June 28, 2001 - Mike and Marilyn's 2001 TransAmerica Bike Trip

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June 28, 2001

JOURNAL > KANSAS
 
 
 
 
 
 

Eureka to Harvey County East Park, Kansas. (69 mi.) Mile 1838

Tailwinds and tent camping

We are in a very nice county park this evening, where I am sitting on a picnic table with the laptop plugged into the power reserved for RVs. It is sunny and warm, with a breeze coming off the man-made reservoir. The campground includes expanses of mowed grass, shade trees, and warm showers. It's good to be camping this evening; motels are not always better. We have taken up an entire picnic pavilion spreading out our things, and it is peaceful and quiet here.

 
 
 
 

Our camp at Harvey County East Park


 
 

This morning about 15 miles out of Eureka, I suddenly noticed the wind seemed to grow still and quiet. My legs propelled me effortlessly up the next long grade. It could only be... a tailwind! Yahoo! This was our first significant tailwind this trip, gusting from the S-SE up to 23 mph. We rode it for several hours.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kansas scenery

 
 

Now that we are in Kansas, we are meeting more and more eastbound TransAm cyclists on the road. We met two today, out in the middle of nowhere, battling what for them was a headwind. One was averaging only 6 mph, while our pace was 2-3 times that. The weather also surprised us today with a sudden rain shower just as we pulled into "The Prairie Chicken Capital of the World", Cassoday (population 128, not including prairie chickens). We sat it out in a convenience store and continued on, enjoying intermittent cloud shadows, cooler temperatures (in the high 80s), wide-open pasture land, cornfields, Mennonite churches, meadowlark song, oil wells, and cows, cows, cows.

 
 
 
 

This is a good year for the Flint Hills pastureland. Cattle are trucked here from other states to fatten up, gaining 3 1/2 lbs/day, better than a feedlot. In about a month, the cattle trucks will be hauling them back to their home states, not a good time for a bicyclist to be on the road.


 
 

One of the highlights of the day was stopping for breakfast at "The Old Hat" cafe in tiny Rosalia. This was the first time we have had the locals flash us big friendly grins when we walked in, as if to say, "Hey, we caught another bicyclist." We learned the homemade pie here not only attracts TransAm bicyclists, about 50-100/year, but folks from as far away as Oklahoma. The waitress brought the bicyclist guest registry with the menu so we could sign it and read comments from others ahead of us. We had them pack us some deluxe ham sandwiches and pie to go, which they did with extra special attention and well wishes for our journey.

Mike broke another spoke on his rear wheel and replaced it. Since this problem started when the rear rim was replaced in Carbondale, it is tempting to think something wasn't done right at that time. We've now replaced 7 out of the 36 spokes, only 29 to go.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Making new friends outside The Old Hat cafe


 
 
 
 
 

Spokesman Mike became adept at replacing spokes


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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