Nickerson, KS to Rush Center, KS
"Wishin' I was, knee deep in the water somewhere, got the blue sky breeze blowin' wind through my hair. Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair." - Zach Brown Band
You can sing as loud as you want in Kansas, no one can hear you. Either because there is absolutely no one around, or because the wind simply carries your out of tune, screechy voice away. If it weren't for our iPods, I truly believe we'd both be going crazy (crazier) right about now. Conversation is out of the question, and not because we've been together for close to six years and have nothing new to say to each other, but because yelling over this wretched wind only to get back a muffled "what?" response gets old really fast. We're left with the howl of the wind and our own thoughts. Or music. Don't get me wrong, it is nice to have quiet reflection time, which I usually appreciate in the mornings. In the afternoon when I'm hot and exhausted, there's nothing better than a music pick-me-up to help power through.
Turning that corner North was like not just signing a peace treaty with the wind, but forming an alliance. Instead of having sustained 25 to 35 mph wind, with gusts reaching 45 mph trying to shove us and our bicycles into the wheat field, it was now gently carrying us down the highway. What was once a constant deafening roar in our ears was now complete silence. Becky zipped down the road 20 feet behind me and we could now whisper to each other. The wheat fields and grasses all around us could be seen bent forward holding on for dear life, but made no sound. Without pedaling, my odometer read 19.9 mph. It was as if we had entered a wormhole. A secret passage effortlessly transporting us 19 miles down route. Becky smiles as she rides along side me. We both offer apologies for the way we'd acted towards each other during our stressful heated exchange now only minutes ago, but a world away. "This is the most rewarding day of the whole trip!" Becky exclaims.
19 miles pass in a short 45 minutes as we average 23 miles an hour. We roll into Rush Center which will be our home for the night. I learn that evening that there had been a light weight vehicle advisory that day due to the strong winds. Oops. Maybe we should have waited a day. But if you chose not to ride anytime the winds blow in Kansas, you'd never finish Kansas.
Average speed: 12.2 mph
Max speed: 41.1 mph
Odometer: 2001 miles