Pam and I made a morning of it today on the tandem! And what a great morning it was.
Our goal was to start with breakfast, then do lunch before coming home today, so we left the house at 7:00 this morning and headed downtown. Our breakfast destination was Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe in downtown Springfield. It’s a place where there is still the old drug store cafe ambiance because that’s what it was for decades. It’s been a mainstay of Walnut Street as long as I can remember and still enjoys a faithful breakfast crowd nearly every day.
Gailey’s shares lobby space with the lofts that have been renovated in the old Seville Hotel, and is a pretty laid back kind of place where it just doesn’t pay to be in a hurry. I usually opt for either pancakes or waffles with sausage and eggs, while Pam goes for a little more healthy fare. We had to sit at the counter this morning, which gave us a bird’s-eye view of the art of making breakfast!
After stuffing ourselves (at least I did), we hopped back on the bike and headed north on Grant Street. The great part about riding through town this morning was how empty the streets were. We practically had them to ourselves! The only downside was that a lot of the city streets are getting pretty torn up these days and don’t make for a very comfortable bike ride.
There was just a hint of fog in the air as we left the house this morning, but as we hit the north edge of Springfield, it really started getting bad.
We stopped briefly for Pam to turn on our rear blinkie, and I heard her go “Oh no!”. Not a good sign. When I looked, the mount on the blinkie was breaking off and the light was only holding on by the thinnest thread of metal. We had no choice but to go ahead and pull it off and ride the rest of the morning without a rear light.
Unfortunately, we stowed it in our handlebar bag, where the two sharp edges of the broken bracket poked their way through an energy gel pack that was in there and by the time we got home, we had a huge mess on our hands (and everything else that was in the bag)!
We made it safely to Fair Grove in spite of riding in the fog the entire way out there. We made our usual pit stop at the convenience store there and sat outside drinking some Propel. As is quite often the case out there, a couple of people stopped to chat! They’re very used to cyclists in town because the Trans Am route passes through. The old farmer we talked to this morning says he sees loaded tourists passing his place nearly every single day!
We always get a kick out of the bathroom in the store. As much as I hate to say it, it’s very typical of the hillbilly ingenuity at work here in the Ozarks!
Not too long after we left town, we stopped to take a picture of a wildflower we hadn’t seen before. It was a bushy type plant with lots of delicate pink and white flowers. Anybody recognize this?
I had stepped one foot into the ditch to take the picture of the plant growing up in the barbed-wire fence, and as I was stepping back, a rabbit absolutely exploded from under my feet. I guess it tried to hide, but couldn’t stand it any longer. We both jumped about a mile, and in it’s haste, the rabbit ran smack-dab into the rear wheel of the bike. It hit with a “twang”, bounced back about a foot, recovered and was off in a flash. It was hilarious!
By 10:30, the fog was finally lifting and it started to feel pretty warm as we climbed the hills between Fair Grove and Strafford. Just north of Fair Grove, we saw the second wild turkeys of the day, this one a hen and her brood of 5 youngsters just on the other side of a fence. We got a good look at them as they slowly headed deeper into the woods.
By the time we hit Strafford it was a little after 11:00, so we decided to do an early lunch, knowing that we would end with over 50 miles on the bike today. Subway is our standard meal on the bike, so that’s what we opted for. There is one in nearly every town we ride to, but unfortunately the one in Strafford is in a truck stop. That means you’ve got to put up with lots of traffic and lots of “interesting” characters wandering around all the time. We’ve never had any problems there, but it’s just not one of our favorites.
From Strafford, it’s 12-13 miles home depending on how you go. As we approached, I detoured us down the loop around Pearson Creek just because it has one final blazing downhill that’s fun to do. We hit the house with 55.4 miles on the bike and called it good. After a shower, we enjoyed the backyard hammock for a few minutes before heading off to finish the day doing responsible stuff!
Here’s the GPS link for today.