I had a lot of time to think today, so here are some numbers I thought about. I'm really into statistics and numbers. If I hadn't spent that day in El Paso playing around( I only went across town and rode 22.51 miles), I'd be averaging over 80 miles a day.
I decided to compare my numbers to the trip from Phoenix last year after 20 days, and the numbers are very similar. Last year after 20 days, I had ridden 1496 miles, only 47 less miles than this year. I had climbed 32002 ft (29157 ft this year). I thought it was a flatter course. And last year I was averaging 74.8 miles a day, about 2.5 miles a day less than this year. Pretty similar numbers, and interesting to me. ( I'm glad I'm doing a little more this year, because I'm competitive with myself like that).
Even though I hate to admit it, I'm feeling a little beat up. I don't like to show weakness, but damn. ...the bottom of my feet have spots from my clips, my knee injury from softball is firing up, even though I know how to massage it to loosen it up, I'm getting tingles in my left shoulder blade, and my wrists are sore.....but damn.. I'm 60 freaking years old, and even if I was 30, some little things would be starting to show up, so.....I'm good. Maybe it'll rain soon and I'll get an easy day!
I counted my rollers again today.....zero....it was flat as could be .. The wind was helpful for the most part, and it was overcast all day. I started in North Little Rock, with about 8 miles of industrial area, then I was into a bayou ( where Luscious Clay hid his money). How well do you know your Charlie Daniels?? Anyhow, I was accompanied by delta and bayou water for most if the day . The bayou reminded me of the Everglades a little, then it was gone in eight miles or so. Farm land was the predominant feature, with large amounts of unflooded, and maybe unplanted rice patties. Cotton, corn, and soy bean crops were also in various stages of preparation. There were many fish hatcheries and minnow farms along the way also, most run by Arkansas fish and game. There were once again several small farming towns, and I crossed the White River and the Cache River. I stopped and had a catfish sandwich for lunch in a little town. I was on US 70 (the same one that used to go through Mesa, Az),all of the way today, but we were never far from I 40. After the first 37 miles my BEEhind was really beat up with frost heaves, as US 70 was not in the greatest of shape, and the wind wasn't totally cooperating. At that 37 mile mark, the road changed to nice smooth pavement, and all was well again. The nice surface made a difference of at least a mile an hour. The wind, which was supposed to get stronger as the day went on, either faded, or was on my tail.
This was definitely an area that I needed to get through on a nice day, because it was wide open, and the wind could have been brutal in another day. Storms are brewing, and I'm glad I'm through that wide open stretch. As I got near my destination, there was another bayou, which went about 8 miles, with no shoulder, but the trees protected me from the wind. I ate Chinese in Forrest City, and discovered that there is no way for a biker to cross the Mississippi between West Memphis, AR, and Memphis, Tennessee, so I've gotta go 40 miles south, into Mississippi tomorrow, so a potentially easier day tomorrow becomes, another century. Oh well.
|The bayou just outside of North Little Rock|
|Shoulder less roads were common in US 70|
|When was the last time you saw an Esso sign?|
|Grain mills were a common sight. This was the biggest|
|An old train bridge on the White River|
|The White River|
|A selfie while riding with farm equipment bearing down on me!|
|An appropriate name in Arkansas Razorback country!|
|I don't know what this white field was, but it was impressive!|