Day 31: Meth-heads and rednecks and skinheads, oh my!

Wednesday, August 2nd. We are in Ellington, MO.

(Warning! This post contains very silly ideas and generalisms based on a few chance encounters from today. The views expressed here are not held by any of the CCFC riders or affiliates.)

Today wasn’t much of a day. Well, except for the continued near-death experiences, debilitating heat, and confusion between the support car and riders. During the ride a few of us stopped twice to take dips in the rivers. At one point David lost his glasses into whitewater and then bought $2.50 goggles to find them. (He swears the goggles were engineered to funnel water into your eyes.) David is blind without glasses and the water was murky, so clearly it was a lost cause. He has prescription sunglasses, so it’s pretty funny to watch him try to function between sundown and sunrise.

Okay, now for near death. Besides the constant threats from locals, and drivers maliciously trying to run us off the road, and drivers laying on their horns while they pass, and drivers waving and screaming for us to get off the pavement (and ride into the forest I can only assume), Ezra had a real tier-one level encounter mid-morning. Not near death like a normal athlete’s “haha, that was close”, but the sort of near death experience that makes you consider when the last time you told your family you love them. (PS: That was two years ago this November for me. Just kidding…?)

A red pickup truck pulled up to Ezra while he was riding in the right-most foot of highway and laid on the horn. Ezra swerved to the last couple of inches of road and the truck passed-by honking and revving, so Ezra raised his palm in acknowledgment of the complaint. The truck slammed on its brakes and burnt-out in reverse back toward Ezra as he ran off the pavement and put himself behind a tree to block the vehicle-turned-weapon. The driver popped out of the car with a shotgun and screamed profanities at Ezra for a few minutes while Ezra quietly contested that he raised his palm, not his finger. Ezra notes most that the crazed look in the man’s sunburnt eyes put the fear of God in him. Also Ezra had originally thought a dog was in the passenger seat when the truck first went by but it turned out to be the man’s wife. And, no, I’m not chalking that as a dog attack. We have a mockup of the pickup truck driver:

We need to get out of this state now.

Later on we finally made it to Ellington after miles of Ozark rollercoaster terrain, which boasts some of the most difficult climbs we’ve done without any return in overall elevation change (4000-5000 feet of climbing sans the altitude gain). We hit up a local restaurant to keep out of the sun and Paddy’s dropped one of the most classically thick-witted lines we’ve ever heard. Afterwards, as you can imagine, the waitress was putty in his oh-so-capable hands. And I quote:

During our laugher at Paddy’s clearly sun-baked brain, we looked over and remembered that we’re in Southern Missouri…

May I be a bold to suggest a solution for Southern Missouri? They’ve got lots of social issues and pointless hills, so perhaps we should make it a landfill and help even out those ungraded climbs. Cyclists win, truckers win, and thusly, America wins. Heck, at the same rate of worldwide waste production, a landfill that large would be able to hold thousands of years of US garbage. Then again, So. Missouri definitely has natural beauty, so maybe just get all the people and truckers out and designate it a National Park. Either way, Where the Red Fern Grows sure is full of it… the Ozarks aren’t something worth romanticizing. (Good book, though.)

Tomorrow is our last day in Missouri, but it’s a full day. Can it get worse? Max keeps reminding us of Murphy’s Law. And I am reminded of the end of Easy Rider and Deliverance.

I didn’t want to make today’s post so negative, but that’s just how things are.

Today’s Numbers:

Miles cycled: 95
Flat tire tally: 31
Near death experiences: 7
CCFC riders who asked me not to blog Ezra’s encounter so their parents wouldn’t worry: 2
Dog attacks: 5
Policemen that make us feel safe in Ellington: 0
Days without showers or proper water: 3
License plate numbers from red trucks given to police: 1

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57 Responses to “Day 31: Meth-heads and rednecks and skinheads, oh my!”

  1. Zane Pierce Says:

    Truly frightening.

  2. joel dewey Says:

    evidently the south will rise again…and again and again, in isolated and misdirected outbursts of personal anguish.

  3. Eric Reynolds Says:

    lol… I just found your journal and have been reading the entire thing. I myself live in Springfield MO. and I was just waiting to read how you felt about it. I concur with your findings.

  4. Jimmy Says:

    im from southern missouri… and i think you’re a bunch of snotty assholes just because it aint yer way of life aint sayin nothin for nobody else. go ride ur fuckin bicycles you uppity pricks… your the reason we dont like yuppie fuckin hippies from california thinkin ur all high and mighty

  5. Trever Says:

    hippies!! Yall are always trying to be about cultural experiences….at least you found out to get the hell out of where you dont belong and that if you cant take the heat stay out of the kitchen!! go back you your hippie gayland’s

  6. Jason Says:

    Gj finding the internet you two. Welcome.

  7. Mike Says:

    Cool website – for a good cause, too! I need to start riding my road bike more and work off this gut.

    I got a laugh out of your description of the encounter with the a-hole pickup truck driver. Just tonight I had a pickup truck driver here in southern California try to stare me down and intimidate me at a stop light. For what, I don’t know. I drive a Honda Civic. There are some messed up folks in this world and apparently their vehicle of choice is a pickup truck.

    Ah well, don’t let the a-holes get you down. We are better than them!

