i woke up at 5:00 this morning so i'd be ready on time to meet up with bryan j - http://www.dailymile.com/people/Bryan_Booth - at chicaskia road. we had planned via DM messages to meet there at 6:30.
i spent a little time out watching the meteor shower with my family, then loaded up my jersey pockets and bottle holders and headed out. the twelve miles or so that i rode before we got together were pretty uneventful. i rode at about 17.5mph. climbed the hills at a fairly easy pace, but pushed it just a little on the steeper sections. i rode passed chicaskia road two miles before i turned around and headed back. if i'd ridden less than a mile more i would've met up with bryan there. anyway, i glanced back when i got to chicaskia road and spotted his flasher, so i circled around and went back to meet him.
once we were together we headed south toward caldwell. the riding was pretty easy. the wind was out of the north and we were pushed along with less effort than would normally be required.
we made it to caldwell in good time and went straight through town. bryan had never ridden to oklahoma, so we did the extra three miles south and took our first rest break at the old abandoned tavern just across the border. kansas didn't use to allow liquor sales on sundays, so were are a lot of bars built along the border. this one was dry! we had gatorade.
from there we rode back into town and back to highway 44. it was on this stretch that we realized the extent of the help we'd received from the wind going south. the same wind was now, as bryan put it, annoying. we made it back to highway 44 and stopped again. this time i broke out the powerbars i'd purchased for the day. we munched on chocolate peanut butter crisp triple threat energy goodness and walked around a bit, trying to loosen up our muscles.
our snack done, we continued on down highway 44. this was bryan's first time on this jem of a road. lots of rollers for as long as i've explored it. we rode past the former prairie dog colony and were disappointed that someone had plowed it up and planted soybeans. we pedaled passed the rocket launch site and three or four farm houses.
when we reached argonia road, we turned north again and began the four mile climb up to tracy farms. those of you from the alps will scoff at the use of the word hill, but with the annoying wind in our faces, it was plenty tiring. our average kept dropping as the miles rolled on.
at the top of tracy hill, when the road dropped down toward argonia, we picked up a little speed, but it did not feel like a descent. the wind was still putting up a fight and we were about to go down for the count. we just kept spinning our cranks in circles...or were those squares?
we reached the city limits and pedaled up main street to walnut. it was at that intersection, just over a quarter mile from my house, that i met my goal for the day and began setting a new PR for mileage in a year. my total for this year is now 5300.97 miles, just under 0.30 miles further than i've ever ridden in 12 months. on monday, i'll start piling on more miles. for now, i'll rest.
after a short break and a refill of both his water bottles, bryan continued on toward home in wellington. he's going car shopping this afternoon. i'm working for my wife up at the school and covering any ems calls that might come up. i'm hoping for a quiet day. (62.97 miles @ 17.1mph)