Bike Across Kansas, fantasy Tour, Part 1
A month or so back, I participated in the "Walk Across Kansas" fitness campaign where teams reported their daily mileage and added it together to cross the State of Kansas. I am going to start the same trip on my recumbent and report my mileage weekly. This tour is fantasy so don't look for me out there on the road unless it is near Lake Shawnee here in Topeka.
My selected route is Highway US 36 which is approximately the Pony Express route taken in Kansas. My imaginary start point is the border of Kansas and Colorado on US 36 with an elevation of 3415 feet and I am headed East. The ride is fairly smooth with a slight headwind from the southeast. The temperature is in the mid 80's and after the front passed day before yesterday, the air is kind of dry. You can tell there has been a lot of weather activity a the ditches have water in them in places and you can hear bullfrogs even while riding.
The Highway is about as straight east as you can imagine until you arrive in the town of St.Francis 13 miles into the trip. This is the county seat of Cheyenne County. You pass the Republican river on the west edge of town and according to the locals in 1935 a flood on the Republican about wiped the area clean of houses and people. On the South side of the town is the Airport and the elevation is reported at 3411. Woo Hoo, a drop of four feet in 13 miles. Its all downhill from here. According to the Indian legend, the buffalo in the area would cross this river and eat along the banks. When the herds were moving, the water would be so foul with manure it was also known as the shit river. There was an old Indian trick that if you dug a hole in the middle of a sandbar the sand would strain the water and you could drink it. Lord have mercy on you if you tried to drink it straight out of the river.
Another 14 miles and you hit Bird City and another airport. Crop dusters. 11 more miles and the big metropolis of McDonald pops up with its grain elevator out here by the train tracks. No, there is no Golden Arches here. Just north of town the Airport is listed at 3340 feet so the elevation is just over 20 miles is down about 80 feet.
Another 17 miles and we move into the town made famous for having Little Beaver and Beaver creek meet. 57 miles from the border is Atwood where our former Governor and current head of Parks and Parties, John Michael (Mike) Hayden was born. You know the kind of guy he is, typical Kansan with a chaw and a drawl. Good Old boy.
So far, you can tell the miles by the intersection of a road almost every mile. In most of Kansas the surveyors laid the State in one mile squares and unless there is a river or stream there is a road out here. They raise K-State students and wheat. There are a few crop circles of corn but for the most part there is miles and miles of wheat.
So far in this number of miles there has been no problems with the blue racer. She is fast and easy to ride. I think my legs will get the hang of this pretty quick and I seem to be doing fine. Of course, I am really riding only about 10 miles a day not the 45 to 50 I would be if honestly trying to ride across Kansas. I will close here in Atwood for Part 1 and ride on next week.