Miles – 95.51
Avg. Speed – 13.7
We left our basement home in Manhattan as soon as the sun lit the pavement enough to guide us along, and we peeled off our first twenty miles in dead calm wind, with the sun rising on our right and the air blowing cool on our skin. It was lovely riding conditions, and saying goodbye to the Flint Hills, we thought we’d be seeing flat land for the next 500 miles. We we’re on our way to Clay Center, KS, where we were scheduled to meet with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Clay Center (GFWC), who found us through our website, saw that we were headed their way, and wanted to make a donation, and treat us to lunch. (The GFWC’s mission is help prevent child abuse!)
After a beautiful, and speedy, forty miles, we made it to Clay Center an hour and a half ahead of schedule: just enough time to take a quick nap on the picnic tables at the Clay Center park. After an hour or so of relaxation in the cool morning, we were greeted and led into town by a biking envoy from the GFWC. Geri Meals was the woman who reached out to us, and her two sons along with Kelly, a kindergarten teacher, and Verne, a Kansas state legislator, escorted us in Clay Center and to the Mexican restaurant “El Pueblo.”
The women from the center, and citizens from Clay Center at the restaurant donated almost $300 to our Pedal for Prevention, and what a great boost it was to meet such committed and giving people so unexpectedly.
After saying goodbye, we got back on the road just in time to catch the brunt of a hot Kansas summer day. The wind had also found it’s legs and was now blowing a constant twenty miles an hour from the South. As we headed West, the crosswind from the plains did it’s best to grind us to a halt, and simply turning the pedals became our main focus.
Riding across Kansas is a new experience in so many ways, and one of the overriding differences is the vast distances between towns to stop in. When we’re riding through the plains we’re always looking for water towers. Every town has one, and you can see them from miles away in the distance. In some ways the act like enormous push-pins that show you where your next stop will be. A water tower is generally a good sign out here, but the water tower in Glasco was a red herring. Thirsty and tired, we were so excited to get to a gas station until we realized that Glasco’s service station had been closed for years. With nothing open on a Sunday, we were relegated to getting Powerade out of the Main St. vending machine…
Slowly and surely we creeped toward Beloit, where we had a rental house arranged to stay in thanks to our friends from the GFWC. The last few miles into town were hot and dull, but we did pass our first sunflower field, something that we have all been looking forward to…
When we got to Beloit we felt dual emotions, relief and hunger… Yes, hunger is an emotion after a 95 mile bike ride! We grabbed a bite to eat, and laid down on the carpet for the night’s sleep. The house was unfurnished and we slept on the floor, but we all slept like babies.