My Weekend Off

I took the weekend off from riding and writing, and have been vegging out.  It was overdue and worth it.  I could not have chosen a better town to take a break in either.  I never thought I would want to live in Kansas, but I would easily live here.  I have been here since Friday morning.

Friday morning started at Mike’s place.  Remember the pancakes Mike promised? Yea, that didn’t happen.  But that’s ok.  I think we were all tired. I said goodbye to Bryon and Carla and Mike drove me up to Ottawa, where we left off on Thursday.  The drive was quiet.  I’m not sure I was ready to leave.

When we got to the truckstop Mike bought me breakfast and I got a final picture before leaving.  The ride north was an easy one.  I had a light tailwind and there was not a whole lot of traffic at 7 AM.  For some reason I thought Lawrence was a 40 mile ride.  About 15 miles in that rasin cinnamon biscuit hit me.  I checked the map, but there was nothing until Lawrence.  I even asked a man jogging where the closest bathroom was and all he could say was that it was hot outside.  

After a few miles I spotted a patch of trees off of the highway.  This is not the first time I had to find some woods, but it was the first time I was not completely covered.  It is already awkard because you have to take off your shirt to get to the shoulder straps of the bib.  Cyclists will understand.  Hopefully nobody noticed me.  If they did, hopefully they were not quick enough to snap a photo.  

Not 8 miles down the road I rolled into Lawrence.  I had to stop and check my map because I was shocked that I was already there.  Kansas University was just up the road so I thought I would spend the day there.  Kansas is usually thought of as being flat.  KU is located at the top of a “mountain”.  I found one of there 7 libraries to update the blog.  When I was leaving the library I saw someone that looked like a girl that I went to high school.  I think she had the same reaction.  It was her!  After talking some she invited me to stay with her and her boyfriend, who I played basketball with in high school.  

With a place to stay there was no pressure to find a suitable campsite.  I could take my time and explore the university.  I checked out their natural history museum, grabbed lunch from a building housing the original Rules of Basketball, and talked with a professor about a PhD program.  I also got a shower at their rec center and then found a quiet place to relax.  

Leighann and Cory were awesome.  They opened up there house to me with no warning.  We sat and talked awhile before they prepared a healthy dinner for us: spaghetti squash pasta, salad, and baked chicken.  After dinner we got around and they gave me a tour of Lawrence.  We ended up at a sports bar where Cory educated me on cocktails.  

Back at the house we reminisced about old times and got caught up on what everyone is doing now.  Oh, and we shared a large bowl of popcorn while we watched people on YouTube cook (my kind of night). They fed me popcorn and homemade salsa for snacks.  Can’t get any better than that, until they one up’d it the next day.  For breakfast I had cereal with ALMOND milk.  After a daytime tour of Lawrence they took me for pizza, neapolitan pizza!  The restaurant got my order wrong, but that is to be expected. 

It was fun to be around Cory and Leighann, but it was time for me to recharge.  I said goodbye and rode the 4 miles to my hotel.  My mom chose my hotel for me based on its proximity to good food.  It was one block off of Mass. Street, which is Lawrence’s old downtown.  I got settled in and took a nap.  When I awoke, I was starving.  I went on foot to explore Mass. Street and found a bike shop and outfitters that I would visit in the morning.  I ended up at the Ramen Bowl.  I can’t pass up ramen.  They even had Pocari Sweat, which I have never seen in the US.  

After walking around some more, I headed back to the hotel.  The rest of the night I spent watching movies.  This morning I got up at 7 for breakfast and to do my laundry.  I went back for a second breakfast just before 10.  A quick nap and then check out at noon.  I waited till noon so that I could go to the bike shop.  It was by far the best bike shop I had been to.  When I walked in they took my bike straight back and repacked the bottom bracket for me.  Their shop also had camping, floating, climbing, and anything else you might need or going outside.  

Next stop, Oskaloosa.  It less than two hours to get there.  The pickings for a late lunch were slim.  The only thing open was Gambino’s Pizza.  It has been a good weekend for pizza!  I sat there for probably two hours deciding what to do next.  The next town was only 15 miles away so I decided to go for it.  Northern Kansas is not flat.  It is long rolling hills, half mile up and quarter mile down.  

Nortonville has less than Oskaloosa.  I’m not hungry yet, but I know it will hit me soon.  All I have is honey, peanut butter, and nutella.  The peanut butter and nutella I got from breakfast this morning.  It will have to do until the one store opens at 6.  I’m just hoping they have donuts, but that may be a stretch.  Until then, I will hang the hammock at this park and enjoy the light breeze.  Oh, and I hit 500 miles today!!

3 thoughts on “My Weekend Off

  1. Lane

    Northeastern Kansas is pretty hilly, but northwestern Kansas is not. The flattest part of Kansas is the western 2/3. Most people view Kansas from I-70, so never get the view you did. Thank you for giving my native state some on-the-spot description of the topography to correct some stereotypes. I went to KU for 2 years and hiked up and down those hills daily to classes. The nearest class was 1/2 mile from my dormitory on Daisy Hill. I could be at class in 5 minutes when I rode (coasted) my bike down the hill.

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  2. Carla Brown

    Ha!!! Remember our conversation about living in Kansas? I knew you would like Lawrence, it’s an awesome town!

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