After a sumptuous dining experience at Subway, Corey, Mark, Sweet T, and I headed back to the hotel where we met Fedya, a Russian guy who began his cross country ride in North Carolina.
We headed to our respective rooms and, by all reports, crashed early and hard. Yesterday was a tough ride.
The hotel was a rather run down place but its breakfast was pretty decent: coffee, juice, cereal (including Cheerios!), eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, and yogurt. No fruit but still more than enough fuel for our 60+ mile trek.
We headed west out of Larned. I tried to keep up with the gang but it took me 8 miles to warm up. We were dealing with a light headwind and a steady, gentle climb for 12 miles before turning to the north.
It was 19 miles to the optimistically named Rush Center. Wheat and fallow fields, many still affected by the floods. On and on in a straight line. Fedya, who is fit but relatively new to bicycling, was experiencing serious SBS. You know they are hurting when I blow past them.
I could see the others far in the distance. I’d stop from time to time to check things out and ease by behind. I could see them pulling away.
At a rest stop at Rust Center, Fedor was despondent; his butt was killing him. Mark loaned him the Brooks Cambrium saddle that he tried last week. After only 100 yards, Fedya put his old saddle, a Brooks 17, back on. It seemed to work. Sore butt and all I couldn’t keep up with him.
From Rush Center we headed due west to Ness City. The wind direction was rotating. A cross wind gradually turned into a tailwind. Just the thing we needed to push us up the 1 percent grade.
33 miles later we rode into Ness City like cowpokes after a cattle drive. Alas there was no saloon with sportin’ women. We settled for a quick break at Dollar General where Mark bought a pool noodle. It made me think of Dave.
The weather had been beautiful all day so we were hoping to camp in the city park. A lack of showers or a pool convinced us to check into the rather run down hotel in town. At least it’s inexpensive. And has a pool.
Tonight we dine on Mexican food. Hola, senorita. Cinco cervesas, por favor.
Miles today: 64.5
Miles total: 1,087