Day Nine: Hannibal, redux

This will be short and uninteresting. We woke up refreshed after our day off and started packing up. As I brought our bags out on the porch, I suddenly realized that Lisa’s back tire was flat again – for the fourth time in seven days. (Don’t worry, I didn’t swear – or cry.) I got to work putting on a new tube, a messy job since we’d ridden through that melted tar and gravel on Saturday. When I got it on the wheel, I took it on my bike down to a gas station and inflated it.

But I was not at all confident about heading out on an 80 mile day in 100 degree heat, especially when it included another 30 mile stretch with no services – a flat tire out there would be really hard. And my feeling was that maybe this tube will last all the way to NOLA, or maybe it will last ten miles. There is a bike shop in Hannibal, and another back in Quincy, but both were closed this morning. We decided to ride out to the Hannibal shop, which was opening at noon, stop for groceries, extend our stay by a day and sort the coming days out later.

The owner of the bike shop said the rim and the tire are fine, and we’ve maybe just had a bad string of luck with tubes on that wheel. (As a point of reference, my bike has not had a flat in 2,000 miles, while Lisa has now had 4 in 500 miles.) The heat hasn’t helped. I asked him if he were us, would he keep going on it, and he said he would.

We’ll head out again tomorrow, intent on making it to Troy, MO. We’ll take this one day at a time and we’ll go as far as we can on these bikes and we’ll get to New Orleans one way or another. Our luck will change one of these days and everything will be faster, cooler, and easier than expected, right?

Thanks for all your kind thoughts, comments and wishes. It means so much to us. We are outside of our comfort zone, but we carry all of you with us.

13 thoughts on “Day Nine: Hannibal, redux

  1. When you imagine the hardships of the road and mentally agree to take them on, it is different from physically experiencing them. So sorry this has been so tough! Good on ya for adding in another rest day.

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  2. Ok so what’s the deal with the flat tire thing? Strange. I’m trying to map your possible route through MO. My daughter Sara now lives near Lake of the Ozarks — which is south and a little west of your route I think, though she’s not there right now — hiking in Northern CA instead — but that’s some pretty country there in otherwise not so pretty Northern MO as I recall. So there’s much to look forward to and I’m hoping no more flat tires and I’m still wondering about Lisa’s bee sting. Anyway, you sound refreshed so good. Travel safe.

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  3. Keep the faith, my friends. At each moment on this journey, you are exactly where you need to be! Hoping you catch a break with that tire and find some shade along your route today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Knowing how much to push yourself and how much to give yourself a break is so hard, and a big part of the challenge. I wish I knew just what you need to hear at this moment, but we’re sending you lots of good luck and good vibes! Take care of yourselves!

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  5. I took a walk up in Cable in 90 degree weather and nearly had a heat stroke so I can’t even imagine what you are going through. Take good care but something tells me you two are being so smart and aren’t out of your minds…yet! Everyone is proud of you but you’re the ones going through the slog but as you say, the cool winds and temperatures are ‘a comin’! Sending love and I’m with you in spirit all day long!

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  6. You both are such excellent writers. Relax and enjoy your day off, and know that you have hundreds of fans rooting for you. You’re my idols!

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  7. Wow, so amazed to read all the stories from your trip Lisa. Hang in there, I cannot imagine how hard it is to ride in such a hot weather with an unknown future lies ahead. So glad that you get to meet kind people who helped along the way. Looking forward to more stories, and praying that you will be kept safe throughout the trip.

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    • You’ll make it. And as you wind your way south through Missouri, give a shout out to the Guyott kinfolk in St. Louis, St. Charles, Brazeau, Perryville and Cape Girardeau. Don’t stop in Brazeau, though – one cemetery, a church and three houses. And a dog with fleas.

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