  8. bob Says:

    wow super gay

  9. Frank Says:

    id just like to say that the next time you tree hugging hippies are in southern missiouri i would turn around cause it sounds like you would be better off. if you would get your heads out of your backsides and realize that there is more to this world than skyrize’s and shopping districts filled with starbucks and hollister. then you might be able to appreciate the rolling hills of the ozarks. besides our roads aren’t meant for idiot’s on bikes.

  10. MIke Says:

    I hope you realise that not ALL rednecks behave in that manner. TRUE rednecks can be very useful in a time of need. FYI, all trucks (18 wheelers, not pickups) have air compressors on board. Thay have to, air is what operates the brakes, suspension, seats, and many other things on a truck. Most truck drivers carry air hoses in their trucks for airing up tires. That could be very helpful with the flat tires, but be warned, these hoses are designed to put 110 pounds of pressure into a truck tire, so a bike tire could easily be blown to pieces. Just a second of air should be more than enough. I share this information for a friend who is no longer with us, and she participated in many causes to help find a cure for cancer.
    God speed you and your’s, may the Heavenly Father see Y’all to a safe conclusion to your ride.

    Mike

  11. Hutch Says:

    Listen up dipshits. Who the hell are you to come here and bitch at us? If you think that southern missouri is bad, why is san franisco known for all the homos? The sign saying, “we ain’t dialin 911″ that means southerns take care of their own problems, not go cryin to someone else saying “he yelled at me for insulting his wife.” (Ezra, your one dumb little fuck. For any reason someone should come after you like that, its because you affended them or you were doing something stupid) Get this straight, if you mess with us, you wont leave in one piece. If dont believe me come on back cause their are a lot of people dying to meet you. What were u thinkin? If you degrade someone, they will hit you back. How stupid do have to be to pick Missouri? Dont get all bent out of shape, any activity for the fight against cancer is great. But apparently, your level of stupidity is below Sen. John Kerry.

  12. PATTI Says:

    I USED TO LIVE IN “MISSERY”-IT SUX-THEY REALLY ARE INBREAD FUX!!!! DONT LET’EM FOOL YA WITH THE BIBLE BELT DISGUISE-THEY’RE SATAN WORSHIPING PIGZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Ezra Says:

    Badly spelled hate speech… that’s great.

  14. Jiminez Says:

    You don’t respond with “um, cheese” anywhere you go. That’s just plain rude, and I would tell anyone who said that to me that he can kindly leave if he’s going to treat people like that. If he decided to stay I would still make the burger exactly how he didn’t want it made. With that said, people from rural areas tend to suffer from small-man syndrome where they lash out because they feel inferior. That and they’re driven mad with boredom, so they do things to entertain themselves.

  15. Sr. Anne Francioni Says:

    Well Good Morning,
    Earlier today I had breakfast at the local restaurant you mentioned in your journal, where I was given this web address to take a look at what you had written about our town. I happen to know and even employed the beautiful young waitress you chose to make fun of. I too, am not from this area, but have made Ellington my home for the last 12 years. I too, found myself in a culture different from my own when I first arrived. Where we differ, however is that I did not stoop so low as to make and publish rash judgments. The people of this rural community are like any other group of people—diverse and complex. What you see on the surface is very often not the same as what you see once you develop relationships. Maybe if we all take the time to look at the world through a cultural lens, we may see that we are much more alike than different. Then maybe, just maybe, with much hard work and hope, we will be able to pull our world together to really celebrate life in a loving way. Who knows, that might even help us to find a cure for cancer……that is what the bike ride is all about, correct?
    I hope your life journeys will bring you back through our beautiful Ozarks some day. If they do, I would welcome the chance to meet you and introduce you to some of the lovely community members I am privileged to share life with.

  16. Nicky Says:

    riding cross country for cancer is a very good idea, but it is wrong to talk down on people along the way. you only met a handful of people from ellington. and yes there are some assholes. but there are a lot more of us that are very nice. i dont appreciate the comment that it should just be made into a landfill. you want to say all these bad things about missouri because of the handful of people you met and had bad experiences with. well then i guess i can assume that everybody from california is an up tight prick who thinks they are better than everybody. so there for the usa would be better off if california would just go ahead and sink into the ocean. it would help with population control, pollution, and to shut up ass holes like you. just because you cant be open minded and realize that there are gonna be bad people anywere you go, does not give you the right to assume that we are all like that. the town i am from is not to bad. just dont come in acting all high and mighty like you guys are kings of your little bicycle group. get over your self and learn to look for the good in people.

  17. Jason Says:

    one ride, two red necks, one bad, one good…..

    first one, honks my tame ass of the road… with the confederate flying in the breeze.

    second, comes 0.7 seconds after i violently brake then flip tring to avoid a rottie/pit bull attack. This fine southern gentalment uses his FORD to block the varmement for about 10 seconds and then yells “You better haul some ass!!”. Got to love america.

  18. Sherry Says:

    I am from Southern Missouri and am very upset with the way you have perceived us. Not all from Southern Missouri are like that. Trust me we have our fair few but you cannot tell me your hometown doesn’t have some that are out there also. We get hundreds of bikers in this region every summer and well, it’s just not the ideal place for a biker to ride. It makes it very dangerous for the bikers and drivers. That’s why a lot of us get very upset with you all. I have always been very polite to the bikers that I come across but I will have to say I have not always had the best impression of them. I have had very bad encounters with more than one biker but have still kept an open mind about them all the same, because I know not all bikers are alike. We are not all meth-heads, rednecks, or skinheads. Do you think we should all categorize bikers as treehugging a-holes? I would think not.

