2015-06-23 - IA - Day 27 - Orion to Oxford Junction
Brian, Catherine, Zach, Phoebe and I took off toward Davenport, a popular off-route destination and shortcut almost half of the riders would be taking today. We walked about a mile and a half on gravel before jumping on the highway. On the way we met up with Libby, Nils, Reed, and Alex, before taking the bike path through the Quad Cities along the Mississippi River. This was our first encounter with the Mississippi River on this trip, but we will be riding along it for many miles in the near future. The first coffee shop we stopped at, supposedly the best in Davenport, was not as appealing as people expected, so we went to another called the Redband Coffee Company. We met up with Andy there and I found out that his father was originally from Davenport.
Brian, Alex, and I went to a great bike shop in town where they straightened my derailleur hanger and tried to help Brian with his bike. He ended up going to another bike shop as well but long story short, he had his cassette, chain, sprocket, and bottom bracket all replaced, with the bottom bracket delivered to him by a bike store owner on a moped via a 200-mile round-trip journey the next day. Andy and Catherine met us at the bike shop after getting postcards. Alex, Andy and I left Brian and Catherine there and cycled together for quite a while. Andy and I stopped at the only store in Dixon, a tavern where I let my head cool down from the headache-inducing heat outside and had something to eat. Alex had already gone ahead by that time, and Andy left before me.
I rode slowly from Dixon to Oxford Junction, biking an extra four miles to avoid gravel roads that would cause flats in my tired tires. Kate and Rachel caught up to me and we finished together. Oxford Junction is a small town, one of four towns with the same name in Iowa. All the stores were closed but we got a lot of free food from the family of a man who rode with the organization last year on the UK trip, Zach. The local fire station also set up a warm fire hose between two fire trucks behind a curtain to let us shower. It was wonderful! Catherine and Brian finally got in around 8 PM, Brian's bike issues on the mend. Ayhson, Cole, and Leo had traveled fifteen miles in the wrong direction and got a ride back even later. I find this quite funny as Ayhson is essentially a route leader (technically an intern but there is not a big difference).