Good morning! Following last night’s blog update, we went back to our tent area and ran into some cool people from Astoria, Oregon (that’s where we’ll reach the Pacific Ocean in a month!). They are in Grand Island because their sons are competing in the 4H Shooting Sports National Championship, shotgun category. We enjoyed meeting their family and talking about our travels and theirs! We grabbed a photo with them:
Today we have one of our longest days yet: ~84 miles. We are using the “Warm Showers” website again tonight and will be staying with Bryan once we arrive in Lexington. Bryan has been hosting cyclists on Warm Showers since 2006, and even before the website was started. We’re looking forward to meeting him.
I’ll be starting on another early morning ride today. Michael texted me a good looking breakfast place that he’s planning on stopping at: “Tommy’s Restaurant.”
Thanks to Grand Island KOA for having nice amenities, and a fun camping experience. That’s all for now; Check back for an update later!
Update (5:30 pm): I made it to Lexington, NE, and Michael should be here in the next half hour or so. I had my longest ride ever today: 84.7 miles. Overall, the ride felt great! Some minor wind for the first 20 miles, but it subsided and I had no wind for the rest of the ride. I ran into three bands of heavy rain/thunderstorms after Kearney, but was able to mostly dry out before getting to Lexington!
The day started like the past few: lots of cornfields and wide shoulders. Nebraska has been great in terms of their secondary roads; Everything is well paved and I don’t have to ride inside the lane lines. A train track once again ran parallel to the road, and I waved at the trains passing every 15 minutes. It was a great way to pass the time!
Once reaching Kearney (45 miles in) I passed by a “Classic Car Museum,” claiming to have over 190 cars on display. I had to stop. I paid the $6 admission and saw the most impressive car collection. The people running the museum even let me sit in their Delorean!
After, I grabbed a quick bite at Jimmy John’s, and hadn’t been on the road for more than 5 minutes when I was flagged down by Michael’s sister, Amy! She was driving back home to Sidney and decided to surprise both of us by saying hello! She had met Michael further back on the road as well. We’ll see Amy in a few days when we reach Sidney, NE (we’ll also be taking a rest day there).
Once I reached Lexington, I checked in with our Warm Showers host, Bryan. Turns out that Bryan also hosted Nico last week, who we met on the road a few days ago in Seward. Small world!
Plans for the evening include going to a local Mexican restaurant and touring the ethanol factory where Bryan works! I’ll update again later once Michael arrives and his stories from the day.
Update (Day’s end): Michael enjoyed a similarly easy cycling day with minimal winds, and a mere 500 ft in elevation gain over 88.8 miles–about a 5 1/2-foot gain per mile–making it likely the flattest yet of the tour.
He stopped at Tommy’s Restaurant in Grand Island for breakfast, and was entertained by the table of local farmers telling stories. One moment of excitement: The waiter rushed over to tell the men that a “Tesla” was outside. He had never heard of the brand, but had been told it was “all electric.” One of the farmers flatly replied, “That doesn’t sound like a good investment for the ranch.”
The highlight of the day for Michael was the surprise visit from his sister, Amy. At first, seeing someone at roadside with a camera in hand, he thought it was just someone getting ready to take a picture of an approaching train. (We had seen someone doing that a couple days ago.) In any case, he was happy to see her!
A not-so-great moment was about 15 miles from Lexington when Michael got his second flat tire of the tour! But, he swapped it out and was back underway quickly!
Michael avoided the day’s storms and arrived in Lexington late afternoon.
We went to dinner with our host, took a tour of his workplace (and learned a lot about ethanol production!), then got ice cream and picked-up some essentials from Walmart.
You can view the Relive ride here!