#Womens100 day = 100mile challenge for us.

Day 39

Ride Data

Today we woke early though very jaded after last nights shenanigans. Luckily the first 20 miles was a rail to trail which broke us in nicely.

After a disappointing dinner breakfast full of incorrect orders and poorly cooked food we turned onto the road and meet back up with the Trans Am route.

We experience our first American biker bar. Though there was no boozing just snoozing.

As the day progressed we saw a host of wildlife, including a field full of these guys, with the biggest horns we have ever encountered.

Such a beautiful day!! Sam got to draft this beast for a few miles at 20+mph and had the time to snap this pic as he did so!!

The day had 3 long old climbs in a row with no real down hill to speak of. This got us out of east KS and into the flatter west KS. I say flat, but this is not strictly true. KS starts at a few thousand feet and ends at around 5000. I would describe KS as baron rather then flat! And if the wind is blowing the wrong way or the sun is fully out…good luck to ya!

Celebrated our achievement and my first ever century (woohoo) with an American size large banana shake from Sonic.

Arriving late at Gerard to camp in their state park we appreciated this beautiful sunset and said hi to another cyclist heading east who was also camping at the park.

Day 40

Ride Data

The idea was to attempt another big day, so we set off on the flat plains of Kansas.

This morning we met a couple hiking cross country (hard core). Follow them on their journey via their blog.

When we arrived at the Toronto lakes they took our breath away with a pretty sunset reflecting on the water. Although we did have to check out a couple of camp sites before finding one with water. I tell you I have washed in a few odd places on this trip and tonight was no exception with another jut door pump shower, sorry no pic’s 😉

At over 2000 miles in the trip has started to take its tole on our body’s a bit now. My (Andy’s) right ankle is swollen and although ok on the bike i am having issues walking. I am also very tired due to all the 6am starts and the miles and miles of loaded ridding everyday. Alex is also suffering a bit with saddle sores and general fatigue due to the scorching heat (40+ degrees C in the shade, on the reg!) proper rest day needed soon me thinks.

Day 41

Ride Data

Today I saved a little chick from being road kill. It got hit by one car but luckily just rolled in between then I shuffled it off before a huge truck came.

This was a shorter day at 60miles and we just missed the heat by getting up while it was still dark at 5am!!!

After a bite to eat and another open air pump shower we set up camp, listened to some tunes on Sams new speaker and sank a few beers while stretching in this ancient gazebo.

After turning in for the night we got rudely awakened by rain at about 2am and had to quickly work out how to put our rain cover on the new tent.

Day 42

Ride Data

39 miles straight west this morning, without so much as a turn or even a bend in the road!

We got up at 4:45am making it our earliest start yet.

We did 39miles before 10am and arrived in Newton then headed straight for the bike shop.

The owner James and his mechanic Joseph were both super cool and welcoming.

James and his family have been warm shower host for years and decided to start a hostel within his shop. He is hoping to develop bedrooms upstairs by 2014 though he lets you stay inside the shop in the meantime, which was sweet.

Newton town itself is small but there is a community within trying to breathe new life into it. There is a great coffee shop next to the bike shop called Norms. The place is run by local volunteers and is a not for profit business.

Andy got to give his bike a shower which pleased him endlessly.

Whilst we ventured into a interesting antique shop here I relived my youth with some old toys.

And made a new friend.

We relaxed in the evening at a Carribean restaurant and enjoyed a delicious meal.

Day 43

Ride Data

Rose early to heavy rain and decided to pause for coffee and donuts before setting off.

We were going to join the 96 west today and would be on this road for the next 300 miles.

Set off around 9am and made a decision to attempt another 100miler, well why not 🙂

Andy, Sam and myself had a look around an exotic animal farm.

We thought this bird of prey might eat us when we were at our weakest in the sun.

For lunch we stopped at the last chance restaurant.

This has been suitably named since we were about to do a 58mile stretch with no stops.

We started to notice some foul stenches along the road including the depressing feeder farms/lots. If your not sure what they are watch ‘food inc‘.

And the common gas mines.

We were feeling the heat and dreaming of a cold drink only 30 miles in when we stumble upon a road side church with shade and a tap (this was a similar experience as I had in Domfront, France a few years ago with the boys).

When we arrived in Ness city we headed straight to get some food at Subway and sonic (like to think we celebrate in style). Then checked in with the police.

We arrived at the park to find the pool still open, massive bonus!! Also we were happily surprised by west bounders, five of them in total. Two of them were the Portuguese couple Sara and Pedro we had been following down the Atlantic coast. It was great to finally meet them since we had met many of the same people along the route. They are doing the same route though biking all the way to South America! To follow them click here http://nosdebina.com/

There was also Garry, a photograph from Ireland and adventures twins Jo and Tom from Phoenix. 

Day 44

Ride Data Pt1, Ride Data Pt2

We woke late at 7.30am as planned after a long day yesterday. It was great to meet more west bounders, we were beginning to think it was just us.

As we were leaving Ness city a lovely lady named Quen directed us to the best cinnamon rolls in town. Here we shared breakfast with Garry. His purpose of the trip was to build up his photography portfolio and what better way then this?! To follow him click here.

We road on for Ness city in the baking heat of 40+ degrees. This is the downside of having a lie in. We stopped in the ‘rest area’ for a pause and water fight.

When we stopped for lunch this was my ‘salad’, o and I had to ask for the tomatoes as extra 🙁 Looking forward to the west coast delicacies as the mid west diet is getting us both down.