  19. Bre Says:

    You know, it’s really nice that you want to take cross country trip just to critisize what you are not used to. I live in southern Missouri and have all my life. And guess what…I”M NOT INBRED!! I’m sure it looked like the truck was going to run you off the road, but maybe you should try a bike trail. Bikes do NOT belong on the highway, especially when the vehicles who belong on it can’t see over the hills and you expect to feel safe…DUH!! The restaurant that you ate at is not bad. You guys are a bunch of smart ass pricks who expect the world to watch out for your two wheels and fat heads on a bike. You need to stay in California with your heads up your ass, instead of trying to pull them out in the ozarks. If you don’t appreciate Missouri…STAY OUT. Nobody wants you here anyway. And why do you think that Missouri is inbred? Maybe the reason you didn’t get hit on in Missouri is because Californians are known to be faggets. Missourians are not “satan worshiping pigs.” Actually we still believe in the Bible which is why we do not believe in same sex relationships like you. And that girl in the picture had no reason to be made fun of? She asked you a simple question and if I was her, I would’ve spit in your food. I’d watch out if you ever decide to come back to Ellington, because this email has gotten around and it could end up like DELIVERANCE…

  20. Terry Says:

    Hey guys a couple of years ago a group of your kind came through. They were in town in a thunderstorm and no where to get in for shelter. Some people in Ellington put them up for the night, fed them, washed thier clothes, and allowed them to take showers in thier own home. This is how you thank us for those who aren’t rednecks,meth-heads,or skin heads. I know enough to know that everyone from San Fransico is not gay. You being so smart should realize the same about us.

  21. Cody Says:

    Being a resident of southern Missouri my entire life, until recently moving to north Missouri for college purposes i have noticed both sides of the fence. Yes we have crazy rednecks in this area but there are some of us that are still sane around here. you have to realize that even tho we pose a danger to you, you also pose a danger to us. Think about driving 80 around a corner and all of the sudden theres 20 bikers in front of you, of course its gonna make you angry I’ve had to almost take the ditch plenty of times to keep from hitting plenty of you. once again no excuse for people trying to shoot you but just understand its annoying having to run off the road to save one of your sorry butts.

    that said although we have a small county probably 6000 or so residents. Our relay for life events raise aprx. $50,000 a year. pretty big investment for such a small community. hope your “opinion” of our area doesn’t hinder OUR efforts to find the SAME cure that you are looking for. believe it or not we care about the same things so just because were different doesn’t mean were “stupid” “ignorant” or any other derogatory word you may call US

    that being said maybe next time you will be considerate before posting hurtful and stereotypically remarks about an otherwise WONDER part of the country
    -Cody

  22. Randy English Says:

    You guys need to get out more!! If our way of life offends you there is a great solution. Go Around. I am originally from Fl and have lived all over the US. These people here are some of the best I have encountered. That’s why I choose to live here. We have a great relay for life annually and you would be surprised at what we raisefor cancer. You need to keep your negativity to yourself before prejudging people. While I applaud your cancer mission, you give a black eye to the cause. I will put you all on my prayer list.

  23. Ashley Says:

    I happen to know when you all came through over the summer in fact I do believe that you were helped just like many other bike riders that peddle through with open doors of free camping,water and tiolets to use! In fact at any given early morning through the summer you can drive by our great courthouse and see many tents lining the courtyard at no cost along with the fact that you have an open door to come in and use the restroom, water fountains and vending machines! Oh have I mentioned that I along with others offered up coffee and conversation to you as well! And when that young lady asked by the way what you would like on your cheeseburger I believe she was meaning condiments! Sorry had the heat gotten into your cityslicking heads so much that all you could find to say was cheese! We live in the MOST God given country left in this great nation,good people live here with better things to do than spend our parents money to ride a bycycle across the counrty and say we did something! I think that your cause began for the good but let me ask you this,do you really think that all those cancer survivors and those who have lost the fight would want you turning your adventure into such hate? My mother lost her fight by the way and I dont know wich offends me the most the fact that you were abusive after touring our fine county or the fact that you used cancer research to open the door for it! My advice find the Lord and dont come back! I also think it is in your best intrest to remove that UNDERAGE girls photo from your site! She did not give you permission for it to be posted or that her face could be made fun of online!
    Another thing I am wondering if you all are such Brave and mighty young men, why only a picture of a teenage girl why not of one our scary redneck men!? In fact come back and ask me for a picture please! I love and am proud to be from Reynolds County Missouri this piont proven by you all! I live in a place that is kind and have good hearted people with great morals not snobby cityslickers that are scared of their own shadows that they would hide behind a computer instead of saying what they think face to face!

