Got another late start today. That's wrong, the day starts when I begin pedaling and that's it. This is a tour, not a race. Left Manhattan just after noon today. Took Rod who cooked us dinner last night and Jeff who hosted us out to breakfast. It was perfect timing. We got to watch some of the opening ceremonies.
After breakfast went over to the bike shop/outfitter they work at called Pathfinder. Another great shop with amazing staff, the service and knowledge is epic and they have everything you could need. Wanted to put my bike in the rack cause I noticed the small chain ring in front looked bent. Well sure enough, one of the two Evans that worked there noticed right away I was missing two bolts. That sucked! But I'm glad they found it there. Then after going threw the gears we found some more problems. My real derailed cable was crimped and causing shifting problems. Then realized the chain had to much play and replaced that as well. Guess the chains they supply with the bike are sub standard. Rich had to replace his in Lexington.
So after Evan spent about two hours on my bike it was time to hit the road. Boy, it was one if those days I just wanted to crawl back into bed so to speak. It was a hot one! With over 90 miles to go I was not feeling it. Ok, 10 miles under my belt. Then 20 miles. Oh yeah, don't forget to eat.
The Garmin(gps) comes in handy once in a while. It has a feature where you can find places to eat. So I hit it and nothing for ten miles. That spot is a pizza place too. Been trying to eat somewhat healthy. So far I've burned over 200,000 calories this trip. Anyways, get to Gambinos pizza in this small town and get the best lunch deal I've gotten thus far. All you can eat and this kid Micah that worked there hooked me up for $3.80. They were just wrapping up so they gave me a good deal. Got to talking to him about his band and how he's from San Diego. Then chatted with the other lady that worked there and ready to hit the road.
Today I was on my game. Made all the right stops at the right time. Stopped at a super market about another 12 miles down the road to get some fruit and baby powder. After that it was nothing til here in Beloit. Almost 60 miles with no services. You really have to be on your game or your in jeapordy.
After about 25 more miles I was out of water. Didn't see anybody outside their houses that I could ask for water. Then there was this fueling/pump station. Where big gas trucks go to fill up. The gate was open so I leaned my bike and walked up to the office. Keep in mind, haven't seen a soul except for cars whizzing by and dudes out in fields in tractors.
Proceed to knock on the office door and see this guy with his back to me on his cell phone. Could only imagine what he's thinking. He gives me this look like, "what does this guy want and why is he hear?". So I show him my water bottle and mouth to say can I fill up my bottles. He peers his head over and sees my bike out there. He comes walking out still on the phone talking to one of his buddies. So I say, "nice...1986 Toyota tercel.". He then repeats to his buddy threw the phone what I just told him. So after being weirded out by me we get to talking and he's off the phone.
Theres a car parked there and it's an 86' tercel. One of the best cars I've ever owned. So we hit off right away and Kris is his name tells me he has 4 of them. Tells me how he just bought this one. Super clean and he got a smoking deal. Hooks me up with some bottled water and we keep on talking. We spent almost the next hour together just shooting the shit.
He's a big time outdoorsman. His website is www.predatorman.com. He also owns a 1980 TA that he's the original owner of. Only my favorite ride in the whole world. Then we were talking about which route I'm going to take and we start checking all that out by atlas wiki mapia which is a great site. Just an awesome interaction between two strangers. Told him about "Breaking Bad.". That's the car that Jessie drives in the show. Still need to catch last weeks episode. Some kid almost ruined it for me today while I was waiting for my bike. Took a walk and this kid was working at this shop and watching "it's always sunny in Philadelphia.". So we we're talking about different shows and stopped him just in time. Kind of have an idea of what happens.
Just can't say enough about how pleasant Kansas has been. Ever since we stepped foot into Nicks mom's house we've been treated so well. Thanks again for the mid-western hospitality. Even tonight walked into the super 8 we're staying at and sparked up a conversation with this family that is staying here going to a championship football game tomorrow between Kansas colleges. Believe it's an all stars game. Just great folks spent almost a half hour or so talking too. We were just cracking up. Granted after a long day I'm a bit delerious but in a good mood. Bill the outlaw of the family, a rodeo/cowboy legend...I could barely understand a word he was saying. It was cracking me up. This guy was Kansas through and through. He just got beat up by a cow who kicked a fence into his head. Broke his glasses, bruised his eye and put a bunch of stitches in his head. But he's a tough solid dude. That was a great way to end the night. Wished em luck in the game and promoted my blog while I was at it.
Love to hear everyone tell me they enjoy following along. Tomorrow headed for Damar, KS. Meeting up with Rod again and staying at his folks place. How sweet and random is that. Just under an 80 mile day. I'm hoping he works on Sunday. Gonna try and put a days work in with him. I've never worked on a farm before. Rod told me they were harvesting wheat. He also told me his dad would let me drive the equipment. If that's the case I truly am excited. Kind of a farm boy at heart.
Kansas is something special. People were warning me how flat and boring it was going to be, how wrong they were. Just biking along and watching the wheat get blown to and fro is such a spectacular sight. It's just like the waves if the ocean the way it moves. But it also changes colors as it's moving like art work. Sure do feel lucky to be having such a close look at the rest of America.
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