Saturday, June 12, 2010


No, not my favorite coffee shop on ninth street in the East Village where this trip began. True Kansas after the heavy rains flood mud. Google maps app got me good this time. So far so good for the most part, but today was a doozy.

This afternoon after watching all of these Alpacas play around in a field I took a gravel road google suggested as a short cut. Sooner than later that crushed lime stone road turned to dirt. Was going fine until that turned in Kansas clay that acts like cement. It caked onto my wheels and lodged up inti my fenders and stopped me dead in my tracks.

I was a few miles from the main road that I detoured from. So I picked up an old crushed/flattened beer can and started scraping the mud off. That didn't work so well. So then tried to pry a stick in there to clear it out. That didn't work to well either. It was time to get dirty!

Then I just started using my fingers to try and dig the mud out. Not happening brother! It was now time to take all the bags off the bike, flip it over and take the wheels off. Joy! Here I am in the middle of no where with nothing in sight except for some cattle.

What can be done? Nobodies going to be coming down this washed out road to save me. Chock it up to a bad decision and get to work. Wheels off, start to scrape out the inside of the fenders. Then I have to shave the tires of all the caked on mud. There is very little room between the tire and the fender, about a 1/4 inch.

Get it all cleaned up and then recconect the brakes. Oh yeah, before I took the wheels off I loosened the front fender bolts which was a brilliant idea. Total waste of time which just led to more work on the back end when I has to readjust those.

Yay, back on my bike pedaling. But only for another thirty feet. Same thing happens. What looked like hard pack soil with hay on it was a recipe for disaster. This mixture is like quickrete, gets in there and dries instantly. Go threw the same process again. Mind you, the whole time I'm sliding in mud and just have a smile on my face going what else can I do.

Get all geared up again and start pushing my bike for the few mile journey to the 24. Next thing you know, blamo the wheels are locked up again. Even without my body weight the mud just caked onto the wheels and locked them up inside the fenders.

At least two miles to go and I'm not making that mistake again, so I start to carry the bike. 70 lbs in a back pack with straps and packed right is really heavy. Trying to carry a beady like thus with the weight so unproportioned for a few miles is a nightmare.

I did give it a shit though. Got only so far with the top tube resting on my shoulders, the water cages bending as they are digging into my back. Ok next thought. Take all the bags off again and carry the bike by itself. So that's what I did. Took the bike a third of the way or so and went back for the bags. This went on and on.

Of course I got to some solid packed dirt and thought I was in the clear. Flipped the bike over, took it apart and started scraping. Went a few feet and it just caked on again. You figured I would have learned my lesson the second time.

Finally made it to the road with the bike. Locked it up to the stop sign and went back for the bags. Slipping and sliding with little rocks in my shoes. It's getting late now too. Almost 6pm, think this ordeal was about a 2 1/2 hour intensive mud course.

You can see the wreckage and devistation this flooding caused. There was dead frogs and lizards every where on the road. They must have drowned and been washed out of the field. Here's a live one.

Here I am at the end of this mud road pulling it all back together. I have my shirt off. Bike flipped upside down with the wheels off. Quite a few cars go by but nobody enquires. Which seems to be opposite the norm so far in Kansas. Must be the shirt off. People wave to me all day long. If I have my shirt off they don't wave as much.

Back to scraping everything. My sandals, the tires and the insides if the fenders. Must have been some seen. A guy with a big knife, crazy hair, muddy, half naked and working on a bicycle.

Ended up making it to our destination tonight at Rod from Manhattan parents house. Sweet folks who had homemade dinner ready to go for us. They live on a huge farm here. Unfortunately due to the rain there is not much work that can be done. They needit to be dry to harvest the wheat and bail the hay. My farm work will have to come down the road.

Super greatful to still be in good spirits, safe, healthy and in a comfortable place to stay. Thanks for following along. Almost to the next tome zone.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

1 comment:

  1. Damn, rough day! Just got back from the rockhouse where we all applauded the effort and spirit of your big journey. Keep it up!