  24. kody Says:

    Hey you dumb son’s a bitches… That nice picture you have up there in that Restaurant, which my mother own’s, that is my underaged (which is a minor) cousin in that your calling a waitress, If you come back to Ellington I’d love to give you a nice ASS BEATING… thats not something smart to write about my family calling her a whore!…and you could have ur way with her?! i beg to differ, how big a boy are you…come back down here and ill show you what a “redneck” would do to you…and yes “No one will call 911!”…Cause you pissed off everyone in this whole county, and beautiful state which ur calling misery? Ya’ll ain’t nothing but a bunch of faggots!… and Patti you are a fuckin idiot! we’re not inbred* you are! Learn to spell!

  25. kody Says:

    By the way with that Slandering you were doing and taking pictures without our consent…could get you a nice lawsuit! just remember that!

  26. Al Says:

    Cancer IS a big deal, as your post says. In fact my wife and I donate a great deal to the research. I think after this “adventure” of yours, we will now reconsider and donate to the Heart Association. If you are the type of people that represent our donatins, I don’t I want anything to do with it. You see, I live in Ellington and if a person is in need, we all pitch in to help. Maybe you were just getting back what you gave to the town! Which was obviously nothing but… well, you get back what you give. Maybe you should limit your rides to California, the land of the breakfast cereal, (fruits nuts & flakes.) I remember meeting you guys as well. I found it odd that you were riding without seats on you bikes. Then I spoke to you and understood…

  27. Keith Says:

    What do you want on your cheeseburger? How about choices such as tomato, pickle, catsup, mustard, etc? You would have been peeved if the large ranch burger arrived in a style other than befitting a yuppie “cyclist” with cool Ray Miland glasses. I live in Ellington (having moved here last year from Central Florida). I eat at Hall’s once in a while. I have never been treated with anything other than courtesy. I suspect you arrived with a “holier than thou” attitude and anything the locals did wouldn’t have measured up.
    Ellington is primarily built around hard work and lacks any need to put on false fronts, what you see is what you get. The road runs both ways, in and out. I’m glad you found the exit.

  28. Sue Says:

    I don’t think you would have stood a chance with that waitress, our young
    adults here are educated and most are christians, and although they believe in christian ways of life being good to your neigbor, they also havent much use for sarcastig egotistic strangers, that probably have more knowlege of high society drugs than they do. Our students have a
    high percent of college atendance than most city schools. We here in Ellington are very proud of them.
    I can understand your frustration of motorists, not so friendly attempts of roadside humor, however coming originally from Chicago, I encountered many of the same problem while being a passenger on a motorcycle. 2 wheels any way you look at it, sometimes have the same problems.
    Ellington residents have assisted many bicyclists that have came thru here, and many of us still are in contact with those that shared their emails and addresses. I can see by reading your diary entry that you were unhappy from the start, it is a shame you had to find it amusing to
    try and belittle a wonderful community. Might it be that you couldnt find the drugs needed to continue your journey on the corner as you do at home? You are a embarassment to the cancer society and any other organization you represent. You owe this citizens of Ellington and also the
    young lady you took the picture of a apology. And by the looks of her rolling her eyes, one can only imagine what she was thinking having to do her job and wait on you all. I hope you left her more than the quarter it seems you have for intelligence for a tip. Shame on you, and I hope your parents didnt have to see the rubbish you wrote, and realize the education they probably worked hard to give you went to waste ……

  29. Sue Says:

    Sue Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    February 17th, 2008 at 9:54 pm
    I don’t think you would have stood a chance with that waitress, our young
    adults here are educated and most are christians, and although they believe in christian ways of life ,being good to your neighbor, they also haven’t much use for sarcastic egotistic strangers, that probably have more knowlege of high society drugs than they do. Our students have a
    high percent of college atendance than most city schools. We here in Ellington are very proud of them.
    I can understand your frustration of motorists, not so friendly attempts of roadside humor, however coming originally from Chicago, I encountered many of the same problem while being a passenger on a motorcycle. 2 wheels any way you look at it, sometimes have the same problems.
    Ellington residents have assisted many bicyclists that have came thru here, and many of us still are in contact with those that shared their emails and addresses. I can see by reading your diary entry that you were unhappy from the start, it is a shame you had to find it amusing to
    try and belittle a wonderful community. Might it be that you couldn’t find the drugs needed to continue your journey on the corner ,as you do at home? You are a embarassment to the cancer society and any other organization you represent. You owe this citizens of Ellington and also the
    young lady you took the picture of a apology. And by the looks of her rolling her eyes, one can only imagine what she was thinking having to do her job and wait on you all. I hope you left her more than the quarter it seems you have for intelligence for a tip. Shame on you, and I hope your parents didn’t have to see the rubbish you wrote, and realize the education they probably worked hard to give you went to waste ……

  30. Amber Says:

    I am from Ellington, Missouri, and do NOT appreciate the rude, sarcastic things you have to say. Ellington may not be the biggest or greatest town in the world, but if you “out of towners” would open your eyes and take a look around, southern missouri is some of the most beautiful terrain in the US. Yes people honk and you and get pissed, hell i have done it a few times myself. You pop over one of the hills around that area and there are 15 bicycles just on the other side in your lane, you dont have a choice but to lay on the horn. Those roads are NOT meant for bikes, ya’ll should stick to the larger highways and stay the heck outta the country if you have no more consideration than to trash talk everyone from that area from a few encounters, than ya’ll need to take your pig headed, ignorant, city-fied butts back to cali where you belong. Ellington has been very good to the cyclist’s that come thru there on a good cause, usually openning up doors to allow ya’ll to sleep in a warm/cool building, depending on the time of year, and most of the time feeding you for little or no cost. So stop your complaining and just take your bikes and head right on out of southern missouri and keep your rude, ignorant comments to yourselves.

