Coach has been talkin' about this ride for a long time. Three states (Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri) in one ride. Estimates were anywhere from 140 to 160 miles.
Got an invite this week and gladly accepted.
Dusted off the Crown Jewel and installed the computer that I picked up at Kanza.
Headed out early to meet Troy and Kevin at the 27th and Hwy 2 bench. We were pleasantly surprised to see Gast roll up to join us. We rolled out of town a little after 6 and headed East on Hwy 2. The wind was at our backs and was forecast to be SW most of the day. Tail wind out and head wind back. Definitely not ideal, but would offer a great chance for us to work on our drifting on the way back to Lincoln.
Matt turned around near Nebraska City due to time constraints as Coach, Troy and I forged on. Somewhere between Lincoln and Syracuse I lost my new cyclocomputer. Must not have been snapped in all the way. Doh!
After rolling through Nebraska City and crossing the Iowa State line we ran into a flood plain. Hwy 2 was underwater in a couple of sections.
Waited for traffic to ease and shot the gap. Clammy chamois time!
What was once acres and acres of farmland was now a large lake on both sides of the highway. Seems like the whole of Iowa is underwater.
This pic is of the second section of the highway that was underwater. The first was completely submerged. Didn't take any pics of that section for obvious reasons.
The waves were breaking and it even smelt like a lake. There's barely a lane for traffic to squeeze through.
Rode along the Loess Hills scenic route. Very beautiful. Awesome road riding. Gentle turns and small little rises on a smooth tarmac surface. All of us hit virgin roads on the ride.
Quick recharge in Hamburger, Iowa. Stopped at the local grocery store. Asked several locals the best way to Rockport, Missouri. They informed us that our planned route was underwater. We conferred with some folks and got the scoop. A detour to the East was necessary. Not the best news with a SW wind, but we had no choice.
While sitting outside the grocery store we chatted with several locals as they walked past. Very friendly and curious. They shook their heads in disbelief when we told them we were riding from Lincoln. I love that.
On the east side of Hamburg the town was readying a defense against flood waters. The earthen levy still has a several feet to spare, but with the flood waters rising several feet overnight, it had the locals very concerned.
The levy is holding.
Swollen and engulfing large fields for hundreds of yards in every direction.
It was creepy to ride over the bridge and see all the flood water. It's one thing to see it on TV, but it's very humbling see it in person. Gotta feel for those folks. Luckily, Hamburg has been spared thus far.
On the other side of the bridge we found our originally planned route. Yep, that's not gonna work.
Headed east and eventually found a route to the south. Crossed the Missouri state line and stopped to take a pic. Those roads were desolate and rather bumpy.
After crossing the line we rolled through Rockport and headed towards Brownville, Nebraska in hopes of getting some lunch. Unfortunately, there isn't much in Brownville as far as food. It's a quaint little town with several books shops, a couple antiques shops and several art galleries.
We found a public restroom that was open and refilled bottles. Ahhhh...air conditioning. The temp was climbing and the cramps began. Not a good sign.
The Wheel Museum was open!
No head badge. Any guesses on the year and builder...
Rebels keep out!
Welcome to Nebraska!
We stopped in Auburn for lunch. Bonked badly on the way into town. Hit the Subway and forced down as much food that could fit in my stomach. That made keeping hydrated for the rest of the day a difficult task. Lost a lot of fluid and could feel a crusty layer of salt all over my body. Heat is my nemesis.
Gotta thank Troy and Kevin for the invite and also for pulling me all the way back to Lincoln. Couldn't help too much and sat in most of the way back. Almost pulled the plug in Syracuse, but Coach convinced me otherwise...
Me: "I'm gonna pull the plug. "
Rolled back into Lincoln around 5. Ended up with 175 to 180 miles for the day. Whew. That was tough.