The storms never did come last night and when I woke up to answer a call from nature the sky was clear and filled with stars. There was lots of lightning but it came in the form of a bug. I had the rain fly opening unzipped on my tent and only in the morning did I switch the location of my sleeping bag from under me to on-top. I slept in,knowing the breakfast joint didn’t open until 9:30. At b-fast I stole some electricity to charge my phone and alternated between reading my book and watching ESPN sports highlights. I wasn’t worried about getting a late start because I only had around 35-40 miles to go. The first eight miles were on the rail trail that I was on for the last part of yesterday’s ride. The trail had a sign saying it was closed but I talked to a guy at a trailer park that said you could still get thru. < mistake #1. Before I started my ride, I donated any coins I had(no quarters,I'd use them for laundry later in the day) to the rail trail donation box as I was stretching out the legs. The trail started out smooth as could be and it didn't look like much flood damage to me. I saw several deer, a giant vulture and a un-identified mammal that jumped into the water as I approached. After a few miles the path started to get a little rough and had some mud and bigger rocks to deal with. I slowed down and was able to navigate ok until there were areas of crushed gravel that had been washed to a big pile. I knew my thin tires would just sink into the gravel so I unclipped one of my feet so I could catch my self if I started sliding. The only problem was you don't get to pick the direction you slide and ended up having a slow motion crash to my right side. (had my left foot unclipped) No harm done, it was the kind of fall that only hurts if you have a crowd watching. It got to the point that I had to start walking my bike because I was slipping and skidding everywhere. I could almost park my bike in the gravel. There were some branches and downed trees that I had to lift the bike over. I made it to a section of trail that I could pedal on and was glad to get moving because I could hear thunder approaching and I knew the trail would be even harder to ride if it started raining. I had to stop to adjust my fender and like an idiot I didn't have the correct tool to make the job easy. I was able to man handle it back into position,thankfully. A little ways down the road,after riding thru some mud, a railroad spike got caught in the mud on my tire and flew into the fender breaking it and locking up my front wheel. I was going slowly enough that I didn't crash but at high speeds that would have been disastrous. After a little period of frustration and trial and error, I was able to remove the spike. I then broke off as much of the fender as I could because I didn't have the right size allen wrench to properly remove the whole thing. During this time the storm was getting closer and I was a humid,sweaty mess. Aired up my tire(had to let the air out to undo the mess) and did a little test run with the broken but still attached fender. After some more walking and slow pedaling I made it to the end of the trail and the historic town of Brownville. I ended up making it to town right as it the rain started. Took cover at the welcome center/restaurant and had a lemonade and watched the storm come in from the safety and comfort of the porch. After the worst of the weather and watching the steam rise from the streets, I decided to move on. It took me almost two hours to ride eight miles on the trail. I had my 2nd mechanical of the day when my chain came off after down shifting to quickly on a hill. I had my third problem when what was left of my fender got loose and was bouncing off the ground. On the side of the road a little frustrated and in the rain I tried tying the bits of broken fender to the frame but it didn't work. As many of you know I'm not the best bicycle mechanic. I'm kind of like a cave man when it comes to certain repairs and trying to fix this problem without the proper tools was getting the best of me. Fortunately, cave men are strong and I ended up ripping the damn thing off. I was on the road again and nearing my destination of Falls City ( appropriately named for today's ride. I also made a turn on Rains street) and some jerk in a pickup truck ( it's almost always a pickup) was driving towards me honking and crossing his lane into mine and I let my first bird of the trip fly. Until today I had a no retaliation policy when idiots mess with me or throw things or honk or cut me of or whatever. Today I was in no mood for mr. funny redneck and even though in the grand scheme of things me waving one finger at this clown does almost nothing, but for that one spilt second, I felt better.

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