Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Kansas rocks...

We left Pueblo early in the morning and regrettably had to say goodbye to our wonderful hospitality at Pat Kelly’s (thank you and enjoy the flowers!). Leaving the city we received tons of honks and thumbs up courtesy of the article in the Chieftain that morning.

We are now officially on the “Trans America Trail” and we have seen more cyclists in the last few days than in the first three weeks of the trip, including a married couple riding a tandem cycle. We are re-motivated every time we see another cross-USA cyclist because it reminds us that we are part of a large and powerful cycling community, including a lot of people riding for a cause. Additionally, we appear to be making pretty good time and none the people we’ve encountered are doing as many miles per day as we are, which makes us feel pretty good about our effort.

The cattle country of Colorado slowly gave way to the hotter, more humid, never ending fields of Kansas. By far the most exciting things on the road are the “Oversized Load” grain harvesters and farm equipment being towed behind tractor trailer trucks. At least we can see them coming ten miles away. Also, for those who have never driven through Kansas, everyone waves to everyone else. Everyone who passes us waves in their own little way, whether it’s a more passive head nod or if it’s an enthusiastic fist pump out the window.

By now, as you can imagine, we have eaten some a whole ton of food to try and replenish the calories we’re burning. We reminisce about the best meals we’ve had and finally we have decided on our favorites for each state. Drumroll please…the burritos after our second day in Sacramento, the huge bowls of pesto pasta in Baker, NV, the Banana walnut pancakes in Tropic, UT, a tie between the BBQ in Rico, CO and the Dolores River Brewery pizza in Dolores, CO and finally, the lasagna special from the diner in Ordway, KS. We remember each bite vividly. We have eaten a whole ton because we have burned approximately 125,000 calories over the last 2100 miles (statistics provided by my bike computer).

In Kansas we met a lot of very nice and surprisingly friendly, curious people. We also met some of their dogs that were not nearly as friendly. We have had two major dog chases; the first of which was actually kind of funny as we were being chased by 2 chihuahas and a terrier puppy for about half a mile before they gave up and we rode away laughing. The second was slightly less funny as we were on a busy road in the rain with a tractor-trailer truck behind us. The dogs were also bigger, much bigger: a retriever and some sort of unidentifiable mutt ran after us. Needless to say we were pedaling very quickly and yelling curses at the dogs to get them to stop chasing us. It worked.

Now for a witty but lame cliché to go out on:

Well, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore…


Gail said...

Toto? ..come on! just wait until you get to the hills of eastern Kanss, I rode them last week!

Alice said...


Diane C said...

Geez - snow, hail, floods, tornadoes, and now DOGS? Be careful!

Anonymous said...

I am cheering for you two down here in Texas. At least you are not going through the hotter-than-hades Panhandle of Texas! I just found out about your ride - I'm excited and inspired by it. Keep it up!
From Debbie, a college friend of your mother's

Stan_Moore said...

I'm cheering for you from Wethersfield, Connecticut...You guys are inspiring!

This will be my first ride in the "PMC" and am looking forward to the day when you come through headed for Sturbridge.

I'm curious what your exact route is when you go through Richmond, VA - my brother lives there and more than likely would be able to provide some assistance to you guys if needed. Back when he was in college at Virginia Tech, he used to bike all those roads along the Appalachian mountains.

Anyway, I think of you guys while I'm training...keep the cadence up, and watch out for those dogs!