• Franklin Zhang

Day 42: Jesus, Would You Look At the Time

Newton KS → Great Bend, KS

92 miles and 580 feet of elevation gain

We woke up today at 5 AM so some of us can go to the Ford Dealership to fix our car window. The rest of us went back to sleep again.

We finally decided to DIP after a long nap

Simone and Maxwell (who went to the Ford Dealership) dealt with the window and came back only to find the rest of us passed out in our beds in all sorts of weird positions. Jesus, would you look at the time! It was already past 10!

We were pretty groggy this morning and it took a while to finally hit the road, only to realize that Mariela’s bike (which has some unaddressed issues with the front shifter) was missing the structural Allen key (the shifter issue was temporarily fixed by shoving and duct taping an Allen key into the front derailleur) so the car had to drive back to reattach it.

This was a very nice day for biking. Although it was almost a century ride, the first section of it at least felt pretty easy. The temperature was only in the low 90s, we had a nice tailwind and the roads were flat! the first 50-ish miles went by pretty quickly. We passed by a tin man and a scarecrow! We were mostly on the TransAmerican Bike Route so we ended up passing a couple of other touring cyclists. The first group was a single guy riding a recumbent bike, then it was a dense peloton of around 15 bikers all wearing white jerseys, and later 2 guys with fully loaded panniers. It was always exciting seeing ONE OF US! Today was the day I really got to appreciate how flat Kansas really was as we biked past corn fields and tofu bean fields.

The Tofu Bean Plant

We also passed by a scarecrow and a tinman!

We arrived at our lunch spot which was next to a grain elevator. Apparently, Maxwell and Simone went for an “unofficial tour” of it before being yelled at to scram. Not before Maxwell got to play with grains.

During lunch, I realized I got a massive crack in my helmet (not sure where it came from) so Maxwell biked instead and I hopped onto the car for the rest of the day to go get myself a new helmet and a haircut while I was at it. The barber told some horse jokes and I fired back with some koalas ones. We bought some watermelon and met up with the rest of the squad for our second rest stop, passing some nice sunflower fields.

The bikers passed by a cooler that gave out free cold water for bikers! I think they really appreciated the simple act of kindness.

We were greeted by our hosts Adam and Cassie in Great Bend with open arms, while their cats Thor and Monkey just begrudgingly let us into the house. Adam used to be a chef so he fixed us a delicious lasagna dinner followed by some of the best homemade ice cream I’ve ever had. We also played with a giant Harry Potter pop up book! The book was so cool, we were so distracted by it that we forgot about the lasagna in the oven!

It turns out that Adam was a man of many talents, he not only makes amazing food, but he decorated the house with his photography and 3D printed art. The house is decorated with his art and various things they've found over the years. Including a wall full of different clocks.

Over dinner, Maxwell nerded out with Adam about photography, cameras, and 3D printing Robert nerded out about wool. The rest of us mere laypeople just listened in amusement. After dinner, we looked over at the clocks and said “Jesus! Look at the time!” It was getting pretty late so we hit the sack, ready to hit the road again the next day.

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