Chanute

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Another long tough ride to get closer to the limit of eastern Kansas. And it’s almost been the first day of rain !

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It was raining when I woke up, and it was supposed to continue all morning. I waited for the Chinese team to be ready and at 9am, the rain stopped. Still, I donned my raining gear for the first time, just in case. Of course, it never rained again this day, and one hour later, I was soaked wet with perspiration. I had no more clean or at least dry cycling shirt, all of my equipment was in a dire need of a laundry.

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So, a tough ride, as I expected, with lots of ups and downs. Nothing critical, but the wind made a comeback, just above the bothering speed. A long ride of 62 miles / 100 kms, and not much on the way. Of course, still benefiting from the support vehicle, everything was a lot simpler 🙂 Riding with other people is also a huge help in the backward roads of the TransAm. It can get very lonely just as in secondary roads in Utah. Going more and more east should see more and more people, but the trail avoids most cities. I’m really considering going on alternate routes.

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The views today were still surprisingly reminiscent of France. Fields, cattles, forests, hills… Plus grasshoppers. More typical from the region, turtles and a few armadillos !

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We stopped at a small town called Benedict. There was a community store, in an old building. Lots of religious messages, a mess of various counters, a mix of different products, mostly in fridges… The guy there was very friendly and offered us each ice creams. It was a particular experience 🙂

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After that, another 20 mi / 30 kms. I was feeling dead but the stop, along with a burrito and a collection of coke cans, helped refuel enough stamina for the final stretch. I’ve found that I’m actually more anxious at the start. After a few dozen miles on the counter, it feels easier to add more. However, after almost 600 miles or 1000 kms in ten days without rest, I feel the fatigue accumulating to the limit.

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A good shower, a good night, and especially a typical Chinese meal should help a lot to reach the last stop in Kansas 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Chanute

  1. Fabrice,

    This is FYI only, about that major American bike event I mentioned that is now near to you in time and space, though it is probably not in your mind. In a rest period, if you are interested, you could do internet research to learn more. A very unusual event, which some Frenchmen would at first react to with scorn.

    RAGBRAI is an acronym for the “Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.” It is, according to its organizer, the Des Moines Register, the “oldest, longest and biggest bicycle ride in the world.” It has been held without interruption, through heat waves, droughts, floods, even the Reagan Administration, for the past 30 years; always during the last full week of July, always starting in a town on or near the Missouri River on Iowa’s western border and ending at a town on the Mississippi River, on its verdant eastern shores.

    RAGBRAI is something else. “A Rolling Mardi Gras” is a phrase one often hears to describe it, and that, in a few words, comes about as close as you can get. RAGBRAI attracts riders from every state in the Union, plus a dozen or so foreign countries. It has a carnival atmosphere, a celebratory exuberance, an anything-goes/all-rules-are-suspended attitude, a zany, almost out-of-control ambiance, with an energy all its own, fueled with equal parts of sweat and alcohol.

    I love it, having done it 2 x. In any good bike shop you might find folks who have first hand info and their own opinions. It does not fit into your present plan, which seems to me to be going well for you. This makes me happy. But you should also at least know about RAGBRAI, which combines your kind of rugged riding with serious socializing and good eating and drinking.

    I wish you godspeed on your journey.

    Phil

    Like

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