Sunday, April 26, 2015
April 26....Pratt, Kansas to Kingman, Kansas
36.75 miles in 5:30(yea, you read that right)....elevation gain....558 ft. Descent....925 ft....average speed....6.7 mph...max speed...13.0 mph...total trip miles1062.18.....total elevation gain....24,822ft .....average miles per day over 15 consecutive days....70.812 miles a day
I thought my biggest problems today we're going to be the headwind (10-20 mph), and the cold temps. Well, the temperature started out at 43, and barely broke fifty while I was riding, but that wasn't a problem. I've been packing around all these weather clothes, and I finally got to use them, including my booties that I managed to make fit over my sandals. My panniers were very light, because I was wearing everything. Well, almost. I really hope I don't have to ride with everything I have, but aside from being a little wind chilled, I was fine temperature wise. The wind certainly sucked, but even in times of reduced gusts, or rolling down the mild downgrades I encountered, I realized my biggest problem was my legs. They totally imploded after yesterday's 93 mile ride, and there is nothing left in them to give. Fortunately, tomorrow is going to be the worst weather day that I've encountered on this trip. A perfect day to take a day off, and try to rest my legs, in preparation for the rest of the trip. According to my GPS, I am currently 1,159 miles from Claysville, Pa. That puts me at about the halfway mark after one more day of riding.
Today's ride was one of the most miserable I've ever had, still, the five and a half hours went pretty quick. The effort was the same as any other day, but the results were not. I'm used to riding a lot more than 5 1/2 hrs a day, so that part was tolerable. I only climbed about 550 ft, which is one of the flattest days ever, but each little climb felt like a mountain. Since just west of Pratt yesterday, the landscape of Kansas has started to change, going from flat farmland to a topography that rolls more, and instead of farmland, I saw more cattle ranching, and a pretty large wildlife and waterfowl conservation area. The Ninnescah River, a smallish stream, was responsible for most of my climbing, as I crossed it five times, each with a downgrade and an upgrade. The heavy gray clouds sometimes dropped some mist on me, but the day remained dry. That may not be the case tomorrow, but it will be a rest day just the same.
The day ended with a room at the Çopa Motel on the east side of Kingman, a town more similar to Pratt than all the grain elevator dominated towns of south central Kansas. Rolling, tree lined streets more than pancake flat streets are becoming more the norm, since I'm getting closer to west Kansas and Missouri.