Old Flying Farts Bicycling Club
Not Pat and I the van.
We decided to get an early start today to avoid as much heat as possible and the winds that were blowing from the south.  They were supposed to increase as the day advanced.  So Pat and I were on the bikes heading east by 6:45am.
About 16 miles out my phone rang and Sal said that that van wasn't starting.  Rod had called a tow truck.  We were only 6 miles from Dighton, Kansas so we said we would go there and stop.
Pat and I stopped at a Kwik Stop, pulled out some milk crates and sat in the shade.  Numerous phone calls were exchanged.  Tow trucks never responded.  AAA did send a person with a portable jumper battery and no particular skill.  We deduced that it had something to do with the security system.
I called my home garage and was told to disconnect the battery for about 15 minutes.  Rod borrowed a wrench from someone and did just that.  Zoom! It worked.
In the meantime Pat and I had been waiting almost three hours.  Why didn't we continue?  We didn't want to get caught out in the middle of nowhere, short of water with a rising thermometer.
When they finally arrived we agreed to ride another 32 miles into Ness City.  As we rode the winds picked up and the heat became intense.
As our schedule is very tight, we decided to load up the bikes and drive to Larned.

A number of people wonder how Sal and Rod are faring on this trip.  Rod drives a mile or two ahead and pulls off the road.  When the last rider passes, usually me.  He moves the van up the road again.  As we ride by he gives encouragement and asks if we need anything.  If we say water or gatorade at the next stop he pulls ahead jumps out with a fresh bottle for us.  As we ride by we usually drop one at his feet and and grab a new one. Its hard to come to a stop and start up again, even though Sal thinks we're rude for throwing the bottles down. Poor Rod, with his bad knee jumping into and out of the van, from cool to hot, 30+ times a day.  And he never complains.
Sal has a new camera and is enjoying taking pictures of the scenery.  The scenery seldom includes Pat and I.  It's been a battle keeping us in water and ice.  They buy packs of 24 bottled waters and we go through them in two days. She is constantly refilling our empties and putting them on ice. Each night she organizes our motels.  She says she is actually enjoying the trip.  Oh yes, I think she really enjoys rinsing out my stinky, sweaty riding gear each night.
Thanks for all the messages, my friends.

7/15/2010 04:20:08

This blog post left me with one mental image that came through in French: Eau du frommage Donald.

Hmmm... bike problems are bad enough, but the van acting up is probably more worrying. I suspect this may happen again. You might want to consider stopping at a dealership to have it checked out. It strange, but I do not recall Lewis and clark have auto troubles on their return trip from the Pacific Ocean. You should check their travelogue and see what they did.

Thanks for the email. It left me with some very, very odd mental pictures. Very funny!

Love to all.


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    Don Ballingall

    I am a retired elementary school teacher.  Married with a daughter and two wonderful grandchildren.
    I have ridden across the United states at  ages 38, 50 and 60.
    So why not try it again at 70.


    August 2010
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