Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wind and Rain and Riding the Bike

Here comes some Weather!

Kansas is hot and muggy--and there seems to be this engine that powers storms coming in from the South East, mes amis. This means riding out in the Wilds into a strong and fierce head wind. I got out early and the air was still, but as I started home, man could I ever feel and smell the change--and then see the air and sun and everything get ready for a big Summer Storm!

Pat, long-time Kansas Cyclist. We ride out to Lone Star Lake.

I've seen Pat out on the roads this summer, and by chance we were going the same way this time--so I joined in and we were both happy to ride together this hot muggy morning. Pat is training for a ride from Prague to Budapest in early September.

It was my good fortune to meet Pat, Gentle Readers of This Blog, as he answered all my questions about routes and roads and places to go--see I am slowly but surely extending my rides from 30 miles to 40 miles to 50 miles--and soon I hope to be back into Randonneur form by riding century rides on the weekends like the old days in Arizona.

I am planning a ride up to the Family Homestead of Highland, Kansas Territory when Summer starts to cool. That would be where Great Great Grandfather Joseph Chandler moved from Lebanon, Kentucky to Kansas Territory in the 1850's. My Great Grandfather, also named Bruce, was born in Highland in 1862--and we were born 100 years apart almost to the day.

This is from the top of the Clinton Lake Dam, looking East.

Pat took me on some hills he uses to train, and these are climbs up to the road that will take us up on the Clinton Lake Dam. Traffic is light and we make some good time on our way back to Interzone--and Pat gives me some good information about rides out to other parts of the county from where we are.

As it is now, I'm finding routes that will pretty much take me on a perimeter ride around Douglas County--with stops in pre-Civil War Free and Slave Kansas Territory. I'm excited about what I'll be able to accomplish, mes amis!

I find a new and fast way short-cut back into town via Hwy K-10.

Pat tells me I can get back to my neck of the woods by taking K-10 East and getting off at the Hwy 59 Exit (that you see up above in the photo) K-10 is sort of like riding on Oracle Rd back in Tucson. There's a good shoulder to ride on, but really it's no frills--just a fast short cut on a busy hwy--when you need to get back into Lawrence and ride across the county--this is the route to take in a pinch.

I did see another hardy rider going the other direction, and he seemed to of the disposition that things was okay riding on K-10. That bloke had an awesome tail wind I'm sure--I on the other hand had a hot brutal headwind. It was a tough one. I was sweating like a pig on a Kansas Territory Farm around supper-time!

On K-10... riding home to make a 45 mile trek through the Wilds.

Rain was in the air, mes amis--a body could smell it--and see it--coming like a herd of grey-blue buffalo over the Green Wilds!

Thunder and lighting on my heels, Gentle Reader of This Blog!

It's one thing to be chased down by a bunch of Type-A Triathletes from Lone Star Lake, but some serious kick-ass rain and wind about to stomp you is more serious. A few rain drop zing past and over my shoulder--but those only count if they hit me so goes my rule. I get back to the Little House and have a few minutes before the storm lets loose the down pour. While I wait and put away the bike--sweat pouring out of me as its so humid--a bright flash and loud sudden crack of thunder lets me know who's boss!

Cheers! Bruce

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