Saturday, September 16, 2006

Day 16 - Valentine, NE to Ames, IA

Yesterday's tailwind shifted to today's headwind. My gas mileage plummetted from 85 to 65 miles per gallon. Still, it was nice riding today, except for the toll bridge across the river from Nebraska to Iowa. The bridge deck was 100% metal grating, which is a nightmare for every bicyclist and motorcyclist.

The best part of the ride was a detour into town for gas. Usually we get gas right on the route, but this time I came to a tiny town with no gas on the main road, and I had doubts about making it to the next town. The town was charming; it is undiscovered because it is off the main road.

Most of the riders have rigged auxiliary tanks or carry gas cans. I have none of those. My 2.2 gallon tank will usually take me about 120 miles or so.

Most of the ride today was solo, but I caught up with Sara with about 80 miles to go.

I had very little sleep after pulling in to Valentine at 1:30 a.m. I was sad to say goodbye in Valentine to Mike H. and Rob D, who are both pulling out of the ride and driving home after breaking down repeatedly and failing to get their scooters running again. Mike is one of the best scooter mechanics I know. He also "won" the last Cannonball ride 2 years ago. Rob is one of the main organizers of the Cannonball. I will really miss them.

Miles today - 405
Miles total - 6527


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