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Day 23 – Almost Half-Time

McPherson, KS to Abilene, KS

62.58 miles

 

Today was a 62 mile dash to the rest day in Abilene. The route was simple turn right out of the hotel, cycle 22.3 miles, turn left, ride 40 miles to the hotel. This L shaped route proved to be just what we needed after a 9 day stretch of riding. Very light crosswinds for the first 22 miles then a tailwind to push us all the way home. One extra incentive today for me was that I was meeting Deirdre in Abilene. Having not seen each other since early May in Manhattan Beach it will be great to have a catch up now with all that has happened since then.

 

 

One other fun thing for me today was we actually had our SAG stop in Durham, KS. Durham had a population of 112 in 2010 and seeing it today I don’t think it has changed much since then. For me Durham is a medieval city of over 66,000 in the North West of England. A friend of mine from college contacted me the other day, having found me through my ride I think and she was from that general area too. Seeing the name Durham on the sign took me back to a time in the early seventies in Stoke-on-Trent. We had moved from the Cotswolds to Stoke so my mother could pursue a dream of becoming a nurse, be closer to my Grandparents and to give my brother and me a better chance in life by getting a better education. So while my mother studied and survived with two children on a student nurse wage, we had a lodger living at our house. Ian was at college I think and he had a girlfriend (later wife) who was studying to be a midwife like my mum. Anyway Ian was from Durham and had a very distinctive accent unique to those parts. I loved his words or sayings as a kid and often loved to imitate his accent. What I didn’t know was that one phrase I said by mistake often had got stuck into his head. For some reason I used to say Par Cark instead of Car Park (USA = garage) which for some reason made him laugh. I learned a few years later Ian was a policeman and was in court for a serious case he had been working on. During his testimony he had to read his notes from the day and came to a line about apprehending a suspect. Ian told my Mother that he knew what was going happen but couldn’t stop himself saying, ‘As I entered the Par Cark, I saw the defendant etc etc etc’. It is funny that my phrase had stuck in his head and how the name Durham today had stuck in mine.

 

 

It sometimes seems for ever now since we left LA or climbed the mountains into Flagstaff. Literally, we have come a long way since then. I think that during one of our next couple of rides we are officially half way across America which is quite something now that I think about it.

 

I guess we will now start to wish the ride would continue rather than wishing it to end. It is funny that we have already gotten into a routine which allows us to keep on riding almost every day. I know I can not wait to get back to some good and varied food yet I do love the fact that I have not seen any TV at all since leaving Manhattan Beach, CA. It really makes me wonder now how people can or want to start their day watching presenters ranting and raving on TV all morning. I have to think I am so more relaxed, calm and friendly starting my day with a quiet breakfast and then ease into a bike ride. It really doesn’t help my day to start off with murders, corruption or breaking news of some non dramatic event now turned into a must watch TV event. Nope I feel great living a few weeks in peace and highly recommend it.

 

Another thing that is starting to make me think and I am being asked more now is, ‘What are you going to do after this’? I think the difficult thing in this question is the realization that this will end and for almost a year I have never actually thought past Boston. These and other questions I am sure will be thought about and answered as we move closer to the East coast over the next 3 1/2 weeks.

 

Deirdre arrived carrying a bag of supplies and ready to return with all my now unwanted or not necessary stuff! I kid with everyone that my two CrossRoads duffle bags are the magic Harry Potter Hogwarts ones. I can keep putting more and more into them and yet I still have room. In reality they are really way too full and have quite a few things that now I know are really not useful.

 

 

So tomorrow we have a car and I am sure we will be out and about for a change of pace and in search of some chamois cream to make life just that little bit better. One thing is for certain, tomorrow will pass far to quickly and it will then be back onto Irma again to start the second half of our journey to Boston.

Day 23 McPherson, KS to Abilene, KS.

62.58 miles