Bike Nonstop US 2021 – Day 13

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Day 13: Maryville MO – Lexington, MO, miles – 160.8 , climbing – 7320 feet 

Race standings update:

After 12 days of racing, I hit my goal of 200 miles just four times. The overall average daily mileage was 161 but it dropped to 150 in the past 4 days while alternating better days of 170 to 180 miles, followed by bad days of around 120 to 140 miles.

My time off the bike increased as well. The main contributing factors was the record breaking heat wave. Combine that with rain, crashes and injuries and the needed recovery time was much greater. To no surprise, I was loosing ground on the two leaders but never lost hope. There was 1500 more miles to cover and anything was possible.

On the morning of day 13, Barry was 197 miles ahead and Michael was leading me by 245 miles. What a great performance by my friend Barry who was gaining fast on the leader. These boys were fighting it out and I freakin love it. The followers must be enjoying this tight race as well. I was still anticipating one of them to blow up eventually but it never materialized. It could very likely be me If I go on a major attack and my most important goal was to finish. However, if the opportunity present itself, I will give it a go.

As for the 3 chasers behind us, Kevin established a lead on Jared and Andrew of about 100 miles. He was 269 miles behind me. Honestly, I felt no pressure from being chased down and my goal was to reduce the gap between me and the first two racers.

Don was the leader In the group of the remaining 3 racers despite leaving the race for a long time and re entering. The gap between me and him was about 900 miles. Sheri and Jonathan were around 1200 miles behind.

Day 13

Morning resupply at Maryville, MO

Goal number one for the day was 80 miles away. It was the town of Gallatin, MO and where the first resupply opportunity was located. Based on reports from the first edition on the race, this section would be very tough and services far apart. I was now expecting a fight between me and the famous rolling hills of Missouri. The Appalachians where in my backyard and this terrain is very similar. One notable difference was the wind, it can knock you out like Mike Tyson. It was shaping up to be another day of suffering.

The terrain was relentless and unforgiving, it can really mess with your mind. My bicycle was ~50 lb loaded and contributing to the painful experience. Some of these rollers were maxing out at gradients of up to 15 percent. I wished secretly that my compact chainring is not 46T on this very day. As displayed on the elevation profile above, the rollers were not long but they also never ended. If you are a fan of pain, come play bike in Missouri 🙂

I noticed this cool little shed in one of the small towns around. Someone really had affinity for collecting license plates.

The state of Missouri also had the most wildlife by far. It was typical to spot vulchers picking up animals from the ground and it was kind of surreal

Although I carried 12 slices of Pizza, many snacks and 8 bottles of water, I was running out of supplies faster than anticipated. My water supply was dangerously low. The progress that day was slow, it was hot again and the wind was blowing me up and down the road like a kite.

Missouri Wind on Kite Rd

After 60 miles, I entered Fairport, MO and heard someone yelling and waving. Hopefully a friendly person rather than the other way around, I had no energy and time for drama. It was a local native American from the Sioux tribe. He was following the race on the live tracker after meeting Michael and was very excited to see me. He invited me to his house and I owe him a lot for saving me that day. We chatted for a bit while taking some pictures together and I took off. His house was full of pet rabbits and many dogs. Later on, I started receiving motivational text messages from him and that lifted my spirits. One of them read the following:

“Live strong as the mountains and true as the eagle and the great spirit will be with you”

Thank you Roger

My progress was not particularly good but I was experiencing all kinds of pain due to overuse and crashes. The calluses on my hands and elbows were becoming a problem . My ankles and knees were inflamed while the sun and wind were destroying my lips .

Each day, the pain was in a different location of my body and I considered that to be good. Switching my attention to pain in different location based on severity was making me forget about what the previous pain was. The mind is a powerful thing. I had to block it and not pay attention to it. My saying goes something like this:

“As long as it not life threatening , I am not paying much attention to pain. Pain doesn’t deserve my respect”.

They must have special grains around here because the donkeys were as big as horses. Maybe I am hallucinating 🙂

The headwind was making my day miserable and at Braymer, MO, I also realized how hot it was. Being inside the gas station felt nice but once I stepped out, it felt like a hot oven. The temperature peaked at around 103 F. My final goal for the day was Lexington, MO as the hotel was on the race course.

Rollers ahead

I remember crossing again over the Missouri river but this time on a massive bridge. It felt like being on a major highway and the wind intensified. Thank god I was not here during day time. It was starting to rain once again but l was very close to the hotel.

I recall receiving a lot of messages of support from many people and that kept my spirits up. Special thanks to Zack who works at REI in Columbia, MD and his mom Wendy for checking on me that day.

My history piece this time is related to Lexington, MO:

It is the home of the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site, and of the former Wentworth Military Academy and College, which operated from 1880 to 2017

Lexington was the site of two of the largest battles in the western campaign of the American Civil War. The better-known Battle of Lexington is commonly referred to as the Battle of the Hemp Bales. On September 12, 1861, between 6,000 and 10,000 soldiers of the Missouri State Guard, led by Major General Sterling Price, began a siege against the Federal military post in the old Masonic College commanded by Colonel James A. Mulligan. On September 18, Price’s army mounted an assault. Some of Price’s army used hemp bales as moving breastworks while they moved up the river bluffs and closed in on Mulligan’s headquarters. On September 20, 1861, Mulligan’s troops surrendered. Combined casualties were 73 dead, 270 wounded.

The Second Battle of Lexington occurred during Price’s Missouri Expedition on October 19, 1864. Lexington was known as a center for Quantrill’s Raiders during the war. Two months after the Civil War ended, many of these guerrilla fighters who had refused to honor the cease fire finally decided to take advantage of the special Federal amnesty that was declared for such forces and turn themselves in at Lexington. While riding into town, reportedly under a white flag, they were fired upon by Union soldiers from the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry, and Jesse James was severely wounded in the right lung. Some credit this event as a major contributing factor to his post-war career as a legendary bank robber. It is likely not a coincidence that the James-Younger Gang targeted the Alexander Mitchell bank in Lexington for the second daylight bank robbery in United States history. In December 1866, Archie Clement, an accomplice of the James brothers and perhaps the most notorious of all the guerrilla fighters, terrorized the town and was shot from his horse and killed by a sniper perched in the second floor of the Courthouse.

The hotel for tonight was Lexi Hill. It was well priced and offered everything I needed except laundry. I was washing my clothes by hand again, and to be honest, I was sick of it.

The plan for the following day was to push for St. Luis and onto the Katy trail. The report from the two racers ahead was for massive storms. In addition, we already had another official detour from Boonville, MO to Rock Port, MO. The rainstorm was supposed to stop in the morning and it made sense to sleep all night instead of taking unnecessary risk.

Reminder: This race was fundraiser for breast cancer. Please consider donating at

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