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Day #34

I’m in Pittsburg, Kansas. 2 nights ago I slept in the park of Ash Grove, MO. I shared the space with Rocco–another cross-country cyclist going from San Diego, CA –> east. Check out his site at: whereisrocco.blogspot.com. Also, shout out to Turner–a local of Ash Grove; thanks for the great chat, man!

The next morning I biked from Ash Grove, MO and crossed the border into Kansas just before reaching Pittsburg–a 70 mile distance (which is pretty much my longest mileage for a day). I also accidentally left my iDEN/GPS tracking cell phone charging back in Ash Grove, so that tacked on another 10 miles to make 80 miles–certainly my longest distance. Regardless, I surprised myself by making it to Pittsburg with a few hours to spare. Now that the terrain is leveling out, I expect to make at least a few days in the next week >100 miles.

On my way out of Ash Grove, I met a couple britts riding tandem + sag west -> east on the TransAm–the first cyclists I’ve met who’ve come down from Oregon. Check out their site at britsacrossamerica.co.uk.

Right before I got into Kansas, my body was feeling the toll of the miles. The heat had drained me of energy, my muscles were sore, my knees were aching, and (on top of all that) my stomach was sour. I stopped into the gas station just before the Kansas border to sit down for a bit in the A/C. The shop owners gave me an alka seltzer at no charge, water, ice, a nice chat, and $20–which up’d my cash donations up to $68. I checked my paypal last night, and discovered (much to my surprise) that I’d collected 4 donations totaling to $57.01–bringing my total raised for this trip to to $125.01! It doesn’t stand up next to these MS guys’ $90,000-ish, but I’m pretty excited; it’ll pay for a week’s worth of food, at least. Thanks again to all who donated!

As soon as I got to Pittsburg, I was chased down by a Minivan Mom holding a large, sweating, ice-cold gatoraid bottle out the window. She said she saw me biking a while back, and went to the store to get it for me. 4 miles into Kansas, and I’m already loving this place!

Will (my motorcycle buddy who did the Iron Butt to Pittsburg, KS from Atlanta, GA yesterday) didn’t meet up with me at the hotel until midnight, and we didn’t get up until about 10:30, so I just took the day off. After he left to head back home, I hit up the local bicycle shop to get my rear wheel looked at, my set screws readjusted, and (most importantly) to get some Chamois Butt’r.

While at the shop, I ran into 3 cross country cyclists in a group of 26 biking across the nation to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. They were all staying at the Pittsburg Middle School, so I biked over there and introduced myself to everyone. They have a sag wagon, and their bikes weigh 1/3-1/4 of mine, but I’m going to try to stick with these guys. They already have 2 additional tag-along cyclists, and if they can do it, I’ll do my best to keep up. Check out their website at BikeTheUsForMS.org.

When I first got to Demascus, VA (the city where I joined up with the TransAmerica trail), I went straight into Sundog Outfitter. When I asked about the trail route, I was informed that their owner just took off on the trail the day before. Interestingly enough, I just met that shop owner tonight. His name is Pepper; he’s been tagging along with these MS guys since mid-Kentucky.

The other tag-along is an older guy raising money for diabetes. Check out his website at pedalaround.blogspot.com.

2 days ago my 12-volt charger for my iDEN/GPS cell phone (which plugs into my solar panel) ripped apart. Thankfully, there was a Sprint store right across from the hotel I stayed in last night which surprisingly had the cable I needed. It costed $30, but it’s slightly more rugged-looking, and it’s worth it to keep my “Our Current Location” page alive.

Here’s the photos I collected through Missouri:

2 comments to Day #34

  • Allison

    YOU ROCK!!! I just left you a donation…..I want you to know how amazing I think your trip is – and how envious I am of such a cool adventure. I’ve got friends in Ft. Collins, CO (too far north?) and in St. George, UT that would be happy to house you if you pass through. They’re both super active and I’m sure would be thrilled to help out a transient dirt-bag adventurer :)

    • Anonymous

      @Allison thanks so much for the donation! As for the friends, if they’re within 2 miles of the route, OK–but otherwise it’s too far; I’m really just trying to stick with these MS guys, now…they get some pretty good hook-ups, they push me that extra 40 miles/day, and I definitely don’t want to loose them…

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