There's really nothing like waking up to find your bike with a flat tire. The first half of my day was spent finding a bike store where I could fix my flat. I was very lucky to have stumbled upon Champion Bicycles in Sedalia. The guys working there helped me quickly get to the bottom of the issue. They showed me how spraying some soapy water on a patched tube will reveal if there is any air leakage. Not surprisingly, I had leakage. I guess the patches I bought were pretty lousy...either that or the mechanic applying the patches (me) was pretty lousy. For whatever it's worth, the guys got my bike working again. Not only did they help fix my bike, but they even treated me to homemade brownies and some Gatorade. That really helped to take the edge off.
My next destination, Warrensburg, was only 30 miles away. I opted for a shorter ride today because the tire maintenance issues got me off to a late start. The route was a straight shot down interstate 50. Though I don't like riding on highways, this one had an 8-foot shoulder protected by rumble strips, so it felt comfortable. The biggest bummer of the ride was the roadkill. I counted three dead armadillos, in addition to several other frogs, turtles, deers, possums, raccoons and birds. The roadkill were a grave reminder.
I arrived at the home of Barbara and David, a Warrensburg couple who were accompanied by two of their grandchildren. I had a really nice, relaxed evening in their home. Barbara prepared a delicious pasta dinner with fresh vegetables from their garden. As we ate I learned about the impressive feats of this adventurous couple. Between the two of them they had done both the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Coast Trail and completed something like five cross country tours. These two were overflowing with wisdom.
After dinner we let the chickens out of the barn in their backyard. Yup. Chickens. These were the most beautiful chickens I had ever seen. Not that I know anything about chickens, but I swear these ones were really impressive. As the hens ran around the yard, I asked Barbara if she had any roosters. She explained that roosters can be problematic. Not only are they noisy, which pisses off the neighbors, but they screw up the "pecking order", causing the hens to get all competitive and aggressive with each other. I couldn't help but to laugh at that.
That night I slept like a rock. With the frustration of bike maintenance behind me, I was happily looking forward to a few rest days in Kansas City.