Saturday, August 06, 2011

Tonganoxie via Chieftain Hwy

The heat wave has been quite severe here in Kansas the last few weeks.

This weekend I had Friday Saturday Sunday off--I was ready to set out Friday but thunderstorms keep me in all day. With a heat wave that had temps up to 114 degrees, there was little to do but stay indoors and try to keep cool. Rain and much needed rain, Gentle Readers of This Blog came and gave some relief!

I got this feeling someone was creeping up behind me.

I set off early--Little Egypt had Nat'l Guard drill, so I waited for her to be out the door before I took off myself. While I stopped to adjust my new brakes a bit--caught this curious fox checking things out.

Old Downtown in the morning rain. Thunderstorms were on the way but I really needed to get out and ride--you know the feeling mes amis! Rain or no--I'm on the road.

Slumlords have been getting things ready for the students, their main customers, whom will be arriving in a week or so.

The Kansas River.

Point of no return!

I'll be riding up to Tonganoxie via Hwy 40/24 or the Old Chieftain Hwy. It's the most direct route and I want to see how fast I can go--intel was that it was not the best road as traffic zooms past at 65 mph. There's a bit of a shoulder but as I got on the road, there was little traffic and I was okay with the shoulder.

Chieftain Hwy heading Northeast

Rain in the Face.

As I got going the rain and wind picked up. It's been so hot here I didn't mind. The air was cool--but I could taste the sweat on my lips--although it was raining, I was working pretty hard. I also noticed a lot more traffic coming back into Lawrence on this Hwy--that's what people told me--so I will opt for another route back like they suggested.

Farmland mostly between here and there.

Tonganoxie--obviously now turning into a suburb of Kansas City.

West End Cafe, and breakfast with the Leavenworth Bike Club!

I look for a place to stop at a cafe or somewhere to get out of the rain. I'm soaked and dirty from the storm I've ridden through--by chance I see a group of cyclist just going into a cafe--I quickly follow them in. They let me sit with them and I get intel about my route out to Basehor (where I have a job interview at the public library) and we have a nice chat about cycling and my route home. They are from the Leavenworth Bike Club, and a hardy bunch as well! They have missed out on the rain as they're dry and clean, whereas I'm still dripping wet. The hot coffee warms me up.

A fast seven miles to Basehor from Tonganoxie with the pack.

The group decides to guide me to Basehor, Kansas to the library where I'll have the interview. I'm glad they did because my planned route on Hwy 24 would have been a bit dangerous. They'll go the back way through Basehor and then on back up to Leavenworth.

Members of the Leavenworth Bike Club.

It was my good fortune to meet these riders. They were a great bunch of people and they invited me to ride with them again soon. Two of the gentlemen, Ted and Ted (there's Ted, Ted, Bill, Mike, and Rosie) did the recent Ride Across Kansas. They actually rode out to Colorado--across Kansas--to then do the Ride Across Kansas. Allure Libre! These are guys I want to ride with, mes amis!

On my way for a great ride home on good roads.

At the Basehor Library, where I hope to gain some part-time work as a Librarian, I went in and looked over some detailed county maps for my ride back. Some bridges were out so I had to be sure I got on the right road heading West then South, back to Hwy 32 to head West to Hwy 24 and back into Lawrence.

On county roads.

Muggy and now getting hot, mes amis!

I climbed into Tonga--now I have a fast descent--time to hammer and get some speed and distance.

I ride 22 mph for about six miles back to the Chieftain Hwy--

I'm glad the sign was still up because I did not want to miss this turn.

I'm back on 24 for just about a mile then I will turn left on County Rd 1. This road will take me South and over Interstate 70--then on to Hwy 32 which I'll ride West back to Lawrence.

The cows are coming home, and so am I


Gentle Readers of This Blog by now where you see I'm about to head West on 32 it's well over 100 degrees! And very muggy too! I spent a lot of time having breakfast with the Bike Club, and in the library--which was brand-new and very nice. Wish me luck getting a job there, mes amis!

That was a ride! Fast and with a tailwind--but so hot! I make a left and then I'm about seven miles North of Old Downtown.

Bone-Shaking Ceremonious Finish.

My ride ended up being right at 57 miles--and to tell the truth, I felt pretty good after despite the climb, the wind, the rain, and the heat at the finish. I drank plenty of water--but should have taken a bit more food. I felt like I was going to bonk as I was getting hungry.

At the tail end, to avoid busy morning traffic, I took the back way through Old East Lawrence.

Yeah, I know--over the bricks back to the Little House.

Cheers! Bruce

1 comment:

Big Oak said...

Good Luck on your interview!

US 24 is only 7 miles from my house, and I travel it a few times to near its end in Toledo, OH. I never realized it went that far west, but looking on a map, I can see it goes into Colorado.

24 is too busy around here, too, to be considered a safe road to ride.