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Jefferson City

On the Friday before the trip Brian and I were interviewed by Carolyn Szczepanski of the Pitch who wrote this excellent article. Brian and I left Kansas City early on Saturday morning. We rode through near freezing temperatures and past unmelted snow on the highways. We left town on Truman Road and took FF all the way to Higginsville. In Higginsville we stopped at a grocery store to get supplies for our camp that night. Some people saw our bikes outside the grocery store and said, “Where are you from?”

We said, “Kansas City.”

They said, “Oh, we read a story about you. On some website.”

We camped out near a conservation area between Higginsville and Marshall. The next day Brian’s frame broke and he got a ride to Boonville and I rode my bike through the crisp, sunny weather through Arrow Rock on Highway 41. I did a wrestling clinic, Because I Can, at Eierman Elite Wrestling in Millersburg, MO. I got great comments, like, “I learned it takes a special kind of person to make it to the Olympics, one who wants it the most.”

Also, “The most motivating part was the Olympics starting out as a dream and becoming more.”

Brian got his frame welded in Boonville and we rode together out in snow flurries the next day. On the way KOMU – TV from Colubia did this interview in Prairie Home, MO.  Prairie Home had long horizons, and with the snow it seemed like we were in the middle of a farming place on a plateau that went on for hours. Then we descended down into the river bottoms and Brian heard an eagle. It got colder and he had icicles on his bike. We got a whole new appreciation for snow flurries. It was snowing just enough to make it beautiful. It was kind of a magical ride and for a while I felt like the whole trip had been downhill with a tailwind.

It was too cold to stop outdoors so we rode straight through all the way into Jeff City on Highway 179. We rode into my friend’s house in Holt’s Summit and she gave me all the protein shakes I could drink. That night I did a Judo clinic at Jefferson City Judo Club that was covered by the Jefferson City News Tribune. I learned that the poem was the most important part of the clinic.

Bicycle Pedestrian Advocacy Day was great. We talked to our reps and Brian talked to other reps who didn’t have constituents present. The reps receptionists would ask, “Are you a constituent?”

We’d say, “No. But we rode our bikes here.” They’d hem and hah, and then I’d say, “And I got my picture on the front page of the local section of today’s paper.” Then they showed us right in to talk to the reps. We talked to about eight reps and then had a great train ride home that night. Amtrak was right on time since they’ve added a lot more siding so they don’t get held up by freight trains.