I got off to an early start today, and it was a pretty dismal morning – cold, wet and miserable. I made good time though, as the wind wasn’t as bad as it has been over the last couple of days. After the first 5 miles today I turned onto route 47, and stayed on that road for the rest of the day. I think all of the roads in Kansas must have been built after the invention of the car, as they are all layer out in a grid – which makes for dead straight roads. I had a couple of landmarks today – not only did I make it onto a new map today, but it also marks a month since I arrived from the UK.
I had planned on going to Eureka today, but had a look at the maps yesterday and decided to plot my own route across Kansas as the official one takes you out into the middle of nowhere with streches of 60+ miles with no services. I decided that since I’m on my own I’m going to try and keep a bit closer to civilization – even my ‘improved route’ is pretty sparsely populated. This made for a shorter day today, of only about 70 miles, but it sets me up for a couple of long rides covering good miles over the next couple of days. I was riding in the rain all day today, although I managed to keep an average speed of over 15mph for the first time today, and so managed to reach my destination (Fredonia) by 12.00. This ment that I had a pretty relaxed afternoon, and watched the rain outside – hopefully it will have cleared up a bit by tomorrow.
It’s pretty much accepted as fact that Kansas is flat – it didn’t disappoint today, although some of the locals seem really proud of their ‘mountains’ aka ‘The Flint Hills’. I was cycling through these today, and they barely registered after some of the grades I had to deal with in the east. I am reliably informed (by wikipedia) in fact that most scientists rank Kansas somewhere between 20th and 30th flattest state. The owners of the motel I’m staying at tonight say that they have quite a few cyclists come through, so I think that quite a few of the people doing this route must plot their own course like I have.
Miraculously my bike performed really well today, and I didn’t have any problems so hopefully it keeps up the trend! I really want to be able to string two days together without having to stop. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.