Good morning! I got an early start, as usual. The winds were blowing pretty strong all night, which kept my tent dry from the morning dew!

Today we’re doing an on-target 57-mile day, keeping us in Iowa, but close to the border of Nebraska (we’ll cross over tomorrow).

Just down the street from me on the ride this morning is apparently the piece of track the Jessie James used to derail the train (for the first robbery in the west). I’ll take photos of it and update later.


Huge thanks again to David and Brent for taking us out to eat last night. If you haven’t read last night’s blog update, be sure to do so–it was one of our best days yet.

I made a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and coffee this morning (with a side of peanut butter and Nutella that I’ve taken from hotels we’ve stayed at). I plan to stop at the Walmart in Atlantic, IA to grab a few more snacks; It doesn’t look like we’ll be in the path of another one for a few days.


That’s all for now (I’ve only been awake for 40 minutes!). Check back for an update later!

Update (6:00 p.m.): A great day out on the road today! We both had a cross-wind coming from the south the entire ride, but after such a great camping site (and overall day) yesterday, there wasn’t much that could bring our spirits down.

As mentioned earlier, I made a point to stop at the actual site where Jessie James and his gang derailed a train for the first robbery. The original piece of track was still in the location the crime was committed, making it a cool little monument to visit. (Michael also stopped at the site.)

From there I rode due west to Atlantic, Iowa, where the signs coming into town mention that it’s the “Coca-Cola Capital” of the state. After stopping at Walmart and McDonald’s for some groceries and Egg McMuffins, I ventured to find the bottling plant. Upon arrival, I walked into the office where the secretary invited me in, asked about the bike trip, and gave me a bottle of freshly “made” Coke while telling me all about the area the plant serves.


From Atlantic, I tracked northwest to a bakery in Walnut, IA, where I had a donut, cinnamon roll, and chicken salad sandwich (in that order).


It was a relatively uneventful ride to the campsite in Neola from there with bunch of rolling hills (both Michael and I are used to them now).


A speed sign caught my pace coming into Neola and I couldn’t help but take a photo.

Michael had a great ride day, but it was admittedly uneventful compared to yesterday. Mostly he geeked out over wind turbines.

 

After miles of Iowa corn fields along Old Highway 6, it was nice to see a familiar name on a local street sign.

 

After Atlantic took a slight detour on Route 6, as he was trying to locate the turnoff that would put him on track with Walnut, Iowa. The detour didn’t hurt at all, because when he turned around, he was riding with a tailwind for a few miles. In Walnut, Michael got a slice of apple pie and chicken salad sandwhich at the same bakery, which was enough calories to keep him running smoothly.

A few towns later, in Avoca, Michael met “Dan the NAPA tools rep,” while looking for a place to refill water. Dan was thrilled to hear about the trip, and had even worked in a bike shop himself before the NAPA tools job. Dan also provided Michael with 5 bottles of cold water to keep him moving. Thanks, Dan!

At the campsite later, a family came over to where we had pitched our tents, saw the bikes, and asked about the trip. (We have the story down by now!) Anyway, the family offered us burgers, brats, chips, pasta salad, and cold soda for dinner! Seriously, Iowans are so nice.

Tomorrow, we had planned to track due west to Fremont, Nebraska, but for multiple reasons our plans changed and now we’ll be tracking through Omaha. I’ll let Michael fill in the “why” in tomorrow morning’s post.


That’s all for now! Check out today’s Relive ride here. 

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