Thursday, July 9

2000 Miles Down

At 1000 mile, my bike broke down. At 2000 miles, I just kept pedaling. See, here in Kansas, it's so flat you can't not pedal. Double negative, I know. But for real, there's no coasting for the most part else you just stop.

I got into Kansas with the help of my friends Grace and Ashley, and when they left, they were sure to leave me in the care of some other wonderful folks - Pastor John at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, just past Girard, KS. There Kevin and I met two brothers from Pennsylvania headed East (Mennonite even). Pastor John showed the four of us around the grounds of the church, amidst the laughs and smiles of some VBS attendees.

Not only did Pastor John and his wife offer use of their shower (the one I unscrewed the showerhead from) and washer and drier, but they also let us pick fresh veggies from their garden! We're talking fresh zucchini, squash, green beans, onions, basil, and plenty of other things I've never heard of.

We picked our share and combined it with the 2lbs of ground meat Pastor John gave us as well to make a gullosh (spelling?) of sorts. That with a loaf of bread, milk, lemonade, potato salad, and the air conditioning in the fellowship hall made for a great stay.

The next morning Kevin and I said our goodbyes to Andrew and Ken, the Mennonite brothers, and rode west, tackling 95 miles before finding a city park with free access to the public pool for the cyclists. After a dip and another shower, we settled in under another pavilion before a huge lightning storm came through. That storm lasted all night! When I awoke to a raccoon going through my stuff at 4am, the bolts were still flying. Since the bolts were west of us at that time, it looked like bombs were being dropped on the other side of the trees which outlined the park. The rain finally came around 7:30. We were awoken to find that because the wind so strong, we were beginning to get pretty wet even under the shelter. Thankfully, the windiest part ended and the storm passed, allowing us to get on the road by 8:30am.

After 75 miles, I write from the Newton, KS Public Library where I rest to put in another 30, bringing us to our first official century ride (Last night's was 5 miles short, but the thought of a 5 mile ride around town did not outweigh the joy I knew a dip in the pool would bring). Despite being flat, the wind is pretty tough. The wind is coming from the South, and though we aren't headed that way, it does make it difficult to ride West. Thankfully, we had a 20 mile stretch today that took us North. Kid you not, in just the change from West to North, I was able to increase my average speed by about 10mph. The thought is that the South wind will ease up around 6 and that we'll be able to make the last 30 miles easily. Here's for hoping!


Stephanie said...

Well Nate...First off, I know this comment will make your day! hahah Second off it seems that your life truly is an adventure. It looks like your jouney has been fun filled a.k.a breaking down, and meeting strangers and hey you even got to travel with some buddies for part of it. Anywho know that I'm praying for you my friend. I hope more people feed you.

much love,
steph norwood

skip said...

dude, how on earth did you hit a dog? i mean, what's wrong with swerving? did you crash? (i hope it was one of those small annoying dogs)

Corcoran Crimmins said...

Yeah, what about this hitting a dog? I saw it on twitter. Hope you and the dog are okay.

About taking of the shower head, let's not try that at home.

I just hope when you get to Elk Lake in August you can enjoy the outdoor shower. Taking showers outside with the blue sky above is a wonderful experience! And the neighbors are too old to climb trees, so your pretty private, too.

Love you,