Once again a gorgeous ride along rolling hills lined with wind-swept trees dancing and applauding for us as we rode by. And once again, the weather was perfect – not a cloud in the sky!
My husband likes to say that there are no hills in cycling, just fast parts and slow parts. That about sums up the entire 73-mile ride today. A slow part followed by a fast part followed by a slow part. There was not one moment on the bike today when the elevation was flat, and most of the slow parts clocked in at 7-11% elevation (which is Utah and Nevada grade!)
A few days ago (Day 38 blog), I described my friend Trish’s theory that armadillos are depressed, suicidal creatures with poor eye-sight and a tendency to jump straight up when frightened, thereby meeting their demise frequently on roadways. Apparently Kansas does not have a monopoly on suicidal armadillos. Missouri has them as well. I saw 8 squashed armadillos today.
As we were on a break near the RV, a man in a red convertible VW called out from his car as he was sitting at a stoplight, “I love my job!” I waved him over and we interviewed Robert Hendrix, the Senior Pastor at Houston First Church of God. What Robert loves about his job is inspiring people with his journey to God and guiding them in their own. He also loves working with the church’s board which encourages his ideas and with the volunteers who he cannot appreciate enough.
So the road kill count has taken on a bit of a cult following. It started as a way to entertain me when I rode alone, and now everyone I ride with points out various road kill with me, and most people who email me mention the road kill. I originally thought the total count after 10 weeks on the Ride might hover around 1,000. But since discovering so many animals that have met their demise on the open road in Kansas and Missouri (a great description sent by my friend Brian Overheidt!), I’m rethinking my original estimate. (Rest assured, the turtle in the picture was not road kill – he was successfully helped to the other side of the road.)
So, I thought I’d throw it out there for a little competition to see what you think the total road kill count will be at the end of the Moxie Ride.
Here are the ground rules:
(1) Send me your guess for the total road kill count no later than midnight, Mon. June 27.
(2) Send me only 1 guess, please.
(3) Email me your guess to firstname.lastname@example.org or just post a comment in the comment box below on any blog posting.
(4) I won’t show everyone’s guesses until they’re all in, so if you post a comment on the blog, I won’t display your comment until after Monday.
(5) I will send my new book, Moxie for Managers, to the 10 people who guess the closest.
(6) Some guidance for the analytical folks out there: I have 4 more weeks of riding, 27 days to be exact and I’m riding almost the entire length of IL, and then riding the entire width of IN, OH, PA, and NJ. The current road kill count after 40 days (38 days of riding) is 675.
- A tractor graveyard (a field of abandoned tractors, tires, and equipment)
- 3 Baptist churches named “Free Will Baptist Church” (Does that feel like an oxymoron or a bait-and-switch maneuver? I grew up Catholic which seems Baptist-lite and they don’t even advocate free will.)
- 4 Amish kids playing in their yard dressed adorably in Amish garb (Wendy managed to scar them for life. She squealed when she saw them, jumped off her bike, ran up to the fence of their yard, called out to them that she wasn’t going to harm them, and then pulled out her Droid cell phone (which I’m sure they’ve never seen the likes of) to take pictures of them. Their mother proceeded to crack open the front door and yell at the kids to get in the house immediately.)
- The Alice School, a school established in 1915
- A sweet man named Bert who is 91 years old (wonder if he attended the Alice School…) (he’s pictured above with Justin and Wendy)
- A town called “Success, Missouri” (I’d love to say that I live in Success!)
Day 40 miles: 73.10 miles
Total mileage: 2,546.93 miles
Day 40 ascent: 4,692 ft of elevation (dangerously close to the Continental Divide elevation!)
Day 40 descent: 4,984 ft of elevation
(this is the first time there were more fast parts than slow parts)
Total interviews: 68
Road kill count: 675
(added 55 today, including 1 turkey (new to the list) and I saved 2 more turtles, one of which was in the middle of the road about to be smashed by oncoming traffic – just call me the “turtle whisperer”)
Destination for Day 41: Ellington, Missouri