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Day #37

I’m in Dighton, KS. Today the MS group (and myself) started in Larned, and we’re headed to Scott City–a ~120 mile trek! I only have another 20 miles to go, and got here just before 5. We were going to shoot for 150+ miles, but the crosswind today is killer (though, there were a couple guys who got up early enough to make that mark). I got in 60 miles by noon, so I’m pretty satisfied with my ability to keep up with these MS guys (they’re pretty impressed too :D).

All these miles, and I’m feeling a bit sick. I had a bit too much to drink yesterday, and (on top of that) I woke up with a cough & sore throat–something that’s spreading around the entire MS group. Still, we’re able to crank out the miles. If anything, it encourages me drink more water.

Today was the first time I thought I might get mugged. I’ve been taking the lane all day on these long, flat slashed yellow roads so that cars know to give me the WHOLE lane for my safety. Unfortunately, about 10% of the drivers out here don’t like having to pass cyclists not riding in the rubbish-ridden, narrow shoulders. I’ve been honked at all day, but the fact of the matter is that I’ve been given more of a buffer (on average) than any of the other guys riding in the shoulder.

The first bad incident I had was with a 16 wheeler who leaned on his horn for a good minute as he came up behind me, but refused to pass me in the other lane. After he slowed to my speed, he carefully passed me as close as possible, yelling “get the fuck off the road!” as he passed. I exchanged similar gestures of disapproval.

About 40 miles later, a guy in a black SUV also leaned on his horn–passing me with little buffer. After I gave him the finger, he stopped in the middle of the road ahead of me ~20 yards. It was a bit awkward, but I rode on past him. As I was passing him, he called me an idiot. I wanted to explain to him that he was driving on a hugely popular cycling route, and that I was taking the lane for my safety, but he just sped off like a child.

When I met up with some of the MS cyclists just before 5:00, they told me that a driver flagged them down, said he saw the incident, got the guy’s information, and called the cops on him. I hope they fine the shit out of him and EXPLAIN to him that the roads are for BOTH cars *and* cyclists.

Looks like I’ll be passing into another timezone tomorrow, and (The Wizard of Oz jokes aside) I’ll be entering Colorado. These guys are aiming to hit Pueblo for the 4th of July, but it turns out they do their celebration on the 3rd–which we surely won’t make.

8 comments to Day #37

  • Dad

    Be VERY careful with those drivers. Some can be a-holes but remember that they (their rigs) are MUCH bigger than you and your bicycle. BTW, they have 18 wheels, hence are called 18 wheelers, not 16.

    Keep on bike-in…

    LOVE,
    DAD

  • Eric

    So you know if you begin to feel sick (lightheaded, sick to stomach, weak muscles or muscle aches, etc) after a long day of biking it may be due to low electrolytes in your system from flushing it with all the water you need. At the end of the long days like you did I would suggest a liter or so of half strength (use half as much as the powder packages suggest for your water quantity) gatorade/powerade/energy drink to get your vitamins back in balance. I used to get sick like that all the time from a day of 12+ liters of water until I learned that trick.

    Also good work with keeping up with the group you are with. Obviously they are pushing you hard but you are much safer with a group such as them and should be well set all the way to San Fran. Not to mention the possibility of finishing August 1st and getting back to school for fall semester.

    Keep it up! You’re doing great.

    • Anonymous

      thanks. I’ve actually been feeling extremely sluggish today, and (now that I think about it), I’ve only been drinking water my whole time in Kansas. *downs a gatorade* –hopefully that’ll help (though we’re only doing 50 miles today).

  • Faith

    Yay! You’re alive!

  • Cindy

    Keeping up with you, I’m glad things are good!
    Stay well.

  • Kirk

    I have a couple of photos for you. What’s your e-mail address? I couldn’t find it on your page.

  • mom

    I’m very proud of you. Jealous about the views but not the heat. Please keep hydrated and your electolytes up. Love ya.
    Mom

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