Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Day 55-Kansas Welcomes Us With a Crosswind…

…All Day!

I told Doug last night that I wanted to leave by 6:00 to get a head start on the wind and heat. We knew the wind was going to be coming out of the north all day. At least we could beat some of the heat. I got up at 5:00, and was ready to go by 6:00. Doug was not quite ready (not a surprise…it is still taking him quite a bit longer to get ready than it takes me…yes, I am very efficient, I know…). I told him he would catch up to me, and I rolled out. 

The final morning of Colorado. 

As I suspected, Doug caught up to me quickly (this always happened on the AT too).

At 13 miles in for the day we came to the Kansas State Line. 

Look at the difference in road surface. So much better on the Kansas side!

The bikes…

The people. 

Even though the wind was not at all helpful, the spacing of towns with services was quite helpful. Our first Kansas town was Tribune. We hit that 30 miles in for the day just before 9:00…mid-morning snack time!

Yes, that’s all for me! I packed out the small Gatorade. 

21 miles later we came to Leoti. In the meantime, we crossed time zones again to the Central Time Zone. 

In Leoti, it was now lunchtime, so we stopped at a convenience store that had hot food too (and tables). We got some lunch, and shared a table with a gentleman named Brent. He could not fathom why we would want to ride our bikes across the country. He said he rides motorcycle, but still wouldn’t want to ride across the country. I thought to myself, I couldn’t fathom living in Leoti, Kansas! 

Oh, I forgot to mention that this morning my front tire was flat. I inflated it, spun it around, and it seemed to hold air. Well, just before I got to the CS in Leoti, the tire was really soft. I pumped it up, but when we came out after lunch, it was loosing air. I thought maybe as I started riding, it would seal (it looked like a very small puncture). 

We headed out of town. Doug went by me, and shortly after that, the tire was really soft again. I pulled over, and pumped it again, this time letting the sealant sit  over the puncture for awhile. Started riding, and nope, not holding air. I then put a plug in. Pumped it up, and took off. Again, going flat. I could see a driveway to a house that had trees for some shade. I pulled off into the shade, stripped the bags off the bike, flipped him upside down, took the wheel off, and…put in a tube. It was interesting, I had put more sealant in in Dillon. That was about a week ago. There was no sealant in the tire. It was as if it had evaporated in the heat (maybe???).

I got everything put back together, and rolled on through the heat and crosswinds. Both Doug and I figured out which semis give you a big push (cattle trucks give the most) from behind, and which ones, oncoming, almost bring you to a standstill (anything that doesn’t have a faring…so most of them). For those, you just have to hunker down, and hang on!

I didn’t take many photos, but here’s a few. 

USBRS 76 is completely signed in Kansas. 

Seems appropriate…

Seems not appropriate…

Cool bike sculpture in Marienthal, a town that has nothing except a bakery (building behind the sculpture). I didn’t stop, surprisingly. 

After what seemed like an eternity, I finally rolled into our destination of Scott City. Doug was waiting on the corner of 96 and Main St. We rolled to the city park. I called the police to let them know we were here. They, in turn, call the city works department to have them shut off the sprinklers. There are restrooms, but no showers, of course. Sink bath again. There was also very little toilet paper. For $1 I bought a six pack at the Dollar General store across the road. 

Just down the road is a Subway. We went there for dinner. Kansas Subway…check!

Before we went to dinner, I ordered a new front tire to be sent to Great Bend, KS post office (the one closest to the route). I wasn’t able to get the tire I wanted, but I got a Schwalbe Marathon (I wanted the Almotion tubeless). I’ll have to run it with a tube, but that’ll be better than the Rene Herse tire. I’m just hoping my lucky horseshoe will allow me to make it to Great Bend. The soonest I could get it delivered is August 8th. That means we will have 4 short mileage days to Great Bend. With the wind and, more so, the heat, that’s probably not a bad thing. Besides, we’ve been pushing big miles these last few days. Today was 76 miles. We’ll still aim for an early start so we can finish before it gets too hot. Tomorrow is a headwind…yay.

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