Day 15, Tour 10 Malden, MO to Jonesboro, AR

A flat and quiet ride most of today

Mostly on roads that paralleled railroad tracks and had shoulders

Between Paragould and Jonesboro, not flat or peaceful at all, but with a good shoulder

I really had two rides today. I rode from Malden to after Piggott on peaceful, flat, roads. Despite the peace, or perhaps because of it, I was having a very hard time keeping on keeping on on that ride. I had to stop multiple times to R+R, sometimes only a few miles apart. Every thing hurt and I was not enjoying myself at all. I stopped at a convenience store in Marmaduke for most of an hour, and when I left I was not looking forward to getting back on my bike. Then a mile or two after Piggott, I had to wait at a one way section of the road. I had a nice, but short, visit with the flagger which mentally turned me around. I had been debating stopping in Paragould because I was too wiped out to go on. Now, when I got to Paragould, I just wanted to stop for an early supper and then get on down the road. All thd nice young man said, after I told him I was wiped out and hurting, was that he couldn't do what I was doing. I rode on with an entirely different, and much more positive, attitude.

My second ride, which didn't really come into full force until after I had eaten, was very intense, and moderately hilly, riding under interstate like conditions. Suddenly, when put into that environment I wasn't wiped out at all. The meal definitely helped me keep going, but my mental attitude was more important. I could climb those hills - they were nothing compared to what I climbed two days ago! - and crank on down that expressway for the next 20+ mile to get to Jonesboro. I didn't stop my headlong rush until almost 20 miles later when I took a rest/snack break before riding on into town in search of a motel.

A fellow shoulder rider on US 62

Which I rode in two states today

The MO/AR border on US 62at St Francis

The St Francis river
you are looking at AR from MO

The forecast was for light wind from the north-northwest and that was reasonably accurate. Wind wasn't really an issue today. Riding south out of Malden was hard on my butt - bumpy road - but otherwise easy. I took 25 south to 62 and them rode 62 all the way to Piggott, about 25 miles of easy, but boring riding. Then I rode 49 to Marmaduke, another 20 miles and was ready to cll it a day ;-{.

Leaving Piggott, AR on a peaceful, and flat US 49

Leaving Paragould,AR on a non-peaceful and hilly US 49
and it stays hilly and busy all the way to Jonesboro

After my encounter with the flagman, the remaining 8 miles to Paragould were pleasant, easy riding. The fact that that section of 49 was often shaded by trees didn't hurt. It was 87 F in the shade.

Entering Paragould, I ran into major construction on 49 that was now an expressway. Fortunately, I was able to ride almost all of it on the construction side of the warning cones. When the construction ended, I turned right on 412 to find a place to eat. Fortunately, there was a shopping center with a Mexican fast food place just down the road where I could keep an eye on my bike while I ate. After eating I headed back to 49 which was now a four lane road up hill with heavy traffic and no way to get out of the outer lane.

My good knee started hurting, so I stopped to take an ibuprofen, only to discover that I couldn't find my pain relievers. I climbed another block and stopped at a drug store to buy some more ibuprofen and took one. Then I climbed on, in heavy traffic for a mile or so before the curbs went away an I got a decent shoulder to ride in. From then on it was just fairly fast, moderately hilly, riding for 20 more miles. I was no longer hurting, just focused on getting on down the shoulder without getting a flat tire ;-}. It was very noisy riding, but the shoulder had a good rumble strip at the inside and I figured, even with the noise, I could hear anyone who crossed that strip behind me. That meant I could ignore the traffic and just ride.

When I got near Jonesboro, I asked my GPS to route me to the Motel 6. then, after my break, I turned off 49 onto Airport Road - this wasn't what my GPS routed, but it looked like, and was, a good way to get off 49. It was hilly and had no shoulders, but also had only light traffic. Climbing the second or third hill, I saw a lovely cemetery with graves scattered over a very large area. I stopped to enjoy the beauty and peace.

Peace returns at a beautiful cemetery in Jonesboro

I relied on my GPS to route me to the motel. It got a bit confused, but eventually I spotted the motel. I'd been riding on major roads with heavy traffic and having to make several left turns across multiple lanes. Now I made it to the left turn lane and waited for the green arrow. It didn't happen since the sensor didn't detect my bike. A car pulled up behind me and we sat there through another cycle of the lights. Apparently the sensor is only at the front of the turn lane ;-{. In disgust, I rode illegally over to the curb, walked my bike across some grass, and then rode through a big shopping center and walked my bike across some more grass to get to the motel.

I checked in, worked a little bit on the computer - I couldn't get on the motel wifi - and took a long, hot, shower. Then, when I looked for my comb and couldn't find it. Since it was in the ziplock bag with my wallet,, etc. this was a serious problem. I searched the room throughly. I went back to the office to ask if they had seen it, then back to my room to move the furniture, etc. Things were looking grim. I had remembered that I had that bag when I entered the room and that I'd secured the door after I entered, so the bag should be in the room. Finally I found it, on the back rack of my bike under the top cover of my rear pannier. Having found my stuff, I needed a drink. So I went out to look for a beer. That is when I realised I was in Arkansas ;-{.

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