There was construction on I-64 so I started the ride a little bit late. It was a little chilly at the start but I decided to leave my jacket behind. I knew it would warm up later.
I had a little trouble at the information control at 15 miles. I texted Miles and I got back on track. This meant the I had did not have much of a time cushion for the rest of the ride.I got the the Dongola control (mile 40) at 10:30, 45 minutes before the cutoff.
I got to Cape Girardeau (mile 65) at 12:45, 1:15 before the cutoff. I was making up time but still didn't have the amount of cushion that I would have liked. There were a few reasons that I was not going as fast as I would have liked to: I was still tired from last week. The route was hilly. Much of the route was very bumpy. This meant that after fighting up some of the steep hills I had to ride the brakes on the way down.
I also managed to miss a few turns. I can't blame any of my mistakes on the route sheet. They were just due to a lack of concentration. Fortunately none of my errors were very large and I was able to get back on course within a few minutes.
My second visit to Dongola (mile 91) was at 3:00 , about 1:40 ahead of the cutoff. By this point I was not worried about finishing time, barring a major mechanical failure. After eating and resting for 30 minutes I still had 5 hours to finish the remaining 37 miles.
I wasn't trying to set any speed records. I wasn't even trying to limit the amount of time I spent in controls. I just wanted to finish with as little trouble as possible.
There were still a bunch of hills to climb but nothing insurmountable. When I turned onto route 37 for the last 10 miles I was surprised by how much my speed increased. I think I averaged 18 mph in this section with no help from the wind. The smooth pavement and the lack of huge hills made things a lot easier.
I finished at 6:30. I was more tired than I expected but glad to have finished the ride and my R-12. That is the last of my cycling goals for this year so now I can start looking ahead. My goal for next year is to do a 1200K ride.