On Friday, June 4, Beth rode with me across KS some 400 miles to Goodland, home of the world's largest Van Gogh reproduction. "Three Sunflowers In A Vase" is 24' X 32', weighs 40,000 pounds, and rests on an 80' easel. Goodland is also the starting point for Biking Across Kansas 2010. I unpacked my gear and set up camp on the football practice field of Goodland High while Beth made her way back home. Then it was a ride around town to check things out, and on to Kanorado, KS and the Colorado border to get in every mile of my ride across Kansas.
We were on old US Highway 24 and it was flat and straight.It was warm, but cloud cover for most of the ride made it comfortable. Riders headed to the border waved to those returning in two streams of brightly colored synthetic fabrics covering cyclists of all ages, sizes, and shapes. Trust me.
After 4:00pm registration was open in the gym. Each rider got a route guide, name tag, water bottle, t-shirt and other goodies to make life easier throughout the week. Many riders pay a little extra to insure first chance at sleeping inside. At each stop rows of pads, sleeping bags, and luggage spread out across the gym floor, and those wanting a little privacy, or quiet, will look for any available nook and cranny in a hallway or unlocked room. The organizers and staff hold a meeting each night for all the riders to get info. on the next day's route, meal options, history of the towns along the way, and weather forecast (which will turn out to be of questionable value).
I prefer having my own "room". This is the view of the tent city with about half of the riders already packed up, luggage to the Penske truck, and on their way to Colby. First day put 44.9 miles on my bike. I wanted to ride to the border and back to be able to say I've biked "across Kansas", but I was also ready to get headed eastward, and see up close some of the state I had never seen before.