One of the curiosities of Missouri’s roads is the naming convention for so-called supplemental routes. These routes are designated with either a single letter for major supplemental routes or two letters for secondary supplemental routes. In the above picture “Z” would be a major supplemental route and “OO” a secondary one. When two letters are used, typically the same letter is used twice. The only other combinations that are prevalent are 2 letter combinations that begin with “A”, such as “AD”. The vast majority of the roads in the system are designated with 19 letters of the alphabet. The letters “G”, “I”, “L”, “Q”, and “S” are not used due to potential confusion with “6”, “1”, “1”, “O”, and “5”. The only known use of the letter “X” is in Macon County on Route AX.
Yesterday, I described a bike bigot, with his “Get off my lawn” attitude. I wouldn’t want to leave you readers with the wrong impression of the true friendliness of rural Missouri. Two other men that we met that day were both very friendly. After lunch on Saturday, we felt the need for another intermediate rest stop. This time we were in the city of Centralia. We stopped at a convenience store called Extreme Mart. I bought a bottle of Gatorade and while we were downing it, an elderly gentleman came up to greet us. He wanted to know all about our big bike ride, where we were going and why. We chatted for a while. It was only after we left that place that I learned that it had a beer vault. I would have gladly whiled away an hour “shopping” in it. I wouldn’t have bought any beer, but I would have enjoyed the cold. The Good Samaritan of the day was a man at an apartment complex. He was passing out cold water to anyone who wanted some.
This post MS-150 week has been a week full of bicycling stories. While I’m on such a roll, let me add one more. This story is a few weeks old. It comes from Dan in LA and it could only come from LA:
So, I was riding along the LA river this morning, and the path is blocked by a police motorcycle. Further on, I can see a bunch of other officers milling around and a truck labeled Major Crimes. [I know what you’re thinking, but remember this is LA.] Turns out it’s just a television show filming down there, and I had to take a 20 minute detour because of it.