Ty's Ride for the Cure

Los Angeles-Boston





Day 26-Abilene, KS to Topeka, KS

105.4 miles official miles (it's always more)

6:58 bike time

6,000 feet of climbing

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Last night we ate fried chicken at this restaurant in Abilene.  You didn’t order when you went in.  They had one menu at a fixed price and all you ordered were your drinks.  I believe the French call this prix-fixe.  We got candied apple slices, cottage cheese, cole slaw, fried chicken and heaps of mashed potatoes and bread.  They just kept bringing more as you ate.  It was crowded and the food was absolutely incredible.  We ate lots.

Today was such an eventful day.  Eventful, yes that’s the word I think I will chose.  It was a tough biking day, although the terrain was absolutely gorgeous.  When I think about Kansas I always picture Western Kansas where the terrain is farm after farm after farm.  Eastern Kansas looks a little like you might picture Kentucky.  It is rolling hill after hill after hill after…ok you get the picture.  It is natural grassland and I saw hundreds of horses and lots of T-bones on the hoof.  This part of Kansas is picturesque and really peaceful.  There were a lot of nice homes, white fences and old barns.  The small towns have cobblestone streets and everything is so neat.  Everyone in Kansas is so friendly.  When I picture how I would like to see all of America, I picture Kansas.

It was a tough day with 105 miles logged in 95 degree heat with lots of climbing.  We climbed over 6,000 feet.  Only about 11 or 12 riders made it the entire way.  Perseverance was critical.  We stopped and had lunch in Eskridge at about the 75 mile point.  None of our group felt we could finish without some nourishment so we had a few glasses of beer and some hot wings.  Just kidding!  Actually we just had some great burgers and lots of water and tea.  We also had our picture taken for the proprietor’s website, although I haven’t been able to find it with Google.  We are probably the most exciting thing to hit town for a while.  Eskridge is located in the Flint Hills of Kansas and is known for its large quantity of shorthorn cattle.  That’s about all there is about Eskridge.

Our route today consisted of nothing other than country roads.  We stayed off the main highway and didn’t see a sign for Topeka for 80 miles or so.  There was a time when I wondered if we were lost again.  You can’t see Topeka until you are in it.  The name "Topeka" comes from a Kansas tribal word meaning "a good place to dig potatoes". Potatoes in this case referring to the prairie potato.  I don’t think I’ll dig any potatoes, because I’m too tired.  Of course I could always boil them in my water bottle.  I am sure the water in it was hot enough.  That is today’s history lesson.  Topeka has about 125,000 people.  Tonight is our last night in Kansas.  Tomorrow is Missouri.  Missouri has more hills.  If you flattened it, it would be larger than Texas.

Yes, I did finish the course today.  I brought my cell phone with me and gave Rush a quick call at the rest stop to see if he could have some of that Oxycodin stuff I’m hearing so much about sent out to me.  He mentioned something about the Feds having confiscated all of his stash, so I just used a lot of Ibuprofen.  At the ten mile point I contemplated bagging the day.  I have the back problem isolated, but not the solution.  Hmmm…..sounds like work. 

Things would have been just great if I hadn’t had another spill.  This one was fairly entertaining to watch from behind me.  We were only about a quarter of a mile from the hotel and there was a huge crack in the pavement.  My bike tire caught the groove at 15 mph and I did a nice little head over heels flip.  I got a little or a lot banged up depending on your definition.  I hurt my arm and wrist, but I know I will be going tomorrow if I have to push my bike.  Once you start sagging and giving in, it’s over.  I think one of my traits is that I’m really good at falling (you can read this however you want).  Instead of a flat pool, I think I’m going to start a crash pool.  We’ve had five spills and I have three of them.  Say it ain’t so.

Signing off…….. 

Ty at the halfway point.
Eric, Jim H, Gil, Elmer and Ty at 1697 marker.
Now that is a punctuation mark. Photo courtesy of Smith & Wesson.
Elmer in White City. Since he is the only one at this point in White City, I guess it is white city.
Kansas prairie grass. In the East it is tall prairie grass and short in the West.
Eastern Kansas countryside. Farm living is the life for me.
This was the beginning of the rolling hills. At this time we still thought they were pretty.
We heard that we were supposed to bring our bikes. Who knew?.
This is a great old barn.