July 8, 2016: Nevada, MO
We're starting to get the hang of this "riding 300+ miles in a day on a scooter" thing, and we're actually starting to find a rhythm to the madess! The breakdowns, gas stops, and other crap that slowed us down the last few days are getting quicker and its probably because we enjoy being at our hotel early enough to eat a decent dinner & a beer before bed.
But the highlight of today's ride, without question, was how dumb Joe looked in a ghillie suit for 328 miles.
The other people in the hotel gave us some pretty weird looks this morning, mostly because Paul now looks like the kind of guy you normally cross the street to avoid.
We pulled out of Jackson, MO just before 7am and were making great time through The Mark Twain National Forest, The Lake of the Ozarks State Park, and through dozens of tiny towns that were in dire need of road repairs and landscaping. The words "pleasantly surprised" were said more than once over the 10 hours we spent riding.
I guess most of us didn't have high hopes for a scenic day in Missouri.
It is still very hot out here, and the humidity hasn't gotten much better since yesterday. The storm(s) still feel like they could drop buckets on us at any moment.
Besides Paul breaking another belt, things were still going pretty smooth until somewhere near scenic Vienna, MO when Joe had a serious problem. His bike suddenly shut off without warning and wouldn't start back up. Fearing the worst (and still wearing a GHILLIE SUIT), he busted out tools and ripped the transmission apart to inspect for damage. After finding nothing wrong, Derric and Justin decided the easiest thing to do would be to put a leg on each side of his scoot from the rear and PUSH him down the road to a gas station where we learned the real problem: he ran out of gas. No wonder why it wouldn't start. We stretched our backs, filled up our camelbacks, ate sandwiches, put fresh batteries in our helmet-cameras, and made sure Joe's fuel tank was full before leaving the Quik Stop.
Our efficiency is definitely improving, and it seems like everybody is starting to find their 'role' in the group. Derric & Justin are the mechanics, Joe & Ron are the comic relief, Elliott & Paul are the guys who break down all the time, Big Daddy keeps us all positive, and Jesse is the voice of reason who somehow knows a ton of random trivia facts. All in all - we are all getting along much better! The real reason is probably because we all just really want a beer, but the point is having common goals are important. We know that much.
Even with a late start & a couple breakdowns we somehow managed to make it to Nevada (which is apparently pronounced Nev-ah-duh, but we refuse to say it that way because of how bad it smells here) earlier than expected! We battled some headwind for the last part of our day, but safely arrived on fumes with plenty of daylight left. Derric and Justin put fresh MOTUL (10w-40 for the nerds) in everybody's scoots on the sweltering pavement of the not-so-Super-8 parking lot while Jesse, Elliott, and Dane made a supply run to Wal*Mart.
There's a steakhouse across the street, but we're turning into excellent multi-taskers so a quick shower beer is becoming a regular thing.
The folks at Buzz's BBQ looked at us a little funny (no thanks to Paul's hairstyle and Joe looking like a very weathered sheepdog) and proceeded to literally drink the restaurant out of booze. They were clearly not expecting 13 very thirsty guys to walk in on a Saturday night. There might be some Frangelico left if anyone wants to check, but I don't recommend booking a trip to Nev-ah-duh until they figure out what is responsible for the stench.
Unless cheap gas is your thing, then go for it.
Tomorrow is 345 miles and will involve Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. We won't know for sure until tomorrow night, but just looking at the map... this might be the lease exciting days.
Whoever mapped the roads in Kansas & Nebraska must not enjoy taking corners.
Let's hope there's a lot of McDonald's on our route tomorrow to make Big Daddy's "Hamburglar" challenge a hilarious success. We'll explain more about that tomorrow.
Thanks for following us thus far. Here's hoping it smells better here in the morning.
--SLOW RIDE HOME