Cross Country Recumbent
Wednesday August 20, 2003. Larned KS to Newton KS
So much for an early start. As I was leaving Chris walked
up! I had gotten an e-mail from him the night before saying he
was in Larned, but I didn't know when he sent it. Turns out it
was the same night as me. We had breakfast together which is what
accounted for my later start. Chris is still holding the same
pace, so I won't see him again on the road, but since he lives in
Portland we plan to get together when all the crazyness is finished.
I don't have any pictures to show you today. Overall the terrain
was much the same, slightly more hilly and more trees, but still
basically flat farmland. The big news for the day was the
heat. It wasn't the tire-cooking 110 of Hell's canyon, but it did
get near 100, and the humidity was stifling. I haven't been in
air like this since the last time I was in Ohio. There is some
relief from riding, since you get a steady breeze in your face; but I
sure hope tomorrow is cooler. About ten miles before the finish I
stopped in Heston for a cool drink. When I checked in the
bathroom mirror I couldn't believe the salt crusting my face and
body. I was like a giant ambulatory salt crystal. I could
be a new comic book hero: Salt Crystal Man!
Newton is a pretty big town. I ran into Alison, a Westbound
cyclist, and we scoped out a campsite at the local park and had dinner
together. She started in Maria Kentucky and is riding to her home
in Boulder. I couldn't tell her too much about the ride ahead
because there isn't much to tell, but she was able to give me the low
down on some of what is ahead, primarily the Ozarks (I think I shall be
lightening my load soon).
I think by now even the casual reader will have noticed that my mileage
is pretty high. My goal is to average 100 miles a day until I
finish. Partly this is because I want to push myself physically,
but mostly it is because I miss my home, and just want to finish.
Not to say that riding isn't fun, it still is; but even fun things
become tedious after so much time. The pace is starting to tell
on me though. I'm hoping today I've turned the corner and my body
will have adjusted to the pace.