Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Land of The Wind People

We Respect the Wind.  The Wind is Our Friend
I wanted to go out and get in a ride before Sunday's rain--and to check over again my Garmin.  I am liking the Garmin Edge 800--I would say that the screen is a bit tricky to read while on the bike--but really I like the cadence and HR and my hope is that it gives me some idea as to performance: am I improving?  I think it will certainly motivate me!

After getting dropped Saturday I just wanted to do a bit of a recovery ride--and not forget why I love cycling.  Getting out on the road, in the country, and letting the mind empty out and merge with the bike and the scenery.  The Saturday morning rides are a bit of a pissing contest, and I see that many in our group won't come out because, well, some of our guys try to head out with the local racers and end up they get sucked into their all-out gotta beat you mob mentality.   We don't go slow--but nobody likes to be dropped in the first mile.

Heading East on 15th
Riding out to Eudora, Kansas is a good ride, and a historic ride too.  This is the road that Quantrill's Raiders rode to Lawrence that fateful day back in August of 1862.  400 riders on horseback, heavily armed and stealthily making their way up and around Mt. Oread to attack Lawrence.  I'll take it a few miles until the pavement ends, then ride on the gravel just about three miles until I reach Eudora...  The Raiders were riding West from Eudora--I'm heading East...

The pressure of trying to keep up is gone, and I'm in Allure Libre mode, mes amis.  I'm not getting a headwind or tailwind this morning, but one Hell of a crosswind!

This is looking East to Eudora and I'm about to the edge of the city limits.  Really, I can leave The Little House and in no time it seems everything disappears--no cars or barns or trees or anything--just miles of sleepy seedlings in the ground all around me.  When the Sun finally gets to shine on this place--things will explode into Emerald Green!

Strip Club--still a slight fragrance of vomit and beer about the locale...
This place is infamous and just outside of the city limits--hence the name, "The Outhouse."  I heard that in the 1990s that this was a club that hosted many famous Grunge Bands--in particular Nirvana.  Kurt Cobain visited my neighborhood as William Burroughs lived down the street from The Little House.  Cobain was supposedly a big fan of Burroughs and I can imagine them out on the porch of his little cottage there.

Now this place is a strip club of quite ill-repute.  You pay something like $25.00 to get in and you have to bring your own drink.  Bring money to give to your favorite Dancer, mes amis!  In my past experience, Dancers appreciated that I ironed my one-dollar bills so they'd be nice and crisp.  I mean, if you're going to go to a low-class place at least raise the bar.  (just kidding)  Back in the day, I was also told by many Dancers that they appreciated that I didn't smell bad.  So they sat with me and my friends rather than with the smelly dirty blokes.  They were also less likely to hassle me to buy them a drink (usually $25.00) but I digress...

Really you all, to go to strip clubs you have to have money to burn--a lot of money--to have a good time.  The few times I ever went to strip clubs, it was tagging along.  I never had money to waste and would rather have new bike tires--money for rent and tuition, etc etc.  Once my Tucson buddies took me on whim as it was my birthday.  The Dancers saw that we weren't jerks, and like I said, I didn't smell like diesel fuel and hydrolic fluid--so the Dancers made sure I had a good time.

Well I'm on the gravel and actually riding a good pace--there is a pretty powerful crosswind!

Eudora is right around the corner and then I'll head North and cross the Kansas River.

When I slowed to take the photo for you, Gentle Reader of This Blog, suddenly I had two dogs right on my heels.  But they were happy and wanted to play.  The Pit Bull was actually a very sweet dog--a ferocious bark but a people-person type of dog.  So far I've had pretty good luck with these farm dogs.  Let's hope that holds!

Spring comes to Kansas like a Lion, mes amis--these clouds don't have so much rain in them at the moment, but that move and shuffle have power!  There's a hint of cold, but you can feel the warm as well.  It is a thing you just have to experience yourself, out in the air and on the landscape.

The Indian Tribe that was here when the Whites came were called the Kanza.  I recently learned that they were known as the Wind People.  With all the Whites coming and taking land--and tribes being forced out by treaty, and in the case of the Sax and Fox up in Northeast KS--wiped out by small-pox, I think the Kanza saw what they were up against.  In the mid-1850s, German homesteaders dealt with a Kanza named Fish, and he owned the land that this group of Germans thought would work best for them to start their colony.  The Germans bought the land from Fish, but the story goes that they were quite enamored by Fish's young daughter Eudora Fish.  So they named their settlement after her.

Kansas River, sometimes called Kanza or Kaw.
I didn't ride into Eudora, but instead made a quick turn to head North to Hwy 32.  I crossed the river, the Kansas River, and I like this crossing because I don't believe how the river looks has changed much since even before the 1850s.  Its a quiet and peaceful river here, and still seems wild and free.

Heading North I was on smooth paved road--and enjoyed briefly the might of the morning's Spring energy and glided with the help of an awesome tailwind!

Sunday Paper waits for Old MacDonald on his Farm...
Pretty quick I was at Hwy 32, which is also known as Linwood Scenic Rd or Hwy, as I spied up ahead the Silver Barn on the Northwest Corner of the crossroads.

Looking back East (from the Silver Barn) you can see that the wind and clouds are still stirring things up.  I saw from my Stava, which has maps of other people riding out here, that it appears that blokes take this road out from Kansas City, then head north up to Tonganoxie to circle back into KC.  Sometime I'll just keeping riding East and see where I get, mes amis...  But for now I'm going to start back to Lawrence.

I'm able to ride back at a pretty good clip--but again, I have strong crosswind coming from the South.  You know, since I'm still getting used to the Garmin--I don't seem to really worry about how fast I'm going or my HR or anything.  The screen cycles through its display every for seconds--I know I can lock in to where I want--but I'll get all the data of the ride when I get home and Little Egypt and I are having a cup of coffee.  Its still early in the morning, Gentle Readers of This Blog--I left Old East Lawrence about 7:45 a.m. and I'll be home by half-past nine if things go my way.

Hwy 32 heading West
You can imagine from my photo above those clouds gliding past from left to right.  The wind is blowing, the clouds seem to be at a canter, and I'm riding as close to 90 RPMs as I can.  I wanted to give you this shot before I put the camera away--this is the part of 32 where you can ride fast and enjoy some rollers.  A few tight curves that are a bit of a blind spot to car drivers, so its best to have the camera tucked in the back pocket of my Team Mooney Jersey and rev it up!  Also, that crosswind was giving me a firm shove now and then!

Almost to Old North Lawrence
An old motor lodge from way-back.  That's the main office I suppose, circa 1950, and I don't see that there are any of the smaller little cottages still back there in what appears to have been an RV Park.  All I can tell you is that heading into Lawrence (I have to ride briefly through North Lawrence, which is on the other side of the Kansas River) I rode face-first into a strong headwind--one of the kinds of headwinds where the wind blows the dirt and grit off the road and you hear it ding on your glasses, and feel it in your teeth.  Yeah is was tough and about 25 MPH.

When I got over the bridge and to downtown Lawrence, I tucked into the side streets where the wind was partially blocked.  I had to ride over the brick-laid streets of Old East Lawrence neighborhoods until I popped back onto 15th, with its fresh pavement, and zipped to The Little House!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Cheers!  Bruce

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