Wind in Our Favor!

The wind has come around to the west just enough to give us the gentle push we needed, and that has pushed us forward to Ash Grove!
It makes a tremendous difference to a cyclist where the wind is from, and ours has been a SW wind the last two days- hooray! We departed Chanute Wednesday am, but before we did we met up with Joshua, a reporter for the Chanute Tribune, and did a nice shark interview. You can see the header for the story here (but unfortunately you need an online subscripts to see the entire story). Thanks to Josh for helping get the story out about the oceans,
Our goal Wed was to make it to the college town of Pittsburg by 5pm, and with no flats. Both things we accomplished! We rode straight to Tailwinds Cyclery, where we each had some work done on our back wheels (Devon to get his “trued” and me to get mine replaced). It seems my rear wheel, which I knew had problems (from hitting a huge pothole somewhere in Colorado two years ago), was very nearly ready to come apart, and to my extreme good fortune, that fact was caught by Tailwinds, and I ended up with a new (albeit slightly used) rear wheel. We slept in the park, and were on the road to Ash Grove by 7:30 Thursday.
Two great things happened Thursday, and one not so good thing. The bad news is that my wife Sally took a spill and broke her wrist! So she is now in a splint for several days, and then into a cast for several weeks. I’m so sorry Sally!!!
On the bright side we:
* Left Kansas behind and crossed into Missouri!
* Met up with our dear friend Alisa here in Ash Grove!
Our ride Thursday was terrific, in fact at one point we agreed that this is about as good as cycling gets – tailwind, smooth road,, gentle downhill, and no (I mean, literally zero) cars on the road. That scenario lasted for about half the day, and then we started getting into some really steep “rollers”. You know, when the road rolls like a roller coaster. The difficulty when on a bike is that you go screaming downhill for maybe 30 seconds, and then spend the next 4 or 5 minutes laboring up the hill in front of you. Multiply that by 25 times, over the course of 3 hours, in 104 degree heat (we were told it was so hot Thursday that even the farmers were not working…), and you have a pretty tough afternoon. But, we finally made Ash Grove, and met up with Alisa at the local park/town pool.
While hanging out at a picnic table in the park, a police car pulled up……. Out steps an officer (Mike Davis) who approaches us (I’m thinking at this point that we had done something wrong) and says “how’d you like to sleep under some A/C tonight?” It took a moment to process that thought, but we had the presence of mind to say, Yes! Within ten minutes he had us all set up to sleep in the community hall, a cool old building in the park where they hold town events. So we all three crashed on the floor, and stayed cool all night! It seems Missouri hospitality may rival that of Kansas!
Today it is on to the town of Hartville, a ride of about 70 miles due east. Total miles so far is just under 800!
Talk to you soon!
Mark and Devon and Alisa

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The Neosho River in eastern Kansas.

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Our camp in the park in Pittsburg, Kansas.

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Great to have made it to Missouri!

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Cooky’s Cafe. Legendary among cyclists for their pie!

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Alisa, Devon, and I by a cool mural in Ash Grove.

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The rollers of Missouri…

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At the park in Ash Grove.

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Officer Davis!

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One Response to Wind in Our Favor!

  1. Love the picture of your guys in front of the Missouri sign- it’s a great one!

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