Bike Trip Disaster - Part 2

 When I last left you guys, I was telling you about how even with a sprained ankle, the bike ride across Missouri was going great.  However, things were about to get ugly.  If you missed it, you can read Part 1 here.

After resting for an hour, I was ready to tackle “the hill.”  I have ridden the Katy Trail a few other times over the past few years.  The Katy Trail is known as a rails-to-trails trail in that it was converted from an old railroad track into a biking and hiking trail.  Most trails like this are relatively flat, and the Katy Trail is no exception.  Most of the time the trail runs along the Missouri River and the trail is cut into the bluffs of the Missouri Ozarks making it a flat, smooth ride.  There is one 12-mile leg of the ride that gets me every time, though.  It is a 12-mile nonstop incline.  Even though it isn’t steep, it never lets up.
The last time I attempted “the hill” was three years ago.  At the time, I truly didn’t think I was going to make it.  This was the one leg on the trail I really wanted to ride this time.  I wanted to show it who's boss.
Since my ankle was starting to hurt quite a bit by this point in the day, my mom offered to ride “the hill” while I followed in the car, but I knew I had to try it.  As soon as I started riding, my heart rate jumped into the 170s and stayed there for an hour and 20 minutes.  I regreted not taking my mom up on her offer a couple of times during the ride, but I was so proud when I pulled in to the trailhead at the end of "the hill."  I didn’t break any speed records, but I conquered it.
Stats for “The Hill”
Miles: 12.4
Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Calories: 945!

The rest of the day was mostly uneventful.  We ate lunch, and then my mom and I switched off riding with my grandpa.  We finally made it to Boonville around 3 o’clock.  We only had one leg to ride before stopping for the night.  At this point, it was starting to get pretty hot.  We were all starting to get tired, but we knew we only had 12 miles to a hot shower, a TV, a couch and relaxation.

Riding out of Boonville towards Rocheport was SCARY!  Leaving Boonville, we had to ride over a long bridge spanning the Missouri River.  I could see the water flowing a hundred feet below me, and all I could think about was the fact there was only a flimsy chain-link fence separating my bike and me from plunging into the frigid water.
I thought it would be smooth sailing after making it over the bridge, but I was wrong.  We had just turned off the bridge and ridden down the trail about ¼ mile when it happened…the wreck. 
I always ride slightly behind my grandpa so I can keep an eye on him while also riding my own pace.   I was just to the left of him when I saw him bend down to adjust his water bottle.  Since he has had several strokes, he doesn’t have very good control with his left hand.  When he bent down with his right hand to fix his water bottle,  he lost his balance and his bike careened to the left.  His front tire went directly into my leg, and I had to hold on with everything I had to keep from crashing. 
Everything started happening in slow motion.  After I regained my balance, I skidded to a stop and turned to look behind me.  I turned just in time to see my 80-plus-year-old grandpa flip over his handlebars and land face down in the ditch next to the trail.
Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of the bike trip disaster.

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