“Damn, it’s hot.” Those were my first words as I climbed onto my bicycle this morning. I have a feeling that is going to be a common phrase over the next week or so. I don’t know if it was technically hotter today than yesterday, but it sure felt that way. The first 12 miles were fine, but after that the heat really got to me.
I made it to the Mississippi River, the dividing line between the east and the west. Sometimes I worry about my pace, but I went from Washington, D.C. to the Mississippi in a little less than a month. That doesn’t seem so bad.
The only bridge across the river was the Interstate 72 bridge. I was pretty confident that bicycles are allowed on the bridge, but the signs were a little confusing. The first sign on the on-ramp said non-motorized vehicles are prohibited. That would describe a bicycle. About 30 yards down the ramp, however, another sign said bicyclists must use the right shoulder. I didn’t have any problem crossing the bridge.
I ended up in Hannibal, MO. I had only ridden about 20 miles. I tried to take some time to cool down, but it didn’t really help, so I decided to stop for the day. After cooling off in a motel for a few hours, I went walking around the old downtown. Many of the buildings were built in the 1830’s and existed when Mark Twain was growing up.