76.20 miles (Total: 1798.46) Avg Speed: 14mph Max Speed: 26.5mph
We had breakfast at the Prairie Grass, the place we ate at last night. Joe has become addicted to the terms that I use in sentences and has started adopting them for himself mainly profanities and and the few bits of rhyming slang that I use such as “Dog & Bone” – phone. He has developed an obsession with British terms and accents, one of his favourite films is Snatch, which he loves to quote.
The early riding was nice and cool and we coasted along the flat landscape with barely a car passing. We came across an eastbounder called Brett, who told us about food poisoning he had gotten in Pueblo that held him up for 4 days and gave us some tips on the next few map panels. We then encountered another local rider, Don Foster from Wichita. He circled back on himself and road with us for a while. He turned out to be a pretty amazing guy who had cycled all over America including many parts of the TransAm. He couldn’t stress enough how amazing Wyoming and Montana were, all of which I have to come. The sad part to this story however was Don had parkinsons disease and is getting as much riding in now while he still can. We joined him for lunch at Cassody’s for the pizza buffet. As I stood by the counter with my drink and plate ready I got talking to the woman next to me who seemed really pleased I had decided to do what I was doing, she then told me to put my money away and paid for my lunch! Amazing, Joe was chatting with Don an missed out.
The riding for the afternoon continued to be perfect, with only crosswind which from what I have now read and heard seems to be common. After talking with Don and riding for sometime in Kansas now I feel riding westbound compared to eastbound is greater in almost every aspect. Initially it was only the winds that concerned me, but its only the weather systems that come from the west and they are at 30,000ft. The winds in Kansas actually come from the south all summer. Going west we actually creep north to Colorado so will benefit from a slight tailwind at times and prior to Kansas we haven’t experienced any wind whatsoever as the roads are closed in between trees. Added to that we have all the best scenery still to come whereas Eastbounders have Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia which are very pleasant but plain and samey. Plus we gain an hour each timezone where they lose an hour and finally it has always felt like the most natural course for me to take as the land was originally settled east-to-west by the frontiers. I would be interested in an Eastbounders response to this.
Once we arrived in Newton we made our way to the city park for another free nights camping. Its was the nicest park yet. Me an Joe dashed to the pool to catch it before closing time and bathed for about half an hour. We went into town for a Chinese buffet for supper. When we got back to setup our tents Joe busted one of his poles so now only has the front half of his tent elevated but managed to see the bright side of things, as he says life = good.