  31. Bry Says:

    i’m sure ya’ll will be glad to hear this but we don’t like your little “biker” butts anyways and the next time you want to vist Missouri i would think twice, And belive me if i was to see you on the road in the middle of it like you own the dang place you can bet your ass that i will open my door and knock your ass off the bike just for a good laugh.. haha!!! I bet you guys think your somthing now puttin FALSE statements on the internet.. but i mean think about it anywhere you go in the USA a waitress is going to ask you what you want on your chesseburger… DUH! but thats all i got to say.. you are rideing for a good cause but ya’ll are some smartass, dumbass, ignorant ass mother fuckers, have a nice life and stay off OUR redneck hills (you never know whats hiding in them :) )

  32. Girly Says:

    Just so you know, there are “rednecks” everywhere not just in Missouri. I hope you never return. This site was mentioned in our newspaper. Just a little FYI….that pic of the waitress is ILLEGAL considering she was under the age of 18 and you have to get a parent’s permission to post her picture. Also, I think that this is for a good cause but your negativity about our small town is disgusting!!! How dare you, using this site as a site for discrimination and slander!!! You have to realize that most people that live here have to work their butts off just to make ends meet and can’t just ride a bicycle all over the country. We have lives, feelings, and our childern can access this site online!! How dare you say that one of the most beautiful areas of Missouri you want to make a landfill!! I should suggest to you that you should choose your words carefully!! I live in Ellington and am very proud to raise my daughter here! Just for the record….I am not poor nor am I a redneck, or anything other racial slur or bias opinion for that matter. Its really a shame that you hated it so much here. Shame on you for bringing this hateful attitude to our town.

  33. Jacob Says:

    @ Bry

    I’m not sure what “false statements” you are referring to, but the one you mention is more of a misunderstanding. The post here is making fun of Paddy (sorry Paddy… you’re too funny) for talking out his arse when the nice waitress asked him a simple question. So…. the joke is on Paddy for saying something completely stupid, not the waitress for asking something *completely normal*. Hope this clears things up -

    @ Kody

    I’m confused by your comment… this blog doesn’t say anything about anyone being a whore. Perhaps you meant to post a comment on Suicide Girls?

  34. Len Says:

    I don’t know who you guys think you are. I live in southern MO and I have all my life. Just so you know, I’m not inbred like ya’ll think everyone around here is. We are not satan worshiping pigs like PATTI said. Actually, we believe in the Bible which is why we don’t approve of gay marriage. *ahem California ahem* You should’ve known that the USA was not all flat like you would like it to be. You guys obviously didn’t pay attention in geography class. Actually if you would have listened, you would have found out that Missouri was not even part of the confederacy we just like rebel flags. By the way you would have learned that in History class. And if you would have went to driver’s ed, you would have learned that BIKES DO NOT BELONG ON THE FUCKING HIGHWAY!!! When we cannot see over the hills and you are riding on them, you are putting YOUR life in YOUR hands! It is not our fault that you do not feel safe because you are on two wheels and we have four. If you don’t like Missouri, go around. There are other states that you could have went through. Anyone who doesn’t like it here shouldn’t come back. If you can’t ride for a good cause and think about all the people who would love to go cross country bike riding, then don’t do it because we don’t want to listen to your dumbasses bitch about the hills that YOU chose to ride in. You know how this place reminds you of Deliverance….I wouldn’t come back:D

  35. Ashley Says:

    HEY PATTI, I don’t care if you used to live in missouri and that’s how it is spelled I have lived here almost my whole life and I’m a christian. But I think that you should stop talking anout places and worry about what your on the ride for. I hope that they find a cure for cancer no help to you guys. I feel that what you get when you come back here isn’t going to be pretty. If I see you I’ll run your asses over! So next time I think that you just go around Missouri and you really don’t care about cancer or you wouldn’t make a joke out of your entire ride. So next time you shouldn’t bike for a cure that you obviously don’t support just ride a bike around your block and stay the hell off our hills!

  36. Pete Says:

    Hey PATTI!!! I think that it’s bullshit that you would say stuff like that about Missourians. And to the bikers that said all of that shit about Missouri… You can all go fuck yourselfs. If you were truly riding to find a cure for cancer then you wouldn’t judge other people’s lifestyles. Next time you ride to support something don’t fucking think about riding through Missouri. Go the fuck around. We’re proud of the way that we live. We aren’t little pussies that have to make a comment then run.

  37. Jacob Says:

    @ Ashley

    Just to make sure we’re on the same page: the commenter “PATTI” is a random reader who discovered the site using the Internet, he’s not one of the cyclists and he’s completely unaffiliated with our team.

    @ Len

    So you come from a state that doesn’t approve of gay marriage but you think people from “this place” would like to put their penises in our respective butts? ……… how is that not really, really, really gay? Are you sure you’ve seen Deliverance…? The one with Burt Reynolds?

