“For the 1st round of things I tried to accomplish as a new retiree I did a bicycle adventure called the Bike Across Kansas which was just that from the Colorado to the Missouri border over a week with the daily miles being about 70. What I didn’t expect was the high humidity, put it at about the average of 78% along with temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s and you have for a challenging ride for sure. We got to the day 1 overnight site about 16:20 and I got my trike out and set off for the Colorado border 17 miles each way and with the outbound against a steady 8-10 MPH headwind. It took just over 2:20 to make the out and back for the picture.
Then next morning the goofy ones started with the getting-up and making lots of noise and such at 04:30, what is wrong with these people? The sun won’t be up for another 2 hours and breakfast won’t be on for another hour still and they can’t leave until daylight. That set their pattern for the rest of the ride unfortunately but there you have it I guess some bad with all the good fun the ride provided. The first day in I thought they would have the electrolyte drinks like most of the rides I have done at the aid stations, WRONG, and while I did have them with me I didn’t have them on the trike that first day and that bit me hard by the end of the days ride. The heat and only water got the better of me I guess because I couldn’t even consider eating that night and knew that having burned 3,000 calories if I put none back I was looking at real trouble if I rode again on sunday, so I got hooked up helping the SAG folks and transporting the baggage for the day and that night was better and went to the local fire station for their VFW sponsored dinner and ate and drank myself full then hit the sleeping bag and got ready for the next days miles.
Tuesday saw a brutal headwind all stinking day to the point that they kept the lunch stop open an extra 3 hours to be sure everyone got fed as they wind was slowing them that much it seems, I just finally ran out of steam and had to be sagged in the last 1/4 of the days miles. Then next day at the first aid station I discovered I had lost one of the screws in my shoe cleat and the other was loose enough I couldn’t get the shoe to let me off the bike, so I took the joker off and twisted it off and tightened the screw but then at the next town I lost about an hour looking for a hardware/ ranch store to get another flat head screw for the shoe that I only finally found a round phillips topped screw to replace it but replace I did and got back on the road but this it seems put me as completely the tail end Charlie so one of the SAG drivers urged me to let her run me up to the next town which was about 10 miles so I could catch up to the main body of ridders and carry on, so I made that happen. Needless to say that kept me in the running with everyone else and I completed the day.
Thanks to the goofy ones I did get a couple of good sunrise shots along the ride on several mornings. The community meals were pretty good along the way and a good value pricewise too. One day for lunch they had a potato bar with everything you could want, and both white and sweet potatoes, then again that night at the overnight as well as a group selling homemade lasagna and garlic bread and on the other side of the common area the ‘cheer squad’ was selling chocolate milk so I loaded up at both and ate like it was “Thanksgiving” dinner, then I went in search of a way to do some laundry as I was now down to seeing which things were least foul and reusing them otherwise. Since the mobile laundry truck failed to make it the school opened their “home ec” classroom and allowed us to use it on a donation basis so I was at that for a bit but still I did have some clean socks and shorts.
The heat and humidity turned out to be my greatest obstical on this journey with the record for me on my “Garmin” getting to 136.7 and someone telling me that we had 76% humidity that afternoon. As we came into town one afternoon about 3/4 of a mile from the stop I saw an ice-cream shop and just pulled in and had a big bowl before getting in and looking for my duffle bag and sleeping bag, well worth that extra time I think. I got a t-shirt from the retirement place just before I left and they asked for a picture wearing it so as I was loading the trike for the last days ride I got a kind soul to take the picture with my camera then got rolling. Another interesting find along the way was someone who made me look a rank amateur in the ‘hardcore’ category of rider, she was ridding a mountain bike with platform pedals and rode barefoot, I asked her at an aid station one morning if she minded me taking her picture for that very reason and she was very accommodating and gracious and posed for the picture before taking off again. Likely I will only remember the fun things and lose sight of the heat and hills by the time it comes around to sign up for this ride again and will be doing it to say “I did it again”. The food was good, the ride had moments of sheer endurance, but then there were lots of “just WOW” moments like sunrises or seeing critters or watching the business of farming and harvest going or finishing the ride each day or completing the entire ride that made it fun.”
He sold his TRIcon 26 just recently and bought a Ti-FLY 26 in amazing desert colors from us. His very first email was really nice: “The short shake down ride I die at Angletech yesterday really made me appreciate the front suspension and I’m looking forward to seeing just how that works in the real riding world, the color scheme is amazing and I’m really pleased with my new trike.” And the very last one was even nicer: “I crossed the 10,000 Km marker on 31 October and with that done I’m working to see just how far I can get by the end of the year, will let you know. Am really enjoying the new trike and already have at least one trip planned outside of the cross state rides I accomplish each year now like the Bike Across Kansas, RAGBRAI, the Pedal the Plains and I even found one between the 1st 2 big ones that might fit in across the state of Ohio at the end of June. The trike is the best investment I have made in years to the point that the carbon road bike I got that cost about the same as the Tricon hasn’t been on the trail or road in 3 years now going on 4, guess I’ll have to see if I can find someone willing to buy it.”
Here are some photos from his epic rides incl. one with a huge Easter egg. It is a typical Czech tradition belonging to Easter when boys get some eggs from girls for their wishes. James found this one in Wilson, Kansas. They call themselfs “Czech Capital of Kansas” due to the role of Czech immigrant settlers in its early history.
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