Day 41 Wilton to Burlington, IA 71 miles (2551 total miles)

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.

Ride on.

Just Pete

7 thoughts on “Day 41 Wilton to Burlington, IA 71 miles (2551 total miles)

  1. Glad Gertie’s check up went well. I can’t imagine there are an abundance of bike shops. I hope you will be able to get a tent somewhere. How are the temperatures? It is extremely hot here. We will need to turn our Atlas to IL now. Morning routine—read blog, mark the map!! You have certainly met some nice people on your adventure. Isn’t it a good feeling to know you are on the downhill part of your trip now? News–Muriel died and funeral Wed., Ash and Zach moving into their new home this wknd. I hope today is a good one. Stay safe, stay hydrated, and ride on. Love you, Mom.

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  2. This has been my morning ritual for years, reading your adventure
    blogs. You are a great story teller and it allows us to ride along. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like we can sense the moments of excitement as Bristol grew closer, the daily grind when all your trying to do is make miles. Keep trudging, stop and make the memories with people and places. I still remember the faces and the smiles from trips past. You got this, there is do doubt! Ride on

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  3. Agree with Rod. Unless you have an absolute deadline, take your time, experience each area, and enjoy the ride. You’re doing great and I, too, read your logs first thing every morning. Ride on Pete. Stop and smell the roses and be safe. Enjoy!

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  4. Touring America on a bicycle makes a person feel better about the world. The woman who called other lodging places – there are so many people like that. Some real characters that you remember forever. We look forward to reading your blog every day. Now where is Pete? 🙂

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  5. Another day done, way to go! Glad you were able to get Gerty worked on. The picture of the old truck and all the flowers was so pretty! Glad you were able to find a motel room. Ride on—you’re doing an awesome job!! Be safe!

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  6. Thanks so much for setting me up with your posts at the reunion. Time for me to crawl out from under my rock as Cliff suggested. Look forward for a reason to smile every morning. Much better than early morning market report! I’m sure you inherited enough grit and determination from your bikes namesake! Ride on!!

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