Gentle Live Music & Cycling in T-Storms

Post for June 7

In the morning, I relaxed in Hannibal Missouri, which is the childhood home of Mark Twain. I found a cozy coffee shop and writing in Twain’s hometown felt great. But the morning became even better.

A young woman started playing piano. For decades, I’ve listened to piano music while writing, so I asked if she knew anything by my favorite composer, Ludovico Einaudi.

She didn’t, but she found some sheet music online and played one of my favorite songs, by Ludovico. It’s a bit rough, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. After all, this is the first time she played a complex piece.

Before leaving Hannibal, hard rain was in the forecast, but I didn’t think that’d be a problem. I’ve cycled in a lot of rain, and on this day, I only had to cycle about 40 miles. After 10 miles, steep bluffs showed up. After 20 miles, hard rain changed to a thunderstorm. About a mile later, I saw a house with a few people on the porch. Soon after, lightning started and the wind picked up.

I turned around and returned to the house with people on the porch. Using the most polite tone I could, I called out, “Sorry to bother you but could I take shelter in your garage?”

A woman called back, “I recognize you. You were in my coffee shop.” She walked closer and added, “I’m sure you can stay here, but you should know that the owner’s son just died. Other family will be showing up soon.”

I definitely did not want to intrude, and the storm was getting worse. So I called back, “I don’t want to intrude. I’ll stay in the garage.”

She still invited me to come into the house, and as other family members showed up, they invited me inside the house as well. I stayed in the garage.

After the storm passed, I got back on my bike. It was still very hot, so steam rose from the wet road while I climbed more bluffs, pushing my bike up some.


I took a picture when I felt exhausted and hot after pushing my bike up another bluff. That picture shows how bike touring still wears me out, even though I love this stuff. I was so sweaty and wet from rain that water poured out of my rain-jacket sleeves when I dropped an arm.

I finished the day at an “especially rustic” campsite with a lot of humidity and bugs. One set of railroad tracks was about 10 yards away from my tent, and in the other direction, another set of railroad tracks was about 30 yards away. Trains passed from both tracks at night. But again, at least I wasn’t mowing the lawn.

The song for the day is the studio version of the song that the young woman played in the coffee shop, Nuvole Bianche by Ludovico Einaudi.

8 thoughts on “Gentle Live Music & Cycling in T-Storms

  1. It looks like you’re having a great trip, Steven. Adding the photo with the day’s endpoint is a nice touch. Come down to NC sometime and I’ll help you train on hills before your next big trip. 🙂

  2. Wow, that was really amazing of her. Here, I’m going to give you this difficult peice you’ve never seen before and then I’m going to video you playing it! What a performer! And that wasn’t a hill on your Garmin it was a wall! As for the trip it looks like you are close to half way! Whoo whoo! Go Steven go!

    • I agree entirely! At the end of the video, you barely hear me applaud and say, “That was the 1st time she played it!” She was also a lovely young woman. She’s finishing high school and will go to college to study music, piano and organ. She’d never heard of Ludovico Eunadi before and played the song again, even better. She told me she enjoyed the song and wanted to play it more, so I hope there’s some Italian contemporary piano being played in Hannibal in recent days.

  3. Oh, and read the music off your cell phone where it is super tiny and you can hardly see it!

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