Posted by: Mark Wollemann: On the move | July 10, 2016

Day 28: Pancake power; midway point on the horizon

Day 28
Destination: Merriman, Neb.
Sunday’s mileage: 51. Total: 1,580

The day dawned with a quick walk to the Rushville American Legion Hall for its weekly Sunday breakfast. For $7, we enjoyed eggs, bacon, pancakes, fruit, coffee and orange juice.

Nebraskaland hotel

We lucked into a room here, thanks to a cancellation. The place does pretty steady trade because they do things with a personal touch.

Then it was back to the Nebraskaland Motel (established 1941 as a motel/gas station: if you booked a room, you’d get a free tank of gas and an oil change in the early days). It’s an interesting little place; family-owned, locally connected, reasonably priced. We actually booked a second night, so when I shoved off this morning, I was planning to ride easy today — maybe 30 miles — and then have Melody come pick me up so we could stay in air conditioning the rest of the day. With triple-digit temps, it was the right call.

So I shoved off and started pedaling. I was feeling a little sore — saddle sore, if you really must know — and I wasn’t sure how far I wanted to go. But as has been my custom on this trip, I just soldiered on. By the time I had called Melody and she had come to get me, I was 51 miles down the road and more than happy to be done. A sidenote: at 1,580 miles, I’ll surpass the midway point sometime Monday. I expect the journey to cover about 3,200 total miles so I’ll be more than halfway there by the end of the day. I find that hard to believe, but I have been chugging along. It’s a testament to grinding.

Anyway, after hooking up the bike, we headed back to the Nebraskaland, stopping for a quick bite (and a piece of pumpkin pie that was NOT worthy of a picture). At that restaurant, Melody stumbled across a disturbing bit of “commentary” that she wrote about at our website 55andalive. Check it out. It provides a disturbing look at the kind of hate that lives out in the open in some parts of this country.




  1. So Mark, I’m curious about where you feel you reached the crossover point in your musculature where you felt like you stopped getting worn down, and each day’s ride felt stronger. I ask because when I did three consecutive 140-some mile days back around 1999, I definitely felt like my body was still wearing down after three days.

    • I think 500 miles in three days would wear down pretty much anyone. You’re an animal. I’d say that I started to turn the corner sometime between week 2 and 3. Did those back-to-back 100-mile days (give or take) with lots of hills, wind, etc. That was about a week or so ago. I think now, as long as I’m properly fueled, I can ride for 8-10 hours, if I needed to. If I’m in rolling hills and not being killed by headwinds, a steady 15-18 mph seems to work for me.

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