April 24, 1999
|Well it was another century day for me. I usually
dont go that far in a day. A good day for me is about 65-70 miles. That gives me
plenty of time to take photos, talk to people, and take breaks to stretch. But today
there were not many places to stop. It took me 8.5 hours to go 100 miles which is an
improvement over the first time I went that far. But that time I took may breaks. I was
constantly stretching and I head even taken several quick power naps along the side of the
Leaving Chanute, I followed 39 West until it ended at the junction of 96/400. I took 96/400 West and had a very wide, smooth, shoulder to ride on. I stayed on 96/400 West until turning north on 54/77 into El Dorado. The wind blew west all day.
When I left Chanute it was a cool (50 degrees), cloudy, morning. The roads were definitely not "flat and boring" like Id heard. I biked up and down the rolling hills and wondered when it was going to turn flat. Maybe they meant flat compared to the Rockies, but when I think of flat, I think of south Florida. There were no stores or anything for the first 50 miles. When I reached the junction of 99 at Severy, I stopped at a small convenient store on the south side of the road. When I was getting ready to leave, a 40ish looking guy walked up wearing gold-framed, Ray-Ban sunglasses and sportin a dark tan. He had a rugged, outdoor look with a Ralph Lauren style. Looking at my bike, he made a comment about it and said, "Ive always liked Specialized, they make good bikes." We talked some about my ride as well as other outdoor activities. This guy was an avid rock-climber and previously had a business in California. The tragedy of "Dano" also came up. He was one of the best climbers around but died recently. Apparently Kansas and Oklahoma are home to several rock-climbers. He mentioned many that he knew including one guy from Oklahoma that is in a Prudential commercial. It was nice to have a little mid-day conversation and it was quite surprising that there is any rock-climbing in "flat and boring" Kansas.
Continuing my ride west, and after about 70 miles, I sort of fell into this Zen mode. I really felt connected to the bike as if we were one entity. Soon my mind was transported back to a time when I was this long-haired, hard-rock music listenin, pot-smokin, teenager. Who wouldve guessed that the little hippie that always skipped school would go on to college? Not only go, but also get exceptional grades and be awarded scholarships! I found that I began to get a "high" from expanding my mind with knowledge, not drugs. And now, here I am on a bicycle riding across the continent. The most important, life enhancing event, Ive ever experienced. Im able to explore my inner world as it interfaces with the world outside. This is so incredible!
Arriving in El Dorado, I stopped at a store and asked the girl behind the counter about motels. She called her boyfriend, who works at the Super 8 motel, and found that the cheapest he could offer was $42.00 because it was Prom Night. He recommended that I call the Sunset Inn to see if they had any rooms left. They did. I got a room there for $37.00, which included a continental breakfast. The forecast predicted heavy thunder storms after midnight and through tomorrow. If its raining in the morning its easier for me to leave from a motel room. I really dont like trying to pack in the rain, especially trying to pack a wet tent. After I checked in, I had 99.2 miles on my bike so I decided to drop my trailer and ride to Subway. At Subway I ate a seafood and crab sub then headed to the Nations Bank ATM. When I arrived back at the motel I had broke 100 miles for the day! :-)
Today - 100.47 miles