Social, Solo, and Ultrasolo Cycling

My 67th birthday was all about social cycling. The day began with Brenda and me cycling out of Kingman KS. 

Brenda and me cresting a hill

Brenda’s cycling network brought an additional seven cyclists from Wichita to Cheney (pronounced Chee-née) for late breakfast at Subway. 

Nine cyclists leaving Cheney

About halfway from Cheney to Wichita, we encountered four WOW (Women of Wednesday) riders and then we were thirteen, plus Sandra driving sag made 14 in the party. 

Thirteen cyclists strong on a warm September Wednesday

Fourteen people made time in their lives simultaneously to enjoy a warm Wednesday morning on wheels together. Eight of us also had a birthday dinner together at Bella Luna!

Thanks, Brenda, for rallying your friends to make my birthday special! Thanks, Sandra, for adapting to a large group! And thanKS to KS for being so friendly.

I’m completely comfortable cycling solo. At home, I put in plenty of solo miles while training. My first 1100 miles or so of this journey were almost entirely solo. (However, I always had company nearby in the form of my sag person – Susie, Mike, or Sandra.) I clear my head, open it to receive titles or thoughts for the blog, absorb the scenery and sounds, do math in my head (at this pace, in how many minutes will I reach the next point on the cue sheet?), watch traffic, assess the weather, and generally try and need to be present in the moment. 

Brenda and I encountered an ultrasolo cyclist a couple of days ago. I should say we spotted him because he seemed to be avoiding any possibility of an encounter. On three separate occasions within a few hours, we saw him. The first time was at our divine coffee shop stop in Haviland. He came into town on a bike loaded with panniers, perused the store fronts, then vanished. A few miles later, we spotted him ahead of us cycling east like we were. Since his bike was loaded and we were cycling light thanks to our sag, we were about to overtake him when he crossed four lanes of highway to the opposite shoulder and stopped. We thought maybe nature was calling. The third time, he crossed the highway quite pointedly and proceeded to cycle on the other shoulder against traffic. On all three occasions, he avoided eye contact. 

We thought and thought about his very different cycling behavior and came up with a few possible explanations but none satisfied. How would you explain it? We are baffled. 

Ride details

Start location: Kingman KS

End location: Wichita KS at Brenda’s house

Distance: 44.5 miles

Cumulative distance: 1587.8 miles (I now must do at least that many more miles after my birthday in order to set the record as age 67.)

Elevation gain: 603.7 feet (just a few rolling hills)

Strava track: 


20 thoughts on “Social, Solo, and Ultrasolo Cycling

  1. What a birthday! Congratulations to that network of bicycling friends, Brenda in particular, who came out for you. I really respond to Peter’s comment. Performance Art, indeed! When you make it back to Bethany Beach, Delaware you have a spa date for a complete massage, facial, styling and whatever else you want


  2. Lynn- Such a Happy Birthday celebration– a parade party of riders! Here is to your New Year!
    I’m surprised you haven’t gotten media attention to your trip!


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