The day started off well. Early up with the sun, with a fellow bike enthusiast and his two little dogs stopping by to check out the trike as I was breaking camp. Was hoping to make Concordia by the end of the day, but breakfast up the street at a local diner led to one conversation after another… and I didn’t get out of Paul’s Diner until past 10:00am, but still wanted to swing by the office of the Smith County Pioneer. So I pedaled into town, only to be told by Linda Levin their photographer was out. Then in walked Linda’s husband (who I had met at the diner just moments before, and had happened to take some pictures of the trike), so that took care of that.
On my way out of town, stopped at a convenience store to fill up my water bladders and up drives Alvin Devlin, who I’d also met at the diner (where he was telling me about a major wind project Smith County was developing). He wanted me to meet Smith Center Economic Development Director Pam Barta and drove me back into town to her office. After our video interview, Pam then invited me to speak at the monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheon, taking place 10 minutes later, which I was happy to do. Didn’t get out of town until after 1:00pm, with 60 miles to knock out. So much for my early start.
Don’t know if it was the late start, or just the miles catching up with me, but had a really rough ride day today. Low energy and not feeling particularly strong. Runners call it “hitting the wall.” Three and a half hours later, I limp into Mankato, hoping some food might give me a boost. First I stopped by the Jewell County Record, where they took a shot of the trike. Then I pedaled down the alley to a local diner to try and reenergize with some food.
When the proprietor saw my bike, she asked where I was riding. When I told her Washington, DC, she laughed out loud. Then she asked when I expected to arrive, and when I told her that, she guffawed again. I finished my meal, silently thanking her for the motivation, and knocked out the next 30 miles to Belleville in record time. More hawk sightings. Busted through the wall today, logging 64 miles in 6 hours of riding, but am still looking forward to some rest and recuperation this weekend.
Small town Kansas really has it going. I’m writing this from a free (yes, such things still exist) campground on the outskirts of Belleville, KS, where I just enjoyed a hot (yes, hot) shower. I needed it, after today’s ride.