Waking up and looking at the weather forecast we knew we were in for a long tough day. We were going to face 10-15mph winds from the north east. Not a direct head wind, but enough that it was going to make the going tough.
We got on the road and it didn’t take long to figure out that pace line was going to be our M.O. for the day. Started taking turns pulling a couple miles at a time, but that didn’t last long before we were switching every mile. The wind was going to make us work hard for every mile we gained.
We stopped frequently and took breaks. It was too hard fighting the wind to also take in enough calories and fluid. Plus giving the legs a like rest was needed to. Despite all of this we were putting steady miles behind us. The riding was uneventful but pretty. About mid afternoon I suddenly lost my legs. I was riding along great and then in the course of my next to turns in front I started struggling, and that was it, I couldn’t hold on and quickly dropped back.
Jr saw me, and slowed down to wait. He rode in lead for a while and patiently leaf me along. We eventually came to a nice shady place and stopped to rest in the grass. We both realized I had low blood sugar and needed to eat. I was concentrating so much on pushing through the wind that I had stopped eating.
So while we rested there I ate everything I had that didn’t need cooking. While I was eating I made a new friend. A little butterfly joined me and stated with me whole half hour we were there. He was never more than 12 inches away from me. First he was on my back, then the grass beside me, then my crackers, then my knee, my hand, my foot… When it was time to move on I was sad to say good bye. I took over near some bushes and gently coaxed him into them.
Once we were back on the road my strength steadily returned, and I started taking my turn at the front again. And it pace puked back up. We ride about another 15 miles before coming into Clay Center, where we stopped for dinner.
While eating we were looking at map of where we were going. We were going to get in another 20+ miles, and realized if we did 40 more we could stay in a hotel. It had been several days since we had last showered, washed clothes, etc. And since we wouldn’t have to find spot to camp, set up, and cook we could use that extra time to ride. A hot shower was too good too pass up so we decided to try for it.
We got back on the road and steadily ground out the miles. The sun was slowly setting, and we pulled over and turned on our flashing lights, and continued on. As the last daylight faded we reached the outskirts of Manhattan. Manhattan, Kansas that is. Our hotel was on far side of town, so had to ride a couple miles after dark, but there were now street lights in addition to our bike lights and we made it there safely.
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