Our ride today started out on a really rough highway - the shoulders were wide, but were also covered with gravel and debris and were dangerously pothole-ridden. The traffic was heavy (lots of giant trucks) and we had one unpleasant encounter with a driver who barked aggressively out his window, telling us to get off the road.
When we got to the first major turn of the day, we met several of the faster riders who told us the news that Jill (who had been riding ahead of us) had been in an accident and had been taken to hospital. When we arrived at camp this evening we found out that a combination of a truck driving too close to her and the rough shoulder had caused her to fall, breaking her scapula. She may need surgery and won't be able to ride on with us, at least for some time. This is really unfortunate news... we know that she (like each of us) has a lot invested in this tour and must be really disappointed that she won't be riding on. And Jill is a wonderful, positive, supportive member of our group and we wish she could be riding with us still!
Cyclists are so vulnerable on the road... we're so small relative to the cars and trucks that whip by us, and we put a ton of trust in the drivers of those cars & trucks. We have to be ready to make snap decisions and handle the bike the best we can in unexpected situations. I'm sure we'll all be riding on tomorrow with strong awareness of this and with extra caution.
Rob has pledged to compose a brilliantly entertaining blog post for you tomorrow, telling tales of our stinking hot ride (it reached 104 degrees today!) into the town of Eminence, where we'll stay for a rest day before tackling the Ozark Mountains.
Miles Today 49