Ash Grove MO to Pittsburg KS 68 Miles and Kansas flatlands.

At each breakfast we have found the locals have their own special table. When a person comes into the café they head to this designated table. We don’t know if they assigned seats but they welcome each other warmly. It reminds me of my home town when I was a kid. You knew when you went to the cafe you never had to eat alone unless you wanted to. What a great custom.

The sign in the hostel last night said “hills end in 23 miles for westbound riders.” That was a true statement and the ones we did have were tame compared to what we are used to.

The highlight of the rest stops were in Golden City. This is a perfect name for a city that has “Cooky’s Café”. This Café is well known by the biking community for its pies. They are all “homemade” on site. The hardest part is choosing what kind of pie you want. I stopped counting at 6 different pies, but our favorite was the strawberry/rhubarb. I had to verify this by having a piece of cherry pie with ice cream first. 

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State Line KANSAS. I am home again. I was born and raised in Kansas and I am happy to return on a bike.

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Tonight we are staying at the Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium. What a treat to stay inside again tonight with 4 showers, wifi access and to top it off great food for all meals. All this is made possible by outstanding volunteers lead by Gina Peak. She had taken the initiative to get involved years ago and we are reaping the benefits today. This is just an outstanding example of type of people that support MS and the BiketheUSforMS ride.

Thanks Gina, we all appreciate what you and all your volunteers do for us. Words don’t begin to explain our gratitude.

Hartville MO to Ash Grove MO 74 Miles

The day started later due to some miscommunication with server the night before. Even then the morning cook let us in early which was much appreciated since it was cool this morning. With all this said and done we were on the road by 7:40 a.m.

The ride itself was basically the same as the last, more steep rollers which after two 80 plus days taxed our legs and lungs. At the end of the ride the road turned rough and really vibrated our hands.

Three long hard days in a rows, we are looking forward to Kansas.

Tonight we stayed at the Ash Grove City Park which also has a hostel where a number of us slept. Others setup up their tents.

The park was next to the local swimming pool which a number took advantage of. The pool was free for the BiketheUSforMS riders. There were also showers in the hostel and adjoining pool area.

Dinner was a small challenge due to this being Sunday. All the restaurants were closed except a pizza/sub shop in one of the convenience stores. They also had great milk shakes.

Eminence MO to Hartville 80 Miles

As usual breakfast around 6:15 a.m. and on the road before 7:00 a.m.

Charlie has ridden this route before so at about 5 miles out we stopped at a park to checkout the old Mill. It was beautiful and well worth the time.

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When we got back on the road my legs were tired and a little sore after our 90 mile day yesterday. Some of it may have been psychological.

Our second rest stop was in (no kidding) Houston in the County of Texas. This was the largest town of the day (population 2,084). There wasn’t a 610 Loop, Beltway 8 or Grand Parkway. Just a good place to grab a bite to eat and then back on the road.

Tonight we are camping at the Hartville City Park. We are definitely roughing it here. No water in the park except for the women and men’s restroom for the toilets only. No sinks.

One resourceful member of the team found a water faucet by the only business in the area and next to the street so most of us used it to clean up a little.

The one redeeming feature of the park was the view of pond and surrounding hills.

Farmington MO. To Eminence MO 89 Miles

This was expected to be a long day and rough one so we stopped for breakfast at the place the locals called the best breakfast ever. From what we have experienced it did not live up to its billing.

We started the ride expecting the worst but the first 60 miles were a piece of cake, but the last 30 miles made up for it. Here we experience the Ozarks at its finest. There were a lot of steep climbs but they were shorter than we experienced in Virginia and Kentucky. What made them harder was this was a 90 + mile day. This day was topped off with a very steep climb up to the local high school. It had started to rain and my back tire slipped so I got off and walked up the hill.

We also found the drivers in Missouri were not as courteous as the other states. They honked more, didn’t give us as much clearance space when passing and a number were more vocal. What the drivers don’t always understand is the shoulder they think we should be using is usually taken up with rumble strips so we have no choice but ride in the driving lane. When we got to narrower roads without shoulders the drivers were better.

We stayed in the high school gym. This gave us access to the shower locker rooms as well as rest rooms. No waiting lines here. This was great.

Kye and I decided to cook tonight because we were just exhausted and cold. By the time Kye had made us a hot meal and hot chocolate all was well.