I had planned to take a rest day today, but the wind was coming out of the east. Even though it was a very light wind, I thought I should take advantage of the tailwind when I had it. I started the morning on Route 66, for a few miles at least. The Mother Road veered off toward downtown Springfield while I continued down a bypass along the west side of the city. There is also a bike path near the bypass, but the shoulder on the highway was wide, the roadway flat and, since it was Saturday, there was very little traffic. So, I stayed on the bypass.
The ride today was fantastic. With just a little tailwind, my speed increased by about 40%. By the time I stopped for second breakfast, I had already gone 15 miles. Usually, I stop after about 10-12 miles. I can feel that the muscle in my legs have gotten stronger and really pushed myself in the morning. At one point, I actually sped up while climbing a hill. It wasn’t a steep hill or tall hill, but I was surprised that my speed increased between the bottom and the top.
I made it to Jacksonville, about 40 miles, by lunch. I started searching down the road for a motel or campground where I could be comfortable taking a rest day. The next town with anything like that was Pittsfield, over 35 miles away. It was early enough in the afternoon that, with the tailwind, I probably could have made it pretty easily. It would have put me within an easy day’s ride of the Mississippi. However, there was something psychological about going another 40 miles after having already gone 40 miles. I probably should have at least made an attempt if it was less than 30 miles. I am a little upset with myself that I gave up so easily.