    In answer to your question, if you have indeed gone to Missouri DMV’s Drivers Ed you must have learned there are road-sharing laws. You may have also seen the big yellow signs that say “Share the Road” with a picture of a bicycle on them (see http://mobikefed.org/2003/03/st-louis-post-letters-to-editor-about.php). For help with your next driving exam, see
    http://dor.mo.gov/mvdl/drivers/dlguide/chapter7.pdf and section 307.188 of http://mobikefed.org/files/biketips_bikelaws2005.pdf

    All the best -

  38. Michelle Says:

    To everyone posting on this site:

    To begin with all this arguing back and forth really doesn’t help the fact that this is just one person’s pitiful excuse for an oppinion. We all know what they say about opinions don’t we. Everyone is entitled to theirs but they are like something else and they all stink.

    Really, some times the restaurant mentioned give great service and others, well everyone has a bad day now and then. The young lady mentioned only asked a simple question. It is a shame that the person writing this journal had to show how much of a smartass the other cyclist was to her. The sign that hangs on the wall “We don’t dial 911″ is just a funny little thing that states that Missouri is a Conceal and Carry State and it is not recommended that anyone try to rob the restaurant. Now, if someone was sick or hurt the people at the restaurant would do anything and everything to help.

    You were supposed to be riding I assume as some sort of way to raise awareness or money to assist in finding the cure for cancer. Well, I will have you know that the people of Ellington, Missouri are of more help to a cancer patient than eny organization out there. In our town when someone is diagnosed with cancer they do not go through it alone. All the organizations out there might send a lap-sized cover, a fifty dollar gas card, maybe even a case of “Boost” nutritional drink. Now truthfully how much help is that when you have cancer and cannot work and the nearest cancer treatment center is one and a half to two hours drive away.

    In our community when someone has cancer everyone else rallies around them and in most cases we have what we call a benefit to help raise money to help with their expenses. No it is never enough to cover all the costs but at least the person afflicted with this terrible form of torture knows very much that the community that they live in supports them. In most cases thousands of dollars are raised and they can use it to cover the cost of fuel for transportation, house payments, medical bills, groceries or just whatever they need.

    Now about the cyclists that come through our very scenic, proud community…. I would like to point out first of all, yes there is a law that motorists are obligated to share the road with the cyclists. However, our roads do not have raised shoulders or even clear views of on-coming traffic. Why in the world would anyone want to ride a bicycle on a road that doesn’t have either of those. I have been traveling our raods and been behind cyclists going up-hill at 5 miles per hour, honestly as a motorist it is very frustrating when you are trying to get somewhere and you cannot get there on time because someone is holding up the flow of traffic. And as far as you complaining about the hills in our area, let me just simply say, “There is a reason that this part of Missouri is called the hub of the Ozarks”. I would suggest that the next time you attempt something like this you purchase a topigraphical map and decide whether or not you are capable of handling the terrain or not before you drive in head first.

    I will finish by saying that I personally have not traveled much in my life and you might be a bit more ambitious than me because I don’t know that I could set out cross-country on a bicycle. But, what I have traveled I have found that people in Ellington are like people everywhere. Some are nice enough that they would give you the shirt off their back if they thought you needed it worse than they did/do. And other think that they are better than everyone else.

    I personally am very happy that I am raising my seven year old son and now my eight week old son in our small corner of the world where everyone looks out for each other and for the most part treat each other as the good book say.

    There is a thing our there that most people forget about and it is called “THE GOLDEN RULE”. It simply put says do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I believe that in this day and age that is something that a lot of people out there seem to have forgotten.

  39. Memer Says:

    I was just told about this site. Don’t know who your mother was or is,but I would not claim you as a child of mine. I my self do not live in Ellington but go there a lot. My son does live there and GUESS WHAT

  40. Memer Says:

    SORRY, I got a little MAD!!! Like I was saying my son lives in Ellington and has to deal with CANCER himself. He is Proud and I am Proud of him. We love and care for the area we live in and don’t want people that DON’T HAVE MANNERS coming thur here. People like you come here and do what you want and leave, go and talk about things you don’t even know about. Its people like you that makes us fell like we do. If you can’t come thur MISSOURI and enjoy it then stay away. If we like your life we would be your neighbor, but not in my life time, I love it here. And if this is how you think you can raise money for people like my son STOP we don’t want your help, we care about each other and are all neighbors around here.

  41. Carolyn Says:

    how could you, my nephew who is from ellington missouri passed away from cancer, it makes me sick to think people like you disgrace what it is all about, you should just be ashamed and I can tell you about the people who stood in the 4 way stops and bake sales in the burning heat to raise money for my nephew while he was sick , that is what Ellington Missouri is all about, in memory of Justn Lee Buckner

  42. Ashley Says:

    umm ok Len sais nothing about the movie or your loose butts in his comment that I could see….And I have lived in reynolds county my entire life and have seen NO signs about bicycles here???In the cities yes but not here! Bottom line guys you have made some major mistakes in your postings!!! And now you have to answer for them because our county residents and surrounding residents are getting madder by the minute! You allowed Patti’s comment to go along with your speech about us here didnt see you correcting it! Oh and Deliverance was not anything about Missouri!!! I have seen the movie. I think the movie that comes to mind when reading about you all would be more like “Next of kin” Its about family and how when city people do country folk wrong….well just watch the movie….
    Oh and two diffrent Ashley’s by the way I come with the first Ashley post!

