushed through” bronchitis and ended up flat on my back with pneumonia and one step from being hospitalized. Had someone not literally taken control of my world and forced me to bed, it would have been the hospital. Please don’t be stubborn. Take care of you now so that you heal more quickly.


  10. Sounds to me like rest is called for. Remember, even Hillary Clinton took 4 days off the campaign trail! When reality does not match the plan, go with reality!


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