So sleeping in the tent was not great but not nearly as bad as I expected. Real pain getting in and out but I did manage to get a few hours of good sleep.
Got the tent before Appalachian Trail so have gotten some good use out of it. Purchased at REI. They’d probably replace for free…if I ever get near one.
Finally got back down to the Mississippi as I neared Muscatine.
Was in town by 8AM and at Harper’s Cycling when they opened at 9. Great experience. Family business.
Lucky that they fit me in as they are closed starting tomorrow for RAGBRAI. This is an annual bike ride across IA from Missouri River to Mississippi. 10,000 plus participants. I’ve been getting asked all through IA if I’m participating. Want to say that I’m doing that about 10 times!!
Greg let me watch him work on Gerty and was extremely helpful. Didn’t sell me a chain as he said wouldn’t do much good unless I get a new sprocket(?) as well. They are in short supply. He oiled chain and told me to do that frequently. He also told me I ride in high gear way too much. Oops! Just trying to go fast. Sorry, Gerty!!
Back tire is much more worn than front. Not unusual as there’s 25 extra pounds back there and that’s also driving gears. Front tire just steers. Will have to replace down the road.
Other than that all good with Gerty.
He told me there would be no services once I left Muscatine until I arrived in Burlington (almost 60 miles).
The first 12 miles out of Muscatine were almost perfectly flat. Tried to stay out of high gear. I’d give myself a C+ on that. Chain worked great. No slippage.
Greg was right about the no services. I was ecstatic to see a Casey’s convenience store as I got to outskirts of Burlington. Tired and almost out of water.
I then searched for a hotel room. Definitely not wanting 2 straight nights in my flat tent. First 2 hotels were sold out. Panic setting in. Lady at second place felt sorry for me and started calling around. Found me a room on her 3rd try. “Dated but clean.” Works for me!!
Will cross into IL tomorrow. Hopefully stay down in valley where it’s relatively flat.