An hour or so after we started today's ride, I had a flat -- the first and only "mechanical" on the entire tour. I had picked up a one inch nail, so I can't really fault the tires. They have rolled over a huge amount of debris, gravel, glass and more without complaint.
|North Little Rock: We like bikes, but not teens.|
The other big event of the day, of course, was The Big Dam Bridge, which is a bike/pedestrian trail built on top of a dam, hydro-electric power generator, and shipping lock. The trail is almost 5,000 feet long and most definitely worth a visit if you are biking in the area. Here are some photos:
Fred and I agree that the Plod Across the Plains was a most worthwhile endeavor. It was, as expected, a challenging ride, though we were really quite fortunate with conditions. Yes we had headwinds most every day, but they were not as strong as they easily might have been. In addition, we did not have any super-hot days. In fact, I don't think the air temperature made it above the high 80's or low 90's. We had only one rain day, and thankfully it happened to be one of our short days. The big fear, tornadoes, never appeared, though we saw that people living here are keenly aware of the possibility. It is much more of a presence in their lives than are hurricanes for Floridians. Our conversations with the tornado survivors in Greensburg won't be forgotten any time soon.
|End-point of the Plod Across the Plains|
In terms of our bike touring, we decided that rolling rest days are nonsense. At least for guys our age, a day off the bike at least once each week is a necessity. Finally, once again, I was reminded that foul weather can occur even when it seems very unlikely, so the packing list should always include clothes to keep you warm and dry on the bike.
The stats for the entire tour go something like this:
|Count:||15 consecutive days of riding|
|Elevation Gain:||18,620 ft|
|Avg Speed:||12.5 mph|