Abilene, KS to Topeka, KS

105.6 miles

So unfortunately this is another one of those, I have to make this quick posts. Today’s ride was long, hot and to be honest tiring. However I also have to say it was a beautiful day, scenic ride and quiet roads so all in all another good day now its over.

After our day off and a chance to see Deirdre it was back on the road all to quickly this morning. Now with professionally packed bags and some new clothing brought in from my own personal support team (wife) I set out from Abilene bright and early. Dressed today in a Jersey designed and given to me by my nephew Tom, I played wingman to Texas Terry for the first 30 miles. Terry and I both took it in turns to pull for a mile and we were moving along at a nice clip. As we got closer to the SAG stop at 36 miles in White City we found more and more small hills which as all of you by now know is where I then lose Terry or other stronger riders quite often. Today was no different and Terrry, then Mike Two edged further and further ahead. I could see them both in front of me as we came to the SAG and I noticed Mike Two pointing at the road, a signal usually indicating poor road surface or railroad tracks etc.. I approached where he had pointed and didn’t see anything until I then saw a black line. The black line moved and it then became a snake. I stopped and turned around to check out this 5-6 feet guy crossing the warm road in the early morning sun. He stopped to get his picture taken and I duly obliged and then we both headed our own separate ways.

The next 40 miles seemed a long way without another SAG. I carry three water bottles and to be honest only just had enough water to get me to the garage at 76 miles. In hindsight I think another SAG might have been useful at say around 55-60 miles and then let us use the garage also ourselves but that didn’t happen so to be honest doesn’t really matter now. The sun was heating up the day and the crosswinds and now many small hills were making it a real ride that starts to become harder as it goes on. On the road here somewhere I noticed a few people had carved wooden figures on their properties. First I noticed a row of animal figures on fence posts, some painted some not. Then further on there was another series of characters on posts and finally all around someone’s yard. In the middle of nowhere Kansas there lives an animal wood carver, I wish I would have had time to stop to find out who, why and how but the ride was too long to stop today.

After SAG two at the garage after 76 miles completed I found it hard. It seemed like my body was just not right which seemed to start to make my mind become a little negative. I know this is not me and so try my best to always fight it, yet it can get difficult. It is as if this is when I feel its unfair to have a cancer and then all the negative thoughts associated to that. I know it doesn’t last and that in all honesty I am actually lucky to have one that still allows me to attempt something like this ride. However for about 15 miles I rode in my own little cloud on a clear and by now hot day. The cloud lifted after I had been sat inside Sommerset Hall Cafe in Dover, KS for 30 minutes and eaten some lemon meringue pie from this award winning store. Apparently Norma Grubb won a Best Slice Challenge in 2008 for the best pie in America with her coconut cream pie. Anyway today the lemon meringue pie did the trick for me and restored some brightness. Out of the shop and back on the road I managed the final 14 miles to the hotel in far better spirits to arrive at the end of another century ride.

I did have to laugh when I was thinking of being really tired as I remembered falling asleep on a tube train in the UK once. It was when I was preparing for our final exhibition and catwalk show at Harrow College of Art fashion program. After weeks of work trying to get six complete outfits designed and made for a fashion show held at The Park Lane Hotel in London I was tired. On this day I needed to get something from a shop in central London so headed there on the underground train. Having bought whatever it was I needed and battled with all the busy commuter traffic I managed to find a seat on a train headed back out to Harrow. I think it must have been the relief of sitting and getting what I needed but I fell asleep for maybe 40 minutes on the train which I had never done and often smiled as I had seen others dose off on the trains. I woke and opened my eyes with my head facing down to the ground. As my eyes focused all I could see was a damp patch on my chest obviously caused by ‘sleep dribble’ if that is actually a term. I slowly looked up at the two strangers faces sat opposite me only to find them smiling having probably been quite entertained by my fatigue for the past few minutes. Oh well I managed to survive the tiredness back then and completed by degree with honors and today I got through the tiredness thanks to some pie.

We actually passed the half-way point today but for some reason CrossRoads didn’t seem to do anything to mark the occasion. So I will have to just live with the fact that a snake decided to come out and cheer me on past this mid point of our journey. Tomorrow we leave Kansas and enter Missouri a state I have never been to before so another first as we head to St. Joseph, MO.