Day 36 - Great Bend, KS to Ness City, KS - Can('t) Hurt Me - CycleBlaze

June 17, 2021

Day 36 - Great Bend, KS to Ness City, KS

Raging cagers

Today we woke up at 5 to try and leave by 530. It was still kinda dark and we rolled over to a local bakery. They had delicious doughnuts, but none were vegan so we just made a almond butter and banana wrap.

Outside the bakery, little did I know I was about to be disappointed
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We made it about 29 miles before all hell broke loose. As the sun came up and the heat intensified. I stopped to get a drink in some shade and fell over again. I just wasn't thinking. We get going again and the wind is coming from the south west today. Our average speed is probably around 10 mph and it started to feel like you opened an oven door. In this area, there are lots of trucks hauling cattle and other farm things.  We are on highway 96 all the way untill pueblo Colorado, so hopefully the traffic situation improves. There is a small shoulder and they expect you to be in it. Of you are in it, I feel like it's more dangerous because the traffic passes within a foot of you.

Mary in the plains
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I got so sick of 18 wheelers literally blowing me off the road that I started riding in the lane so they would have to go around. This mostly worked, but a few cars were really angry about this and got really close or pointed angrily at the 6 inch shoulder they thought I was supposed to use. I came up with a useful rhyme: rode in the shoulder and get passed with inches to spare, ride in the road and they pass with care. As soon as I said "pass with care" to Mary, a pickup passes just a foot away. So much for that theory. I suppose it is better to ride the lane, but you want to hit the Goldilocks zone: too far to the white line and you might as well be on a shoulder, and too far in you will make them more angry. We kept on it making slow progress and finally made it to ness city. There wasn't much to see along the way, so you could see the grain towers for ness city about 6 miles away. We got in town and stopped at the dollar general. The wind was really going and pushed Mary's bike over while in the store. Her helmet was blown half way to a corn field. We found the city park and showered with the cold water. I heard the pool was hot, so didn't feel like getting in. We met Mark at a bar where we could sit in AC for a while. The locals were chatting us up and I made a point to mention how hot it was going to be trying to sleep in the park. Everyone agreed, but no one had any other suggestions. One of the locals told us stories about all the other patrons. They all grew up together and it was funny to hear about some small town stuff. They said we better be out of Kansas before they start harvesting the wheat next week since the road will be full of trucks and equipment. They also said that almost everyone is allergic to the cutting. That explains my allergies since we arrived in Hutchinson. They also said Hutchinson has the largest grain elevators in the world. We left and went to the grocery store and I planned to make oatmeal even though it was super hot. I bought canned peaches and grapes. We went back to the park and cooked. There are small horse flies all around, so we have to sleep in the tent even though it's hot. Sitting around the park fending off flies and killing time wasn't very fun.

No where comfortable for inflexible people in this park
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As soon as the sun went behind the trees we got into the tent. This makes me really appreciate the nights when we have ac. 

Altitude gain:1200

Today's ride: 67 miles (108 km)
Total: 1,943 miles (3,127 km)

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