Day 1--St. Charles to Marthasville
My bags, all packed up.
As we rode down the trail, I realized the wristband I needed for breakfast was in my bag--fail. Had to turn back and get it back before heading to the Ameristar Casino for breakfast.
My little detour was a pretty short one. My friend Ralph had a slightly bigger problem. He left after the rest of our group and called while we were eating. "Where is breakfast?" Turns out he'd gone about 5 miles out of the way! We should've updated him on the breakfast menu (Danishes, bagels, etc), because if we had, he wouldn't have bothered riding the extra 10 miles.
We left St. Charles resigned to getting wet. There were some unfriendly clouds being lit by lightning and the smell of rain in the air. For about an hour I kept waiting for the first sprinkles so I could get my phone and camera safely stowed in plastic baggies. In the end, though, all we got was some sweet cloud cover and reasonable temperatures for the first couple of hours.
Since we left among the earliest riders (well, except Ralph) around 6:20, we were near the head of the pack most if the day. We saw five deer and tons of little frogs (toads?) on the trail, all of whom we managed to dodge.
I had been worried about how I'd do since I've logged so few miles on my bike this spring, but I felt good. Though one road was closed due to flooding on the Missouri River, this section of the trail was in good shape. The only hairy part was at a road crossing with limited visibility when (despite watching for a safe time to cross) I was almost hit by a truck. Well, and when I got so busy talking that I locked handlebars with my friend and almost knocked us both over. Oops...sorry Sam!
First SAG of the day
We made good time, finishing 39 miles in just over 3 hours, including some liberal SAG stops. I was feeling better than I had expected to, but I was still awfully glad to have the opportunity to get off my bike. Plus, the stops have bathrooms, water and Gatorade, some snacks, and the opportunity to visit with other riders, including two I'd "met" on the facebook Katy ride group (Hi, Jeff and "Dave").
We made it into Marthasville before lunch, set up our tents, moved our tents bc they were in an area that had to be used for something else, and plan to move them again once that something is over.My tent, under a pavilion
Hopefully we have some nice breeze and the weather cools off so I can sleep tonight, but no matter what I'm looking forward to tomorrow's 54 miles to Mokane, if not the hill we have to climb to get to our campsite!