  43. CONFEDERATE :) Says:

    Jacob – I challege you to find a “Big yellow sign that says Share the Road with a picture of a bicycle on it” in southern MO or within 100 miles of Ellington. I think you’ve worn out the “Deliverance” thing but since you like to bring that up all the time, I bet YOU probably could squeal like a pig!! LOL

  44. Jacob Says:

    @ Carolyn

    Very sorry to hear of your loss. We’ve all been effected by cancer, both in the young and old, and deeply feel your pain.

    @ Ashley and CONFEDERATE

    If you look at the last sentence of Len’s comment, you will find s/he brought up Deliverance. Additionally, I’m confident Missouri road laws apply to all of Missouri unless you are planning another civil war…

  45. CONFEDERATE :) Says:

    Hey squealer – You’re the one that referred to Deliverance in your journal entry!!!!! What an idiot!!!! As far as the road laws are concerned, you’ve been here you know what the roads are like. Do you actually expect a vehicle to follow a bike on a winding, curvy road for miles!!!!??? The guy in the red truck was probably ticked off because y’all wouldn’t “share the road”. And as for another civil war — I only put my name as confederate because y’all seemed to enjoy those flags waving from time to time on your journey. So from now on, “When in Missouri, do what the Missourians do”

  46. Len Says:

    Like I said before, I have lived in Ellington all my life. I have NEVER seen a “Share the Road” sign, even though there are laws to abide by. HAVE YOU SEEN THE HILLS!!?? Do you honestly think that anyone is going to follow your two wheels going ten miles an hour? How are we supposed to see you over the mile high hills? You guys are suppose to be doing this for a good cause, but all you have accomplished here is making the residents mad and making it dangerous for other bikers because of your ignorance. Its really nice that you can come into a place that you are so unfamiliar with and critisize it. Apparantly you were not scared enough. I wouldn’t have taken a chance of biking across country if all I was going to do was bitch and moan about things instead of enjoying that you are still able to do this unlike many of the people that you are SUPPOSE to be biking for. Maybe you should think next time before you speak or type and apologize to your parents for letting them down at the game of life.

  47. JACE Says:

    you guys are just mad because you are to bige of wimps to climb are hills. if you all wouldnt ride in the middle of the road we wouldnt get made at you.

  48. Rachel Says:

    Why is it that the post that are hateful get approved and posted but those that aren’t, like the one my boyfriend Terry left. We live in Ellington and I happen to work at Hall’s and have for the past 4 years. I vaguely remember you coming through here but then I’ve seen several bikers and have treated them with nothing but respect just as I do all the other people I wait on. I am sorry that this has gotten so blown out of proportion but then again I can see why people are so upset. I am sorry that you all had such a bad experience here in Missouri but you need to realize that not everyone who lives here is like that. I have tlked to many bikers who came in to eat at Hall’s that said they were having a great time in MO, that the people were very friendly and that they enjoyed the hills because it pushed them and presented an interesting challenge for them. Kody, who is my cousin, and Len, who is one of my good friends, have in my opinion went too far with there comments and they aren’t usually like that. It’s just that the above blog post rubbed them the wrong way, as it did me at first, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion and if this is what you think of MO then a few comments from residents (especially the hateful ones I’ve seen) aren’t going to change your point of view.I hope this will all clear up soon because frankly, I’m tired of hearing about it. Thank you for taking the time to read this, have a good day.

  49. Ezra Says:

    It’s probably quixotic to say anything to the monstrous idiocy of 99% of the comments above… but what the heck.

    @ CONFEDERATE

    I was the rider in the incident that you mention and I was on the right hand side of one of the rare straight roads in S. Missouri… there was nothing else to the thing but hate and anger toward a stranger. Maybe that guy just had a problem with people and not cyclists. For the sake of his family I hope it was just cyclists ’cause he had a lot of hate in his eyes.

    I pray that the commentators above are right and that S. Missouri really does have a virtuous and welcoming culture. We characterized a whole region based on a few experiences, which doesn’t really make a lot of sense… even though it’s kind of enjoyable. You end up doing idiotic things like saying that everyone in Cali is an immoral wastrel or repeatedly connecting people in S. Missouri to a certain scene in ‘Deliverance’.

    As for the whole “we’re Christians. you’re evil liberals” thing… let’s not jump to judgment of each other, none of us have a lease on God:
    “if any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.”

  50. Shelley Says:

    After reading the article about your blog in my hometown paper (Reynolds County Courier) I decided to review it for myself. For seemingly very well educated, or at least you should be well educated young men, it sure doesn’t appear you did much homework before you set out on your adventure. That’s what is was, wasn’t it…..an adventure. To see the country from a new perspective all the while making money for a good cause. Tough young men roughing it as you pedal across the country.

    You didn’t know about the heat and humidity, the ticks and chiggers, rattle snakes and copperheads or the country folk who take great pride in their sense of community and family? You’ve caused me to ponder the differences in where I grew up and where I live today.

    I now live in the Pacific Northwest. Have you ever visited Portland? It’s recognized as one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. And like most big cities, they take great pride (talk a lot about) the diversity of the population and how we should all appreciate our differences. You know about differences don’t you….not right or wrong…just different. Makes no difference if you’re tattooed and pierced head to toe and have fluorescent colored hair, you are accepted, not judged. Sound familiar?

