Bike Tour 2022 – Dodge City to Dighton

The motel breakfast was alright by me. Two helpings of breakfast burritos without the tortillas washed down with multiple cups of coffee.

A tailwind greeted The Mule this morning and we rode it on US 50 all the way to Cimarron, about 18 miles west. We pulled into a supermarket to stock up on snacks (two apples, two bananas, and a wrap).

The weather report called for nasty thunderstorms with the possibility of hail and a tornado tonight. Let’s go camping!

Not.

The weather report also said I’d have a tailwind if I headed north. So I decided to eschew the finer hotels of Garden City to the west on US 50 and head north through nothingness to Dighton which is on the TransAm Trail.

The first 20 miles had the predicted tailwinds and even seemed to be slightly downhill. I spent a good deal of time going 18 – 20 mph without expending much effort.

I was back in infinite farm country. All day the overcast sky looked like it was going to spawn showers; all day it was dry if a bit more hot and humid than recent days.

After another 20 miles the route turned west for five miles, then north for the remainder of the day. The level prairie gave way to more rolling terrain and the winds began to turn first as a crosswind then for the last five miles into a headwind.

I was glad to see the grain elevator and water tower of Dighton after an unexpectedly hard ride. It turns out that Dighton is nearly 300 feet higher in elevation than Dodge City. Conscious of the weather report I immediately looked for a motel room. The Dighton Inn is an old cinder lock place straight out of a film noir.

After washing up I headed out for a late lunch. The town Mexican place was close and open. Good enough. The food left a lot to be desired.

Fortunately there are multiple choices for breakfast.

Tomorrow’s ride will be 48 miles straight west to Leoti where I camped with Mark and Corey in 2019. The camping is next to a small hospital where showers are provided for bicycle tourists.

Today’s miles: 72. Tour miles: 952.

Real prairie and a small portion of the historic Santa Fe Trail.
A Native American man prays or perhaps meditates at a monument to the Santa Fe Trail.
I finally got close to one of these behemoths. There are far fewer of these wind turbines than I expected.

Bike Tour 2022 – Greensburg to Dodge City

A couple of things happened last night worth noting. After my shower I left an amazing three inch wide ring in the tub. Maybe one reason I’m so slow is that I’m carrying half of Kansas with me.

Much more worrisome was the return of my stenosis leg pain. I walked less than a quarter mile to the gas station/Subway/convenience store up the highway. By the time I got there my left leg was screaming at me. I had planned to bring my food back to my room but opted to eat in the restaurant to let the pain calm down. The walk back caused a similar pain flare up so I hit the floor and did the PT exercises I have neglected for two weeks. Before bed I took two Gabapentin tablets. They seemed to help. They also knocked me out. I slept 8 1/2 hours.

The hotel breakfast was the real deal. Biscuits and gravy and sausage and cereal and OJ and coffee. (They also had made-to-order omelets, but I found out only after I had already gone all Porky on the other grub.) I figured I’d get about 20-25 miles out of the feast.

I set off around 10 headed west then northwest for Dodge City. The first 20 miles featured a strong crosswind. The last 24 the wind was favorable and my speed jumped by 3 or 4 mph.

I was back in flat farm country. I felt a bit like I was on a wind trainer as I pedaled away. The road was pitched upward about one percent the entire way. I gained another 200 feet of elevation today.

The pavement and the wide paved shoulder made for good rolling. I was passed by numerous livestock trucks, tractor trailers with a rather fragrant air wake.

I found out why when I arrived in Dodge, after a detour with a rudely steep hill. (Granny made short work of it.) Dodge City is home to National Beef, a humongous slaughterhouse. As I rolled past the offices I could see that the workers were shod in yellow Wellies. Wouldn’t want to ruin your normal shoes with all that blood and gore now would you?

Once in Dodge proper I could see the tourist part of town. It faces right onto a four-lane highway. So much for historical ambiance. There was some sort of street festival going on. Big crowds. Very noisy. Not for me.

I headed for the peace and quiet of the Super 8 on US 50 about a half mile west of the Wild West.

The front desk clerk was a true gem. She cheerfully helped me get my stuff inside and gave me a bag of snacks. Her name is Lotus and Wyndham Hotels should give her a big raise

One problem with bike touring out west is that you don’t notice the dry heat until you stop riding. Eek, it’s 85 degrees. No wonder I’m so thirsty.

My itinerary had me continuing on another 20 miles to Cimmaron but there’s no need to push it. Tomorrow’s weather looks good. I may use the southerly winds to ride back to the TransAm or just continue on the highway to Garden City.

Miles today: 46. Tour miles: 828.

This junk artist has issues with First Ladies.
The turn to the northwest that made my cross wind a tail wind
This baby in Ford, Kansas must hold a whole lot of grain.
Just before Dodge City is Fort Dodge.
Disappointed that historic Dodge City was overtaken by a noisy street party