After a strawberry sandwich, a change of winds, a bit more water and an A Capella performance I’ve decided that I actually quite like Kansas. It’s certainly not yet a love but a like. I’ve decided that you can bring your bikes to cycle here if you want to but listen to my advice: take your bike to central Kansas, with plenty of roads, determine which way the wind is blowing and then just go with it. Don’t try to battle against the wind or even a crosswind because it won’t be a pleasant experience. Oh yeah, and try not to get blown to Oklahoma or Texas because we still aren’t that friendly. But if you did a tornado or something would probably pick you up and place you somewhere else in America so don’t worry about that too much. Have a nice ride!
After my last blog we cycled for half a day and then suddenly everything was green and the rivers we cycled over actually had water in them. It’s like a tale from the Hobbit except with more oil distilleries and grain mills. Abilene, our rest stop, has been really lovely despite having no where to have a beer after 10pm on a Monday night, shocking really, do the 6,000 strong population not want to do that on a weekday? In the daylight Abilene is just as lovely and quaint. The houses are stunning, old painted and decorated wooden buildings, all different and equally spaced out (pictured). The community feel outside town is great but inside town it’s all a bit sad. There are a few antique shops, some derelict/abandoned ones and a couple of random shops but nothing of real life – all of that can be found outside town in big supermarkets and fast food joints. I’ve heard that this is common for a downtown in the mid-west. The people however are brilliant! Everyone talks to you, many are gobsmacked when we tell them what we’re doing, as if they couldn’t imagine ever leaving Kansas. The majority of them love their state and what I’ve noticed is that, aside from a small Mexican influence, this is real America. No Oriental ramen places, no sushi joints, no takeaway curry, just pure undiluted America.
The cycling has been pretty cool, legs don’t hurt like they used to. I think we’ve become accustomed to that sort of pain. Lactic build up in the legs doesn’t seem to hit me until mile 60 or so and especially after long downhill stints of doing nothing and then trying to pedal again. But apart from that, I’m all good. New tyres seem to have done the trick on the puncture front, I’ve had none since I’ve put on the Gatorskins and dad seems to be getting along well with his new Brooks saddle.
So onwards and upwards it seems. We have a 105 mile with a 6000ft climb to look forward to tomorrow and when we reach Topeka, we’ll be half way there so that’s a good reason to carry on pedalling, if ever there was one. We’re excited! Thanks for following our journey so far!