In the afternoon we stopped at a gas station to meet this old time trucker. He labelled us as ‘crazy people’ biking in this heat and I agreed with him.

Finally arrived shattered and ready for food we ate at a local restaurant where we saw the twins. When we arrived at the park there was a baseball tournament taking place so we watched for a while then set up camp. Andy had a shower in the sink in the public toilet and was startled by a young lad bursting in, I think they will both have nightmares for a while…

Day 45

Ride Data

Early 5am start for us! When we climbed out of our nest to find the tree beside us had a huge branch break off on the night. Note to self never pitch tent under trees!

We had a 30mile stretch with no stops. A huge saddle sore had developed in the evening after the last two days. So stood up riding for the morning, not cool.

We stopped at a garage in Daighton and caught up with the others. Here we enjoyed a brief snack and I realised I couldn’t even sit down properly. We got talking to a guy called Cliff who offered to take us down the road. Since the wind was picking up and my bottom had a huge golf ball developing under the skin we took him up on the offer. Cliff, if your reading this thanks again and hope the blind date went well!

We arrived in Scott city and hit the pool ASAP.

We were just about to set up camp when  Sam came over to tell us he and Garry had sorted us out a place to stay in a church recreation center, Area 96.

We headed to Dairy Queen to get a shake and here we met a fellow female tourer Jess. She was cycling to raise awareness of childhood obesity. You can follow her here.

Day 46

Due to my painful saddle sore we have taken a zero in Scott city. We woke late and headed to the store to get provisions for the day. Headed to the Laundromat here I met three construction gents and a lovely female store manager that I shared our story with. I got to brush up on my cooking skills for the first time in a while.

Sara, the fountain of knowledge, informed me about Calmoseptine which is the only remedy that has started to reduce the swelling.

Taking a zero is a good time to recharge for all of us and after a few games of pool we hit the hay hoping to all feel better in the morning.

Day 47

The temperature has dropped and we have easterly winds all ready to go. Oh no we are not, I feel worse and can’t sit in my saddle. One more zero day, luckily area 96 generously let us stay longer. We watched some old movies and I started to feel feverish and had a painful migraine.

So I ended up here.

I met a lovely doctor called Simon who confirmed saddle sore was in fact a cyst 🙁 and gave me two options for treatment…The first was to have it lanced and drained the other was a course of antibiotics. I took the pills option. This unfortunately means we will be off the road for a while…Keep you posted.

Day 48

So unfortunately looks like we shall be resting for a few more days here in Scott City KS. Luckily we met Cheryl and Bob that organised for us to stay in Area 96, so at least we had a roof and entertainment.

To be honest we haven’t done alot except watch films whilst I feel sorry for myself. We just wanted to get back on the bikes!! These lovely ladies helped us out with some entertainment.

That evening we met a fellow tourer called Merrill that turned out to be one of Andys heros/idol. They were engrossed in conversation about bikes and touring for the rest of the evening.

Day 49

Sam and Andy indulged in Daylight donuts after getting a tour of the kitchens.

There was plenty of fooling around.

We met some awesome east bounders, including Jordan & Israel, shame we couldn’t make them switch directions.

Cheryl popped in to check my progress and as a complete suprise she bought us dinner and recommend a Mexican restaurant to visit.

This unfortunate medical issue has caused havoc and seriously put us behind in our schedule. So we are revising alternative methods of transportation until the course of antibiotics is over or I feel comfortable riding. As acting angels sent from heaven Cheryl organised for us to get a lift to Publeo with her husband Bob. So we want to say a huge thank you to everyone at Area 96 including Cheryl, Bob and the pastor, and a special thank you to Sandie for putting up with us.

Day 50

So the day has come when we are finally leaving Kansus, goodbye flat roads, strong winds and searing heat and kind geniune locals. Welcome colourful Colorado beautiful landscape, good food and monstrous mountains! Bob dropped us in the centre of town at the Great Divide bike shop so this was Andys opportunity to get his bike fixed, again. Tip for anyone doing a long ride, get a bike specific for the activity you are doing i.e a touring bike. He got a new cable for the rear derailleur that seemed to fix the reoccurring issue with shifting and noise. Here you witness one happy man.

So with a zero day and plenty of time, you may ask how will this be filled? Maybe a swim or a walk. Well since I had the pleasure of taking antibiotics wouldnt it be a great idea to visit a brewery. The Shamrock brewery was a collaboration of Scottish and Irish history mixed up with an America twist.

Actually it was really fun watching the boys taster Colorado finest ales and I got to indulge in my favourite meal of the trip, so far (salmon salad). O and the Tour De France was showing so an all around a perfect afternoon.

All that beer resulted in Andy having fisty cuffs in the ally out the back of the pub.

We were staying at a warm showers that evening with a great guy called Rick. When we arrived he made us feel very welcome and relaxed. Rick was a interesting intelligent character that was very passionate about riding. Also we can now tick off the American bingo board that we have met someone that works with WMD’s…

Day 51

Unfortunately another zero, I must remind myself when I get back on the bike how much rest days suck. We decided to do some chores including visiting the healthfood shop for pro biotics (after antibiotics) and food. I wish there was one of these on every corner they have a endless selection of healthy, tasty food. We relaxed in the afternoon at the flicks with a good old zombie movie (World war Z), it was an average watch. When we returned back to Ricks we were greeted by Sara and Pedro. Then our evening was filled with us chatting and sharing touring stories.