5-20 Wednesday Surprise

Yesterday I called local Cedar Rapids bike shops looking for a new front pannier as I have one that leaks, and we certainly have the rain to test it! I was talking to Stacie and mentioned my trip from Indy. Stacie then asked me, “Are you biking across country and possibly to Alaska?” 

I was momentarily shocked….how did she know? As I stammered, Stacie mentions that she was talking to my friend Clay Hildreth, who lives by me, and he had sent her my blog link. How many crazies can there be doing this right now after all?

Ride to the Bike Shop

 We made plans to meet the next day when they opened at 10.  
The next morning I ate two oatmeal packs from the hotel lobby and room coffee and took off. The plan was to follow the Cedar nature trail, but this went awry when the bridge from Czech town was closed with a detour sign pointed the wrong way. I went about 1 mile on this path and recognized this was bust. Rode back and looked at the situation again. Embarrassing! One block over was another bridge. Just had to look. 

In downtown CR, I again encountered a trail closing. No detour sign so I followed Google maps but ran into issue as the turn I was directed to make was only a ramp onto I380. No way. 


I tried to go north around detour but hit another river. Went south and ended up in then Quaker Oats parking lot. Now I was stumped…. 
Followed Google again and ended up right back where I started. Dang circle.  

Finally just picked up bike and pushed thru the detour on the trail as construction guys gave me the look. Success… .back on route. 
At bike shop, which is named Northtowne Cycling & Fitness, Stacie greeted me at the door. She was the best and gave me lots of help including fixing a back tire that kept losing pressure every day (slow leak).


I also selected new bike shorts, and we discovered their panniers would not fit my bike. I want to thank Clay so much, as he made arrangements with Stacie to cover the charges. Thanks to both of you! Such a treat. 

Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Rode the Cedar Valley nature trail all day. Trail starts paved but eventually becomes dirt/lime but bike rolled ok around 10 mph. I have not taken a rest day since starting, so I’m a little tired. Decided to bike slow an easy and use day as recovery ride and stopped at 50 miles. Little short but the trail was gorgeous so a slow roll was grand. 

Stopped to camp on a bluff near La Porte, IA, about 20 miles short of Waterloo. In Urbana I stopped at city hall which is small building and a kind lady let me charge my phone and fill up the water bottles. So I’m good to head into a wild camp for the night. 

What I’m Eating Today

Today’s nutrition: 2 packs of oatmeal at hotel plus 1 yogurt, quarter pounder while waiting on bike tire repair (McDonalds was closest place), 1 cup of rice cooked at camp site with canned chicken chunks and dried red peppers added. 

 Will try to get a breakfast in next town about 6 miles down the road. 
Weather was 55 degrees and misted on and off most of day. No sun yet. Maybe tomorrow I do hope. 

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