Tuesday, June 22, 2010

biking across kansas winding down

My day on the bike got started at 7:00am again and I felt really good for the 32 miles to Ottawa. This was called out as a lunch possibility, but I was there before 9:00am. I could have really gone for a cafe with good coffee, a roll, or maybe a late breakfast. Without going too far off the route I saw a cafe sign that turned out to be converted to a Chinese restaurant, and not open to boot! I settled for a Casey's General Store and sat and visited with some riders while enjoying coffee and donuts. I also called home for a weather forecast because the sky looked dark. It appeared that our best bet was to get on our way, so I headed out.

I missed a turn somewhere, but knew there was a road I could take to get to Baldwin City from the west rather than the south like everyone else. There was a great downhill out of Baldwin City that had me going at least 40mph. I can't be exact because when I glanced at my computer it said 0mph. The sensor had been too close earlier in the week and I moved it out a little to stop the ticking. My weight over the fork in my tuck was enough to flex the carbon fiber and stop the computer from working. When I sat up again, it was fine. My legs felt like rubber for a couple hours in the afternoon as the temps climbed into the 90s with plenty of humidity. The last several miles to Eudora were from the south, and the slight tailwind helped me maintain 20mph all the way into town.
I was among the first riders in, and we waited for a sufficient number to unload all the bags from the Penske truck. I set up my tent next to the ball field on the other side of Padre's Cycle Inn, a service that will set up a tent, air mattress, and chair for you, put your bag in your tent, and have refreshment waiting for you when you ride in. I did rent a chair and a clean towel daily from Padre.
At each overnight there was an information board, lost & found, and a board to sign out when you left in the morning, and back in when you arrived in the afternoon. Amazingly there were items in the lost & found on the very first day, and the box seemed fuller every day. Maybe it was just "lost".
The city of Eudora scheduled their "summer in the park" celebration to coincide with BAK rolling into town. Aside from at least a dozen food vendors inside and out, there was entertainment all evening long. First a jazz quartet from the high school did a nice job with a few numbers. Then a solo act did several songs from the 70s up to the last few years. He really had a good voice and could play well too. Then a rock & roll trio played for more than two hours. After some prodding we got them to play Free Bird.
One more short day to go and I will have literally biked across Kansas. It was slightly more comfortable than it had been earlier as the sun went down over Eudora.

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