Made New Friends from Switzerland
Day 16 June 18th St Robert, MO to Marshfield, MO 68 miles – Total Miles 854
Weather: Sunny, 89 degrees, tail wind
Our ride today had lots of ups and downs- literally. The terrain was very hilly- with short climbs, long climbs, short downhill and long down hills. The variety was nice and none of the hills were so steep that they were a real challenge to get over.
As we were bicycling out of Waynesville, MO we saw three touring cyclists ahead of us, so of course we had to try to catch up. When we finally caught them, we introduced ourselves to a young woman, her boyfriend and father from Switzerland. They had been out bicycling since May 1st and would be completing their trip the next day in Springfield, MO. They started in Toronto, Canada (where the young woman was attending grad school), rode to Duluth and headed south to Route 66 for the end of their trip.
We rode with them for a while and then we took off – on a tandem we are typically much faster than most cyclists on a single. But we met up later at a convenience store located near Hazelgreen where the bridge was listed as being out. We talked with the locals to find out if we could cross it or if indeed you could not get over it. The young man was talking with a local family in the parking lot while Peter and I checked with the clerk in the store. When we came back out the family had offered all of us bicyclists a pint of raspberries to eat, we definitely took them up on that and ate them all in no time – they were delicious!!
We were assured by both groups that we could get over the bridge but would have to lift our bicycles over the guard rail. We decided to go for it and agreed to help each other lift the bicycles over – this was extremely important to us – otherwise we would have to unload all the gear off the bicycle, lift it and the bicycle over the rail, put the gear back on, ride over the bridge, take all the gear back off, lift it and bicycle over the guard rail and then put back on to continue our ride.
Our new friends were great and between us all we were able to lift all the bicycles including the tandem over the guard rail without removing any of the gear bags – YEA!! We took a bunch of pictures and continued our trip with our new friends.
It was especially nice to stay on route, otherwise we would have had to travel on I -44 for nine miles – doable but not much fun!
After a few miles we said good bye and thanked the Switzerland bicyclists and continued our ride alone. We ran into them later in the afternoon when they buzzed by us stopped for a break, further down the road we buzzed by them, when they were taking a break. It was fun to talk with them and get to know them a bit.
The rest of the day was uneventful and we made it to our ending point 0 Marshfield, MO in the early afternoon. This allowed us to take a nice nap before getting organized for the next day.
As we were talking at dinner we realized we have met and cycled with bicyclists from Spain, China and Switzerland. Very cool!!