    I would have expected six young men attending prestigious colleges, some aspiring to be physicians, to have a much more tolerant view of life in rural Missouri. To at least have a perception of how your comedic portrayal of these folks lives and community would be received should they ever locate your blog. Yes, it is a different way of life and as you found out, everyone knows everyone. And better yet….they care for each other. Unlike life in the city where most don’t even know the people living across the street or next door.

    Were you poorly received while riding your bikes on the crooked, hilly roads in Reynolds County? I’M SURE YOU WERE!. However, I doubt you think about how dangerous it is for someone driving a car or worse a semi to suddenly come around a sharp curve (most of them ARE) and find a bicyclist in their path. Now throw in the possibility of two cars meeting on a curve with a bicycle in the mix. You’re not safe and neither are the people in the cars. And you know what….unlike Portland, country folk don’t anticipate bicycles on the road. Everyone living there actually has more sense than to put themselves or anyone else in such a precarious position. You might have pedaled out of Missouri thinking you were higher on the food chain than the “locals”, but in reality they’re all Better than EZRA!

    And by the way….my husband is an avid bicyclist and when we traveled to Missouri in July of last year he took is bicycle. My whole family tried to tell him it wasn’t a good idea to ride on K highway….but he didn’t listen. He rode to Redford and back to K-Bridge….and yes he experienced the frustrated, angry glares of the locals. Now thanks to you and your blog it won’t be safe for him to ride there again because all the locals will be gunning for any bicyclist in spandex!

    Thank you Ezra, for reminding me why I appreciate where I grew up and continue to hold those Reynolds County values close to my heart. And by the way….Portland, remember….awarded as one of the most bike friendly cities in the world….we’ve had at least six bicyclist killed in bike vs. car/truck accidents in the recent months. And these are people who are conditioned to see bicyclists riding next to them on a daily basis. Tell you anything????

  51. Jacob Says:

    @ Rachel

    It takes time to weed through all the spam mixed in – we can get up to hundreds of spam comments a day, so I have to manually approve every real comment to avoid having the spam show up. You can see there is a mix of “hateful” and non-hateful comments – I’m not in the business of biasing the comments part of the page!

    @ Shelley

    We did know about the ticks and heat and all the rest. But a blog about people who are well prepared (yes, we had mosquito nets, etc.) would be pretty damned boring. So instead I decided to be a bit more extreme and comical when evaluating what we encountered.

    Also, speeding around the corner and encountering cyclists is no reason to try to push them off the road in a long straight area or threaten them with violence. Or screw with cyclists while they sleep in parks. Or sic dogs on them as they ride by.

  52. michaela chitwood Says:

    hey you no what so what if we know to devend our selves(aint dillin 911) at lest we don’t have to run to our mommies sayin so and so toke our flippin lunch money(like what you do)…. My relatives own the reteraunt you made fun of. Not a smart thing dip sticks.. It’s bad when a 14 year old is more mature than you sun baked air heads….yeah missouri is a nice place un like you guys we ain’t got hookers waitin to be laid by their own brothers…(wich would be you!!) We have a good school and nice town and people with higher class than you. I agree with kody if you come back don’t be expecting a huge and a party.. Yes i know cancer is a major thing but if you are goin to do what your doin do it with respect… and we’ll give you the same as you can now tell their are lots of hills and with ya’ll in the middle of the frekin highway it’s eaither hit you with our vehical and you die(wich is fine with me now) or you can move over and just get yelled at and next time when some one yells at you you better say sorry… and don’t call some one a dog….. your only callin your self one . o and no one likes a guy with spandex and their ass’s in the air!!!

    ……………. hope you never come back you pecie’s of white trash

  53. CONFEDERATE :) Says:

    Hey Michaela – (are you sure you spelled your name right?)

    SHUT UP!!!!!! If you’re going to put somebody down, you need to have a higher IQ than 65!!! It was painful to read your blog. You’re the reason these jerks said the things they said in the first place.

  54. michaela chitwood Says:

    hey jack ass yes i did spell my name rite god u are something else(and it aint good)…next time u come trough u better be ready to duck and cover cuz we’ll have plenty of shot guns and bullets to put in ur hairy whit trashy ass’s…. and we’ve got good aim…(it aint hard to miss big ass’s in the air…) i hope ur home town gets talked shit about..then u’ll no how we feel…. and i have a highr IQ than 65 its u that aint got it…

  55. CONFEDERATE :) Says:

    Well, well, well….Michaela. Nice to hear from you too. Like I said before, it is people like you that give the town a bad name from people like these bikers. Just so you know, I AM from Ellington and it just sickens me to see what people like you put on here. These guys say the things they say because of ignorant people like you and your attitude. If you would THINK about it for a minute (or longer in your case I’m sure), you would see how ignorant you really sound. I don’t like what these guys said any more than you do, but your attitude stinks! Threatening people on the internet that you have no idea who they are is a little childish don’t you think. I don’t know who you are either, but I know what you are.

  56. CONFEDERATE :) Says:

    Oh..and Michaela…..I see your spelling has improved so much!

  57. CONFEDERATE :) Says:

    Oh..and Michaela…..I see your spelling has improved so much!

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