Old Flying Farts Bicycling Club
 
Hutchinson, KS to Eureka, KS

It is hard to believe that we have been out here 22 days.  Thankfully, I have the blog to go back and remind myself about the different days and what I did--it is all blurring together.

I think the way today started off should have been a warning that it was just better to keep the bikes on the van and drive to Eureka vs. riding them.  Here are just a few of the things that we can now laugh about:

Rod, my 'roommate' during the trip, decided to snore last night and kept me awake most of the night.  We tried to figure out why last night and not any other night and our only guess was that he ate spicy food at Applebee's for dinner. 

So I am already tired and go down to the breakfast in the hotel lobby only to have my waffle somehow destroyed on the wafflemaker and I end up eating fruit loops and a cheese danish.  Not the breakfast of champions when you are riding 100 miles. 

As we are going to our drop off location to start the ride, we somehow miss the turn and end up 9 miles north of where we are supposed to be...that is okay but when we turn around we miss the turn again and are now 20 miles in the hole and have not even started riding East yet. 

We finally get on the correct road only to see road construction signs saying that the road is closed two miles ahead.  We forge ahead anyways, in the hopes that we can work around the construction.   NOPE, the bridge is out so we have to travel 2 miles south, 3 miles east (on dirt roads), and 2 miles north again to get back on track. 
At this point, any reasonable person would have called it a day but we are not reasonable  people....remember we chose to pedal our bikes across this country. 

So off we start from Buhler, KS at a very quick pace since we are being attacked by Mosquitos the size of humming birds.  I have never seen such large mosquitos before and they were flying as fast as we were pedaling.

 We are finally settled in to our ride and heading East on some lonely deserted road when we hear a plane coming in pretty low over the fields.  We realize he is spraying the fields (probably to kill the damn mosquitos) when we see that he is heading straight for us.  We slow down to watch and then had a sinking feeling that he is going to 'strafe' us with machine guns by the way he is aiming at us.  He overshoots us by about 30 feet and flies back out into the fields..we laughed but kept looking back over our shoulders to make sure he did not make another run at us.

As we enter Hesson, KS, we see a fully loaded biker heading West and decide to stop and speak with him and tell him about the detours ahead with the bridge being out.  We find the guy to be pretty jovial about his trip and then preceeds to tell us that this is his second year on a bike as he has traveled around the world (Europe, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, India, etc..) on his bike and that he is finishing up here in America before he goes home to Ireland.  We wish him well, put our tails between our legs and head off.  No longer do we think we are so special after hearing what he has been through and done over the last year and half.  My hat goes off to him!

As we come into Newton, KS at 10am, we see on the bank sign that it is already 101 degrees out.  We are not sure if the sign is correct or we are just getting used to the heat, but the 90% humidty was what was drag today.

As the day progressed, I had my chance to pet a cow...I know, stupid, but I have it in my mind that I am going to pet one of these animals before the end of the trip.  I see this huge bull standing next to the fence and decide that I have to try.  Everyone on the road has stopped to see the Irish guy in bike shorts trying to convice this bull to come towards me so that I can pet it.  I can imagine the comments being made in the cars as I was standing there....Anyway, I did get the bull to move towards me but not close enough to touch.  I guess that was my "running of the bulls," experience for the year:)  You want to be close to them, but not close enough that they can get you!

As the miles progressed and we were finishing the ride, the black skies arrived.  We thought we would be able to make it all the way into Eurkea, but the lightening changed all that.  We stopped and waved for the support van to come get us, which they did slowly.  Don and I are 'having a cow' (no pun intended) becuase the lightening and rain is getting closer and our van is not really interested in saving us.  As we look closer, we see that Rod and Sal, are taking video and pictures of the storm and have become "Storm Chasers."  We put our bikes on the rack and get inside and they do not even notice.  They are so excited about the storm and the possiblity of a tornado that they decide to drive into the storm to get more video and pictures.    Well, we end up in Eureka for the night and are recupperating for tomorrows ride.  If things go well, we will end the day at the Kansas/Missouri border.

That's all for now!!
Barb
7/16/2010 15:12:49

LOL.......I don't even know what to say!!! All these mishaps make for good reading, but come on you guys deserve a break!!! Maybe tomorrow??? :-) Stay safe! Love ya lots!!! XOXO

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Mary Lou
7/16/2010 16:18:08

You are too funny, Patrick. You can tell a story like dad does; you crack me up! I love you...Stay safe!

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