Larned, KS to Ness City, KS
Total Miles: 3506
Yesterday around 5 while I was laying in the grass reading and another westbound cyclist showed up to the park we were staying at. His name is Robert, he’s from Holland and he’s doing a route somewhat similar to my own. He cycled from New York down to Virginia and is headed towards Oregon where he will then turn south and on to San Diego. It’s incredibly interesting to meet the other cyclists and learn all the how’s and why’s to their particular trip, like we may all be doing the same thing and along the same route but every person does it a bit different. Take the guys i’m riding with now for example, they’re the wake up early, beat the heat and wind and finish early kind of guys and I’m really liking that style. Robert, on the other hand, says he usually wakes up around 7 or 8 or whenever he feels like it, hangs around camp, drinks a coffee, lays around some more, has another coffee then maybe if he feels like it he cycles. He said the heat doesn’t really bother him, he just drinks more water. The wind doesn’t really bother him because the most it can do is slow him down and he doesn’t really care about the time he arrives, just that he arrives. His whole attitude was just really laid back and carefree, as if there was nothing in the world that could possibly ruin his day. He was planning a rest day in Nickerson so he didn’t ride out with us this morning but I have a feeling this won’t be the last time Robert and I meet.
I woke this morning, per new usual, at 5:00, made a breakfast sandwich of a bagel, peanut butter and topped with reese’s (so healthy, I know) and set off for the days ride. It was cool this morning, chilly almost, so much so that I was almost regretting not wearing my shirt. I’ve been going shirtless the last few days since the sun doesn’t really get too sunburny till after noon and we’ve been getting our riding done well before that, it’s nice. The route today was 15 miles west then 20 miles north then 30 miles west again. So much flatness. There really is nothing out here, just fields, endless fields, where humans are no longer born, they are grown. Er, oops, wrong movie. And I guess it wasn’t all flat, there was one really long and gentle climb followed by a sweet downhill. I broke off from the group on the way down and pushed my Bike as fast as I could get it going, then kind of did a half Superman thing where I stood up and held one arm out while holding my bike steady with the other. I probably looked crazy but it was fun, anything to break the monotony.
At the bottom of the Superman hill there was a tiny town that didn’t have much except an old Pepsi machine sitting outside a mechanics shop. YESSS!!! Mountain Dew fix. I told the guys not to bother waiting up for me and I’d catch up after I chugged down some of that radioactively yellow super crack, but they politely held fast anyways 🙂 I like these guys. After that was all done we made our final turn west for the last 30 miles. While riding along this featureless expanse of road Sebastien, who was the lead at that point, shouted out, “Turtle!” and our lazy train veered around the little guy. I immediately broke off from the pack after we’d all passed to see him to safety and prevent the needless death of one of our Shelled friends. Remember friends, Turtleliness is next to Godliness.
About 4 miles from Ness City I can see the town water tower come into view. We’d been moving along the last 4 and half hours at a not too shabby average speed of around 14MPH but seeing the end in sight made me antsy to move faster. Sebastien must have been feeling the same way because he started to slowly creep forward and away from the rest of the group. When we were a couple hundred feet away I see him look into his mirror and see how far we’d gotten away from them and I guess he just thought, “Eh, fuck it” because he kicked it into high gear. Not one to turn down a Turtle Boost I followed along and we finished those last few miles at a breakneck pace. It was pretty awesome. We pulled into a grocery store to wait for the guys when we got to town and then all did a little shopping before heading to camp. After unloading our bags we headed back up the road a ways to a bar and grill we’d passed. I had the biggest fucking double cheeseburger I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, like, it was ridiculously massive. Seriously, I spent a good 10 seconds just laughing at the sheer audacity of the thing. What right do you have to be so damn big?! Then I ate it all. I guess since we’re in cattle country and beef is cheap these people just don’t give a shit. Works for me and at 8 bucks it’s a pretty tough deal to beat. So now that my belly is full and my homework is done I think it’s time for James to take a nap. Stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike!
Too Drunk; Didn’t Read (TD;DR)
-Robert the Hollander don’t give a shit about nothing
-James is actually some kind of bicycling Superman
-Main lining Mountain Dew is better than sex
-Find a turtle, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck
-Turbo boosts and turbo burgers