Day 19: Cliff Diving - Pilot Knob to Elington

How do you beat the heat? Stop by Johnson Shut Ins State Park and do some cliff jumping...

Inspired by the TransAm racers, and a YouTube video, T practices tricks on her touring bike.

Inspired by the TransAm racers, and a YouTube video, T practices tricks on her touring bike.

Day 19, June 12th, is a forty-five mile ride from the church’s parking lot in Pilot Knob to a cyclist’s hostel built by the Chamber of Commerce in Ellington. The highlights of the day are swimming in a watering hole and connecting back with Gill.

Mark dives off a rock into the Johnson Shut Ins State Park watering hole.

Mark dives off a rock into the Johnson Shut Ins State Park watering hole.

Johnson Shut Ins State Park

The group is giddy to find water. Before even getting to the watering hole we strike poses on top of the scattered rocks in the parking lot.

These rocks are for climbing, right?

These rocks are for climbing, right?

When you arrive to John Shut-in State Park, because you have to pull over, there is a board walk down towards the river valley. The park is directly on the TransAm (left side for west bounders) so absolutely everyone stops for a dip.

Tip: walk up the staircase after the first watering hole and then go down the dirt path through the forest. This brings you down to the lower watering holes that are much deeper and not filled with children splashing about.

GrifGrips keep the Dexcom and Omnipod secured on my body without itching.

GrifGrips keep the Dexcom and Omnipod secured on my body without itching.

How do you keep pump sites, continuous glucose monitors, and diabetic devices attached?

Many endurance athletes worry about their pumps and CGMs slipping off because of sweat. This has happened to me at mile 14 in the Copenhagen Marathon, during the run of the Cuba Sprint Triathlon, and many summer afternoons running around Central park.

So you can see me double Grif Gripped with a dinosaur sticker over the Omnipod and a less fun spirited Grif Grip over the CGM on my right tricep. The adhesive pads (preferably dinosaur shaped) are specially designed for the diabetic community and cut to fit the Omnipod, Dexcom, T Slim, Medtronic, whatever you got they designed it.

You can also use a scissor to cut a different hole in the pad.

The first T-rex Grif Grip pad held my CGM on for the first two weeks of the trip. Most importantly, my skin did not itch. I get pretty sensitive to other brands and that is why I got excited over their more breathable option.

Warning, diving and jumping off cliffs caused the Omnipod to come off. The pods are bigger and bulkier making them harder to keep stuck on in the first place. However, people should know that Grif Grips are not perfect.

Do you have a better solution for swimming?

The amount we sweat every day cycling for eight hours makes it important to add some extra reinforcement. Annalisa uses SkinTac before applying her pods, while that causes me to have irritation. Grif Grips have worked well overall but are not a swimming solution. I’ve heard of people using athletic armbands and think that could work.

Another note, Medtronic users may have fewer issues with swimming and keeping on the pump. Disconnecting, or detaching the pump, before swimming causes a low-profile site to be left so having it be tugged off is more difficult verses the Omnipod. I wore Medtronic for over five years. Worse comes to worse, Medtronic users can put on a new site and reconnect the reservoir.

Omnipod users are at a disadvantage because we lose the entire pod with all the insulin when it falls off. This is my biggest problem with Omnipod and I am actually considering switching back. Stay tuned for more..

See the water mill in Centerville, MO

The ACA (Adventure Cycling) group stayed in Centerville today. This small town offers a nice pit stop to grab something at the café in town.

I swing by the library to ask for WiFi and since there obviously is not the library points me towards an outdoor activitity. Head down on Buford St – around the corner for west bounders or right before town for east bounders – and about half a mile down is a water mill that is scenic.

The spillway and the mill are far enough apart that I had a difficult time capturing the shot.

The Chamber of Commerce in Ellington provides a cyclist hostel to promote tourism in the small town.

The Chamber of Commerce in Ellington provides a cyclist hostel to promote tourism in the small town.

Cyclist’s Hostel in Elington

Elington’s Chamber of Commerce deserve a gold star and a trophy. To my knowledge, this is the first town that built a small hostel to host cyclists in this very small town.

Some quick math:

Our group of 5 went to dinner and spent about $15 each = +$75 for our dinner.

Mark, Annalisa, Taylor, and I separately went to the grocery store = +$75 for groceries

That is $150 spent in town, at local stores, with 5 people = $30 per person

I cannot find information on how many cyclist’s ride the TransAm. A conservative number is 1,000.

A cyclist’s hostel therefore could bring an additional $30,000 into town without accounting for media through blogs, potential opportunities to attract students or retirees, new business options (bike shops, coffee shops with wifi), etc.

A small little unused building that has a shower can make the difference of touring groups passing through your town or stopping and spending money.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Elington Chamber of Commerce for the investment.