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October 11, 2010 / jslipschultz

Day 30: Poplar Bluff MO to Union City TN

Today was to be a great, great day.  Flat roads.  Two state lines.  Crossing the Mighty Mississippi River on a ferry.  And it started out great.  Bill, Austin, Joseph and I were cooking along averaging 19-20 mph.  Then we reached the first van stop for water and Karl informed us there had been an accident within the other group.  As we learned later, William had touched the wheel of the rider in front of him and went down.  Dana ran into him (over him) and went down, too.  William ended up with a split lip and lots of road rash and some bruises (and a cracked helmet—-WEAR YOUR HELMET, CYCLISTS!).  Unfortunately, Dana ended up with a fractured elbow and will require surgery and a pin put in.  Her ride is over.  As well as her husband Brit’s.

Brit and Marquette rode to lunch while the other guides attended to Dana and William.  Dana told Brit to proceed as she didn’t know how serious it was.  We waited for them at the lunch spot to see what the plan would be. In an act of solidarity to Brit and Dana, the four of us road with Brit (and Marquette) the rest of the 43 miles to Union City where we found Dana and William at the hotel.

When riding in a peleton, these things happen.  You hope your reflexes can pull you through close calls.  But sometimes, there just isn’t enough time to maneuver around.  And keeping your concentration on the riders in front of you for 100 miles can be challenging.  Luck often has something to do with it.  Bad or good.  We will miss Brit and Dana dearly.  They had provided a great spark to our social dynamics.  They were always smiling and positive (as seen in yesterday’s video–now dubbed the Sports Illustrated Blog Curse).

The ride was somber today.  We enjoyed the terrain, the crossing of the River and state lines, but it wasn’t the same knowing Dana was not en route with us and taking dozens of great pictures.  She’s the strongest female rider in her age-group that I know, and as far as we’re concerned, she conquered the hardest parts of this ride and would have finished easily.  She proved she could do it, no doubt.

Pics and Videos:  Including a video of the Members of the Pharaoh Motorcycle Gang giving us directions to get to Charleston faster.

cotton sign ferry ferry button

Videos of us crossing the Mississippi:

More pics:

almost across  acrosssign KY side KY Hickman KY cake

By the numbers:  101.6 miles, 600 feet of climbing (ah, flat), 5:58:13, 17 mph average (19.2 before lunch, 14.9 after); Totals so far: 2,454.4 miles, 86,459 feet of climbing.

Helmet-cam footage:  Out in the Missouri cotton fields; Ferry Ride 1; Ferry Ride 2

Next stop: Dover TN, 72.8 miles away

Video recap:  None today.  Not much else to add to the above. 

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2 Comments

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  1. Casey / Oct 12 2010 7:57 am

    Jeff, so sorry to hear this. Thankfully it wasn’t worse. Brit and Dana were troopers and will surely be missed. Glad you were able to shoot that vid yesterday. Hoping that William can carry on. Crossing the Miss is great milestone, awesome river, no? Take care and be safe. Casey

    • jslipschultz / Oct 12 2010 8:27 pm

      William was all guts today. He hung in there with aches and pains the whole way. Pretty tough character, that William is. The Mississippi was pretty cool (still trying to upload videos from phone…maybe in Nashville). Although, this little area tonight is pretty cool, too. The two lakes and The Land Between the Lakes.

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