Saturday, June 02, 2007

June 1-2, 2007 Burlington, Iowa

I am sitting in my room in Burlington, Iowa. It is rest day and I am enjoying some quiet time by myself. My roommate left early this morning to tour some of the sites of Burlington with our only rider from Iowa.

I went to the bike shop and bought another spare tire and a couple of tubes. I was able to find almost what I wanted at the local bike shop so hopefully I am set til the end of the ride. After the bike shop I came back to the hotel and cleaned my bike and changed the tire that went flat one mile from the end of yesterday's ride. (I used my CO2 cartridge and kept shooting it up with air to make it in.)

Now about yesterday's ride. It was a 54 mile ride so Edith and I decided to take it easy since we had pushed so hard yesterday. Well it turned out that we rode right past Nauvoo so we decided to visit the Temple Visitors Center and take a few pictures of the Temple. The original Temple was built in 1846 just before the Mormons left to the West. It was destroyed. This one was rebuilt in 2002. It as close to the original as modern building codes would allow.

Statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in front of Temple.

After viewing a film on the Mormon Temples in general Edith and I were back on our bikes again only to stop about a mile down the road to join some other women at a coffee shop. While we were there a big storm moved through dumping lots of rain. We all stayed until it slowed. Back on the bikes again there were rain storms all around us. Finally one caught us. We made for a farm house and sat on a swing out front. No one appeared home but the cat did join us on the porch for shelter from the rain.

After the rain stopped (or at least the lightening passed) we were back on our bikes. Next we made for a little cafe on our cue sheets. Jenna was already there. She highly recommended the grilled cheese and the sweet potato fries. (remember biking is all about the food).

Once fortified we were back on the road. There was wind but mostly it was a cross wind. Finally we turned for a ten mile flat stretch with a tail wind. For those 10 miles I averaged 22.2mph. It felt great. Of course, then we made a turn and I dropped to 12.3.

After that it was time to go across the Burlington Suspension Bridge. "The Great River Bridge is an asymmetrical, one-tower cable-stayed bridge over the Mississippi River. It carries U.S. Highway 34 from Burlington, Iowa to the small town of Gulf Port, Illinois.
Construction began in 1989, but work on the main tower did not begin until April 1990. The main tower is 370 feet (113 meters) in height from the top of the tower to the riverbed. During the Great Flood of 1993, construction continued despite record crests on the Mississippi below. The final cost of the bridge was $49 million, about 16 percent over budget.

The Great River Bridge replaced the MacArthur Bridge, an aging two-lane toll steel bridge built in 1917. The new bridge is five lanes wide (two westbound, three eastbound) and provides a safer crossing across the Mississippi River than the old bridge."

I did not take any pictures but I was able to find these on the web

I am the first to admit that I did not ride across this bridge but chose to walk across it. Edith was saved me. She walked with me and put herself between me and the edge. I don't think I breathed the whole walk. But I did make it. Thank you Edith.

Several of us rode the last couple of miles to the hotel trying to follow some very confusing instructions. My shoes were pretty soaked but other than some totally ruined socks I was not the worse for the rain and wind.

The group was invited to the local home of one of the riders for dinner and a great bluff view of Burlington and the Mississippi. I chose to stay at the hotel and have some quiet time by myself.

Tonight I am going to a restaurant with the group called Big Muddy's. There has been some sort of big ride in the area and this is a popular hang out for the local riders. Should be fun.

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