The "Race Against Death Tour" moves out from South Sioux City, Nebraska into the countryside....
As we pulled out of the town with our food supplies reinstated, we were at a loss as to how to find the two lane blacktop that was on my maps. We finally gave up and started down a four lane interstate feeder on Troy's suggestion. It was a bit hairy, but fortunately it didn't last all that long, as we were able to get off on a two lane highway that led away westwards. It was in fact Highway 20 but it was a much quieter, gentler Highway 20 than we were used to.
Troy was on point, as usual. Since we had fouled up our exit from the grips of Iowa, Troy felt it necessary to have us drop the hammer and go. Fortunately we all were feeling much the same as he, so off we went at about a 20mph clip on these fully loaded machines. Troy was happy to see us both holding his wheel, and we sped across the river plain until the road started going up and to the right around a bend. We dropped a bit of speed, but Troy turned and with some stern words of encouragement, willed us to hold pace. Fortunately our turn off caused a moment of uncertainty which allowed me to catch my breath.
The afternoon had grown hot and sunny now. We were headed up into rolling hills, but we also had a favorable tail wind, so things were easier than they might have otherwise been. We finally reached a town named Ponca, and more importantly, a convenience store, and rest!
We hit the convenience store mostly for fluids. We did our usual sit down in front of the front door, and kicked back with our purchases much to the amazement of the locals, by the looks on their faces. I remember Troy grinding his empty Gatorade bottle on the concrete driveway until he about had a hole worn through it. Odd, but it was a habit he continued to display throughout the rest of the trip.
Before we left, we started thinking about the end of the day, but spurred on by our massive effort coming into Ponca, Troy wasn't about to let us rest just yet. We stopped in Newcastle to consult the maps. It was getting on into the late afternoon, but we all thought we could at least make it through Maskell and to Obert. Once we got that far, we would stop to reassess the situation.
The effort was not much less, and the energy reserves were being depleted. I was about set to fall off my bike at Obert, but Troy saw that we had a bit more time, and he challenged us to reach further. Up the road was the goal, and its name was Wynot, Nebraska.
We were working pretty dang hard, holding above a 15mph ride average. We had made 93 miles that day, but the heat and the lack of much stopping was taking it's toll. I was a bit disappointed to find that Wynot was a bit off the road we were on. I wanted to just roll in a ditch and go to sleep right there!
Next Week: Fried food, VIP's, and a moment of silence for Jerry.
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