Misery in Missouri

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Gerald City Park

Flag of United States  , Missouri
Friday, July 29, 2011

Leaving the remote campsite, I think we were both pretty deep in thought about what we had listened to last night. The conversation with Damon was as open and enlightening as you could hope for.  This was a 'normal' guy from Missouri and his views were completely off the planet. This is deep America and it is a place that sends a shiver down my spine.  The opening 1 mile hill in 100F heat was painful but it was one mile further away from mid-Missouri. Damon gave us all his details and was keen to be friends on facebook – definitely not happening.

We then rode out the toughest 10 miles we have had for a long time.  The Osark Hills continued to make every muscle burn, with Polly in front I was able to watch as hundreds of beads of sweat poured off her shoulders.  It was at least quieter and we just got our heads down and worked through it.

We stopped in the small towns of Belle and Bland.  Again, the locals looked miserable and unapproachable so we ploughed on hoping to finish a short day in Owensville.  This also came to nothing, there was nowhere to stay and again a very uneasy feeling made us get back on the bikes and cycle on.  The continuous aggressive revving of disgustingly huge pickup trucks as they passed kept our nerves on edge, mixed in with a few more shouts out the window, makes this is one of my least favourite parts of the world.

In Gerard we consoled ourselves with the fact that we had just cycled 10 miles closer to St Louis and wouldn’t have to face them in the morning.  Here we got lucky.  Doing our well oiled routine of going into the supermarket and asking, so that all can hear, where we could camp for the night, the lovely till lady proudly announced that she was on the towns park board and it would be a lovely place to spend the night.  She told us to visit the sheriff and ask for his permission so we wheeled over to visit ‘TJ’.

TJ was a friendly chap (despite having no sympathy for cyclists who have been abused by rednecks*).  After explaining how the law favours cyclists and pedestrians and has clearly wound up those who like driving around all day, he bent the rules to allow us to find the most beautiful camp spot.  Having set up camp we spotted Mason, a deputy sheriff who said he was on duty for the night and would be circling the park every hour.  Although it was obviously a very safe spot, this put our minds at rest and we enjoyed a relaxed evening.

*TJ the policeman seemed to think it was pretty unfair that if a car hits a cyclist or pedestrian the driver is automatically in the wrong.

America for us has changed so quickly over the last couple of days. Kansas had completely changed any preconceptions we had about the great U S of A.  But the animals we have encountered in Missouri have made us pretty uneasy about the last month of our trip.

Miles Cycled; 43 painful miles – due to serious chaffing and aggressive rednecks.
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Faith on

THIS WAS BY NO MEANS A "NORMAL GUY" FROM MISSOURI! COME ON>>>stop judging everyone from the experience of one or two idiots. You are on the side roads and hills?!!

Hankster on

I live outside of Owensville...and people around here are generally great... don't know who YOU ran into, but they weren't representative of the majority of the locals!!
"rednecks"? Please! LOL!

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