I Kan

They say you should either fly over Kansas or hold your nose and drive through quickly. That would be a shame. I have had nothing but good experiences in Kansas.

Kansas came and got me in Colorado in the form of Yolanda and Bill and Brenda and it hasn’t quit. By now, you know the amazing story of  how Yolanda and Bill met me in a coffee shop in La Veta CO and invited us to stay with them our first night in Kansas in Ulysses. Maybe I wasn’t quite as clear about the effort Brenda has gone to to welcome me to Kansas. Brenda, though a Missouri native, has lived in Wichita KS for a very long time. She found a friend, another Kansan, who was willing to drive her and her bike five hours all the way to Springfield CO so she could ride with me east as far as Wichita.

You can see by the Strava tracks how straight and flat Kansas roads are. They might have been maddening had it not have been for the 10-mile stories Brenda told me as we cycled together. Everyone we met in Kansas was really interested in and excited about my quest.

Today’s 66-mile ride was casual compared to yesterday’s 116 miles. We broke it up into little segments. Ten miles from our start was a town called Haviland that had a most delightful coffee shop, Origins, where we had breakfast and met a dozen local people.

origins-coffee-shop

brenda-and-me-outside-coffee-shop

Just west of Pratt, we met Jaimee, a native of Colorado who used to cycle mountains around Colorado Springs. She recently moved to Kansas. She told us that the motto in Kansas is “I Kan.” Even the butterfly bush welcomes butterflies.image

We had a fun little picnic in the shade under an overpass. We got friendly honks from two semi drivers, two motorcyclists, and at least one car driver.

image
Photo taken by Sandra while standing in the middle of the highway with five semis coming

Brenda’s role in making Kansas incredibly welcoming continues. She knew from a previous cycling trip that the Copa Motel in Kingman had one room with three queen-sized beds in it and room enough for several bikes. Sandra called ahead and found out the room was available and that’s where we’ve spread out for the night.

For tomorrow, Brenda has arranged for her cycling friends from Wichita to come meet us as we cycle toward Wichita. She’s pulling together a birthday dinner for me as well with many of her friends. For Friday, she’s got several friends who will cycle with me out of Wichita as far as El Dorado.

I’ll have a short unaccompanied stint in Kansas from El Dorado through Yates Center but I have more people greeting me once I get to Fort Scott. Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill is opening the RAAM Time Station there for me and sending her sons out to cycle me in to it. And Pat and Larry Lyons are putting Sandra and me up for the night in their B&B there.

Stunningly friendly people, the Kansans. Don’t fly over. Come in and meet them.

blanket-flower
Blanket flower – photo by Sandra

Ride details

Start location: Greensburg KS

End location: Kingman KS

Distance: 66.4 miles

Cumulative distance: 1543.3 miles – That puts me at about the halfway mark!

Elevation gain: 620.1 feet

Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/719277978

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32 thoughts on “I Kan

  1. When I bikes across the US in 1976 on Bikecentennial it was the majority opinion that the people of Kansas were the most friendly along our route. Hands down!

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  2. You’ll be in Fort Scott on Sunday. Right? I’m just making sure because our team station captain (my husband), Martin is trying to get some media coverage for you, including a possible deal with a TV station from Kansas City. They need to know about what time you expect to be riding in.

    It would be great if you could give us a call soon so we can get everything arranged. 620-223-1662

    In the mean time, have a happy birthday! 🙂

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    1. You are amazing, Krist! If the weather cooperates on Friday, I may go past El Dorado and continue to Yates Center. That would put me in Fort Scott on Saturday instead of Sunday. Would that mess things up on your end? If so, I could just take it easy and stay in El Dorado if that would facilitate your incredible efforts! I’m watching the weather for Friday and that will help determine whether I will arrive on Saturday or Sunday.

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      1. The media people just need to know when you will arrive whether it be Saturday or Sunday and at about what time we can expect you.

        This is your quest. We just want to help you succeed and cheer you on. We don’t want to hold you up. We’re here for you; not the other way around. 🙂

        Maybe you can give us a call if you have a few minutes after you get to Wichita.

        Safe travels!

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  3. Awesome! Lynn, you are having a very grand time. It just occurred to me that, in a way, what you’re doing is mobile performance art. One has to see the big picture to appreciate it. Also, it’s evident that you like being the performer–on stage–the center of attention. Of course, it’s not an act; this is the best kind of reality show.

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    1. Pete, I love the concept of “mobile performance art!” However, people are making me a center of attention. My natural tendency would be to be rather mousy and quiet and just pedal on. We encountered the same touring cyclist today in three different places. He absolutely avoided us by crossing to the opposite side of the road. it was quite bizarre. He’s more mousy than me, I guess.

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  4. Good morning Miss Lynn, Brenda and Sandra!

    I’m so tickled that your encountering many amazing Kansans and that your ride yesterday was enjoyable. I may just see you today as I motor to Wichita! 😉

    Happy birthday Lynn!

    xoxo

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      1. Dorothy Gale is the protagonist in The Wizard of Oz. The little girl who goes to Oz (from Kansas) with the Scarecrow and the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion? Maybe you just didn’t remember her name.

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  5. Your dental office sends warm regards and big happy birthday! We hope you are well and having a time of a lifetime.
    See you when you get back. Keep flossing! Dr. Jessica Brunnett & Gang

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  6. Kudos to the Copa in Kingman. I had great hospitality when I stayed there on my ride. The hotel clerk even shared some of his “spicy chicken” dinner with me. I call my bike “Hidalgo”. That moview was coincidently playing on the TV that night. Magical! Keep pedaling!

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