Sunday, May 08, 2011

May in Kansas

On the Road, Kansas, USA.

I'm trying to get more posts up for you, Gentler Reader of This Blog, but rain and then Little Egypt catching me before I'm able to get out the door on the bike--usually she's got some kind of domestic chore or something like that--has often thrown a wrench in my plans.

I'm the kind of person that does chores a little every evening, during the week so that when the weekend rolls around I can be out on the bike all day. Little Egypt does not operate that way--so what I must do is have everything ready to go the night before, and then slip out at 6 or 7 am. I get back 40 miles later just as she's waking up. You guys know what I mean, right?

Early May Morning in Kansas--arm warmers required for the first few miles.

I had a bike fit for the Mighty Trek recently too, as I was having some knee problems--that came to a head on the 200 KM Casa Grande I rode in January. I've also had on-going sit bone problems but just rode through the discomfort. So the lads down at the local bike shop offered me a fit about 50% off and I went in. I have to say that the last fit was for my LeMond, which Trek replaced after I found the crack on the bottom bracket--so this fit was for the Mighty Trek--and much needed I felt. Of course, all the expensive light weight saddle posts and saddles fit awesome. But with some work, my trusty Brooks and seat post came through for me. I needed the saddle lower and my cleats adjusted. Also got a shorter stem which got me in the right position on this bike from the LeMond. This Sunday Morning in May, I got to go out and see if the fit was going to work--happy to report it did, and I recommend you get a professional fit when you are able.

On the Bike and Running Path to Clinton Lake.

Got up at Dawn's Early Light and slipped away without so much as a clip-in-snap to the pedals, mes amis. I got some recon from the bike shop boys--sprinted down what is usually busy 31st Street (deserted this morning) and headed to the start of the trail that would head West out to Clinton Lake.

Bike Path that cuts through some remote farmland. Reminds me of the River Bike Path of my home back in Tucson...

This path is lush and green, and took me through some farmland on the outskirts of Lawrence. Then it cuts through some new housing developments--sprawl even in Kansas--and that's where I met up with Ron. The bike shop guys told me to keep to the right when on the bike path, but I came across several forks in the path where right looked like it would back-track, and I had no idea how to go. I saw a cyclist coming up, stopped him to ask for directions--and in typical Lawrence cyclist style, he says, "He I'm going out that way! Ride with me and I'll show you the way!" Hey is that great luck or what?

The Bike Path follows the spillway of the Clinton Lake Dam.

Ron will take me out to Clinton Lake, and then we'll ride on to Lone Star Lake--a route I know well. As we ride, Ron and I discover we have a lot in common--besides our love for riding, he's just moved to Interzone himself. We've both put on a few pounds since our arrival. Ron's from Florida and used to the heat like me. Both of us are about the same age--and both starting new jobs. Best thing is that Ron is about a step-up in fitness than I am, so I have to work to keep up with his pace--this will be a good workout!

Ron and I take on the hills this morning--the wind has not shown up yet, thank goodness!

Ron is an endearing, cheerful and motivated fellow, and we're going to be pals I know! Like me, he's carrying that extra weight, but we are really moving along--he drops me on a few of the big climbs. As there seems to be no wind heading out to Lone Star, we make fast time of the trip to the lake.

On the Dam on Lone Star.

Turkey Vultures, or Buzzards--what ever you want to call them--seem relaxed and indifferent to us riding by.

I tell Ron about the route that was shown to me by the last cyclist I met up with, and we decide to take that course back to add on some more miles. We'll have some climbing and then some fast downhill to get us back.

On the road, heading back toward the city of Lawrence.

This part of Kansas is not that flat--there's some long climbs--and the wind has picked up and coming at us from the East--this is an odd direction and can only mean one thing--more rain on the way for the week!

Taking my turn pulling in the headwind!

Ron is going to get me back into town and then I'll ride in on Interstate 40, which is 6th Street. There's a wide sidewalk which is designated bike lane, but Ron tells me he's not sure how long it goes East on 6th. Its Sunday morning and I'll probably be okay as traffic will be light for this cross town part.

You can see the bike path on the far right, going into town.

Ron rides with me a ways on the 6th Street Bike Path, and then he heads home. I have to ride on the road with traffic, which is okay except for now at about 10 am, the head wind is awake and stretching--and is grumpy! And I have to pretty much climb back into the city. Eventually I'm in the older part of Lawrence and the trees block the wind. I zip down into and onto Old Historic Massachusetts Ave, which just a few clicks from the Little House--and I'm home free!

My street, in the heart of Interzone...

Time for a quick shower before the gang wakes up, and then sleep while Little Egypt finally gets into the shower herself, makes coffee, and starts to plan my day.

Cheers! Bruce

1 comment:

Sir Bikesalot said...

Ah the trials of being married to a non-cyclist. I know them well! Of course during the summer I'll be waking up early anyway.