One Week on the Road

At this point I’ve actually finished day 9, but am behind on my posts.  At the end of Day 7 I traveled 354 miles, averaging 10 miles over my predicted average.  According to my bike computer I have burned 17,700 Calories.  I still weigh the exact same as I started.  Those 50 cent, 400 Calorie pies must be keeping me good.  No cramps either.  I have had one flat and one mishap with a bolt coming loose on the rack.  On Day 7, I rode from Coffeeville to Chanute.  At the beginning of the day I was thinking about taking the day off staying in the barn.  Lack of food and people expecting me up the road got up and around.  

Hwy 169 from Coffeeville is a four lane divided highway with a 6 ft paved shoulder.  I was making good time with a 20-30 mph tailwind.  My legs were fresh after the good night sleep in the barn.  I had been craving pizza since I left from Arkansas.  I even told my mom to let the family in Chanute know that I will meet them at the pizza parlour.  This is the closest I could get to pizza though.  It’s a veggie meatball sub (minus meatballs) on a flatbread.   

From there I rode maybe 6 miles before spotting a rest stop.  I wasn’t tired but it looked like a good place to sit down and write.  After finishing a blog post I set out.  By this time it was HOT!  The wind was blowing harder, but it was like someone following me with a heat gun.  Eventually, that four lane divided highway turned into a two lane highway with gravel shoulders.  Here is an example of what you see traveling through Kansas.

All or most of the small county roads that I saw were this white gravel.  The farms were either soy bean or corn.  I was told later that I would break my teeth trying to eat that corn.  Not sweet corn, but feed corn.

About 15 miles out from Chanute the traffic started picking up.  Those that are leary about riding in traffic would have a hard time on this stretch.  The big trucks weren’t giving me any space.  Hot wind, hot sun, hot pavement, and hot exhaust made the last stretch brutal.  When I finally arrived at my cousins house I remember them commenting that I was looking rough, but two gatorades and an hour in the A/C brought me back to life.  

That night, more family members came over to visit.  After a shower, visiting, laundry, and dinner I was ready for bed.  That makes the third bed I have slept in while on the trip.  Three out of four nights is not bad.  Thanks for everything, especially the gatorade packets! These things get me through the harder miles. In the morning I am supposed to meet up with Bryon and his friend Mike in Kincaid, 40 miles northeast.

4 thoughts on “One Week on the Road

  1. Lane

    Some of the “corn” you see is a related crop that goes by the name of either maize, milo, or sorghum. Livestock eat it, but the stalks can be pressed and the juice cooked down to make sorghum “molasses.” You didn’t see wheat, of which Kansas grows a lot, because it is harvested in early June. The white rocks are gypsum, an important ingredient in cement. It contains calcium sulfate, and its proportions in the cement controls the set time of concrete. I guess when I was young, people in SE Kansas used to grow flax, because there was a linseed oil plant in Fredonia (where I grew up).



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