Monday, September 6, 2010

Short facts:

  • 530 miles in 10 hours
  • 25-40 mph WIND all day
  • 1200 miles in two days
  • Over 7000 miles for trip

Note to self: NEVER drive the Interstate-70 across Kansas ever again.  It’s too bad we didn’t have a Roadkill Cookbook (found here) or we’d be eatin’ pretty.  We also call it Roadkill Road, and Windy Way for obvious reasons.

Seriously Kansas, is there nothing but flat land and an endless view of croplands? Typically we’d find it very peaceful if it wasn’t for the fact that there is nothing to block the blazing winds whose main intent is to knock over innocent motorcyclists.

Welcome to Kansas.

Welcome to Kansas.

Today was the most unpleasant ride of the trip.  We don’t say that as a bad thing, just that it was very difficult and more of an ‘adventure’ than we expected from today after such an amazing day yesterday (which we are amazingly thankful for).  It was hilarious at times how much wind there was but it was also a little scary.  While filling up at the pump, a few guys told us to “Be safe. These winds are killers” and another said “Watch out for the one hundred mile per hour winds”.  Every stop we made there were more comments about riding in the wind on a bike.  Fun.

Wind is hard to capture on camera.

Wind is hard to capture on camera. (We couldn't take any picture when we were riding)

Driving down the highway the trees were showing their respect and bowing to the power of the wind, hundreds of tumbleweeds flew across the road, and our heads bounced around like bobble heads.  In high winds, the lanes proved to be too small for Greg. He liked to enjoy the entire road as he was thrown back and forth and compensated because of his lighter bike.  And Jerry had to continuously worry about his trailer flipping over… On top of all this, Jerry was getting 15 miles less per gallon.  We had to fill up 5 times today… well 6 times if you count Sweet Old Geraldine (but this story is for later)!

Riding perpendicular to the road was impossible and Greg had two riding positions: 1) a 10 degree tilt and 2) a 35 degree tilt.  If he was upright, then he wasn’t heading in the right direction.  Gotta love it. Another thing to note… the pleasant white noise (as mentioned yesterday) of the wind passing through our helmets turned into periodic explosions into our ears as the wind blasted us.  After a ride, our bodies felt like we just got off the Gravitron (remember these?  Click to See a pic) and our conversations sound something like this:

“Man, I can’t hear a thing right now.”

“WHAT???”

“The WIND has killed my EARS!”

“WHAT?!!”

…trying to simplify things now… “I CANT HEAR!!”

“OOOOHH!  ME NEITHER!”

…“WHAATT?!!”

…. And so it continued.

In short, the wind kicked our butts today… and we didn’t even see it coming!  But we had the last laugh and persevered through 9 hours of your sorry, good for nothing (except for green energy and sailboats), invisible, blowing forces!  We’ve now experienced earth, as it blows into our eyes.  We’ve experienced water, as it pours down on us.  And now, we’ve experienced air, and felt its strength as it blows us over.  3 out of 4 elements isn’t bad, and we hope we don’t experience the 4th… fire!  Eek.

We arrived at our friend Adam’s house at 7pm and we gladly unpacked everything and sat down for a moment.  After a quick breather, he took us out to a Mexican joint where we enjoyed a dozen wings (perhaps it was Tex-Mex place) and reminiscent conversations. Returning home, we lazed around before crashing hard into a pillow after a long day of battling the winds of Kansas. –

——–

Us being dumb:

Tough guys...

Tough guys...

Good things about today:

  • Us and the bikes survived the night at the shady motel.
  • Sweet Old Geraldine and the random chance of meeting her (story to come)
  • Meeting an elderly lady working at Wendy’s who has worked there for 7 years, and before that 15 years at McDonalds and another 7 years at Dairy Queen.  We were dealing with a professional here!  She was so joyful it really proves the statement “Do what you love, or love what you do.”
  • Making it to our final destination after a period of doubt.

And lastly,

  • The wind switched directions halfway through the day… so at least our tires are worn evenly on both sides!