Our son attended a social media conference here in Springfield last week. He brought the whole family from Colorado and we had a good visit. Being with them is great and the grandchildren are growing up and a delight. They spent a night with us. We picked fresh from the garden and watched Winnie the Pooh and Toy Story.
Sam rode over to our home Wednesday morning from his in-laws and we talked about what to do next.
We discussed various routes from our house, but with the Missouri Dept. of Transportation tearing up the Chestnut/65 interchange, we picked a drive-n-ride route out east. Due to some time constraints we drove to and started from Fellowship Bible Church out toward Rogersville. Routes out east give a good sampling of what Ozark roads are like.
With perfect weather and great farm roads, we were on our way. Jan has been thinking of giving her bike to Sam, but I am trying to prevent such an exchange just yet. Jan has many mile before her ere she trades wheels. These are only my thoughts….
We wore our Colorado jerseys in his honor. He commented that he is the one from out there, but we are the ones who celebrate that state! Sam’s cycling has mostly been at the foothills of the Rockies in Colorado Springs. He does a lot of commuting to work and extra riding beyond that. He and I were able to ride the Pike’s Peak Greenways Trail in the Springs last summer. All this to say that he is quite a bit stronger than either Jan or I. We know he took it easy on us and it was appreciated!
We took 194 east and after a break at Hardies’ we followed 186 back west, a little over twenty miles overall.
Following this ride Sam took his bike to our LBS, Sunshine Bike, for a tune up. They got it all done and the bike was back Thursday afternoon. Thanks, Kay!
On Friday all the grandparents and children and grandchildren went to Silver Dollar City. The children had a great time, especially on the train and in the ball room down on the shores of Silver Lake.
Evie and Max both gave the train robbers some money when they came by our car. Much fun, but not as good as when Sam was a Conductor/Train Robber himself a few years back. He is good at extemporaneous humor and had a good crew to work with back then.
Saturday afternoon, Sam and I took out again. He had brought the children over and Jan and our daughter Sarah stayed with them during their naps. We started from 65/Valley Water Mill Road and went to Strafford and out south for the return loop, part of which was on OO, the old Route 66.
We crossed paths with this nice couple that were headed home. They had been north to Fellows Lake. They were almost finished for the day, so we took over the ‘torch’ from them and maintained a cycling presence on the road for a while longer.
On this ride Sam talked about the difference in terrain between the Ozarks and the Springs. He mostly has climbs/descents and very few places where one can ride level for miles at a time. He enjoyed the change and I kept up as best I could. I came to realize that I need more miles at the start of a ride before I can say I am warmed up. I used to feel good after five or six miles, but now I need about ten or twelve. We had a side wind most of the time, but Sam was real good to let me draft when I needed to. He said, “That’s what I’m here for!”
On the way back to the car we saw dark clouds to the west and so started to push it. I was warmed up by then.
We stayed dry with the rain not starting until we were on the way back to the house. I was glad to see it. We have wanted it for a long time.
The only real dark cloud we had during the visit was when Katie’s mother, Nancy, had to enter the hospital because of her heart acting up. Things are better now and she will be home soon, for which we are thankful.