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Yeah! Finally moving into another state…

My body needed the rest for having ridden 80 miles last night, for the first time in two weeks. So I slept in until 9am, partly because I needed it, but also because our upstairs goofball neighbor kept pacing back and forth across the room—loudly—until 3am (Dude!)

I was up, showered and responded to some emails and then took off for Leoti, KS, another 80-mile bike ride.

It was a sunny day (yes!)…vs. the Wizard of Oz-like wind and rainfall as we had yesterday. Cool…and the wind—still a freaking head wind—was not too strong, so I was able to pull out of Eads, CO and begin a 13mph pace (much better than the 8mph — all I could do— into the strong headwind yesterday).  After about 30 minutes, I saw a bicyclist approaching from the East…he noticed me and crossed the road to say “What up?”  Evan was his name…a cool dude from Savannah, GA. He was following the TransAmerica route from the East, and will complete his trip up in Washington. “I was making good money in my job, but got tired of it, so I quit and decided to ride my bike across the U.S.,” Evan shared. Pretty damn cool if you ask me. Evan told me there was another cyclist who — like me — was on her way to Leoti, KS. Cool! Maybe we’ll run into each other.

I was making good headway across the plains of Eastern Colorado, and then I took a stop off the road under a shaded tree. I took a few pics, and after a few minutes two dudes on bikes going westward stopped to say, “What up?” Graham and Will….two dudes who began their ride in Yorktown, VA and will be following the TransAmerica route all the way to Washington.  I told them about my “Beer on a Roll” project and they were pretty stoked, so I gave them my business card.  Graham and Will — you guys are really awesome guys and it was great to chat with you. Have fun!

I jumped on my bike continuing on hwy 96, and after only one mile, I came to the Kansas border. This was a picture opportunity of course, so I took a pic of me and my bike next to the Welcome to Kansas sign. I set the camera on a 10-second delay so I could be in the pic with my bike and the sign…and took a shot, featuring my “pose”.  Suddenly the road/pavement was the smoothest I’ve encountered the entire trip. It must have just been set in the last month or two. It was a godsend, as the road had been riddled with bumps, holes, and gravel in eastern Colorado. It really sucked for my bike….gave it a lot of stress. So with this new, smooth pavement, I was able to increase my speed to about 15mph across the plains. I’m so glad to be in Kansas, as I feel as though I’m making headway into my trip/project. I spent so much time in Colorado, the bulk of it searching for a new videographer. Now I’m continuing — and crossing into a new state was proof that I was progressing forward. I’m now in the Plains…and happy to be here.

I continued on and when I reached Tribune, KS I took a snack break at the local gas station. While there I met the girl that Evan told me about. Her name was Heather, and wow…talk about being easy on the eyes. She told me how she began her ride in Washington, then went across Glacier National Park in Montana. Her plan is flexible, but she will eventually get to the East Coast in September. I told her I was on my way to the city of Leoti, another 21 miles.  I had called a lady who was a member of Warm Showers (www.warmshowers.org), which provides shelter for cyclists. Sarah was her name, and even though she was out of town when I called her, she said there was a key behind the house and that Terry and I could stay in her home. How nice is that?! So Terry made dinner (teriyaki burgers and a nice salad) and we enjoyed ourselves, eating good food while feeling as though we lived in this house (for this day, we did). Thanks Saraa — you’re a very generous and trusting woman.