July 15, 2018
Eads – Leoti
128 km (80 miles)
306 m (1004 feet) elevation
6:04 moving time
3715 km (2309 miles)
While most people we know were watching the World Cup final we were cycling in a straight line – from west to east – from Eads in Colorado to Leoti in Kansas.
Sometimes it can be great to ride in one direction but today was not that day. We had stiff headwinds the whole day and they increased as the day past. We believe this is the 6th cycling-day in a row where we have had headwinds. We had been promised tailwinds so we are thinking about asking for a refund.
Remember that Trump-voting, gun-loving, truck-driver who gave Saemi a beer last night? This morning at breakfast he gave us a water-purification kit which we can now use to drink water out of most water sources. What a wonderful gesture.
In one of the last towns we went through in Colorado the convenience store was closed and we were nearly out of water. Went to the local church and were able to get cold water and ice there. It was interesting that they had food on the table yet seeing that we were hot and without water they didn’t offer us to sit down or take any food with us. I would have thought that people of God would be more offering.
Sundays are bad days for cycling in small-town America since many shops are closed.
Monika had a flat which we repaired while eating sandwiches we had brought with us from dinner last night.
Up until now we have been ecstatic about crossing state lines but today we were less happy. First of all the ‘Welcome to Kansas’ is really small compared to the ‘Welcome to colorful Colorado’ opposite the road so neither did it give an impression of an achievement nor did we feel particularly welcome. Second, we were so tired and our ears were ringing because of the constant winds that we quickly got back on our bikes to try to get the day over with. Today was a long, hot, monotonous cycling day. For the first time for the both of us we had negative thoughts about the rest of the trip. Hills we can deal with but headwinds is incredibly demoralizing. Don’t worry though, after some food and drink we will be much better.
Cyclists seem to either love or hate Kansas. Some hate the flatness of the land while others see the beauty in it. Those that love it also talk about how wonderful the people are. We have already experienced kindness and hospitality after only few hours in the state.
People in cars passing wave to us. A restaurant owner filled our bottles with ice and water and then gave us extra bottles. A guy in a laundromat offered to give us detergent. And so on. We are hopeful for the rest of our journey in Kansas, especially if the wind changes direction 😀.