Coast to Coast for the FFB: THE ONLINE JOURNAL

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Check back here daily to read about our progress in our cross-country bicycle tour to benefit the FFB.
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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Day 42: Toronto, KS to Cassoday, KS (60 miles, 1814 total)

Today was awesome compared to yesterday. For the first time ever on the trip, we woke up in the campsite to a dewless morning. We finally got to pack up our tent and things when they were dry.

Since we skipped dinner last night, we decided to hit the café in town for breakfast immediately. That was a decision we would later regret. On the way back to the main road from the campground we spotted a pack of wild turkey. There was no mention of whiskey, in fact they didn't even gobble. We also came across a very grumpy crawdad in the road about a mile from the lake. I suppose he was grumpy for good reason, but all he did was stand tall and flash his pinchers like an LA gang member.

Soon we arrived in downtown Toronto. We stopped in the only local café which specializes in the best sub-par breakfast in town. It was quite a disappointment considering how hungry we were. I managed to eat all that was palatable while AK struggled to consume anything. Upon returning from the bathroom AK declared that I should not visit the restroom unless it was an absolute emergency. Unfortunately, the bathroom sink was what was offered up when we asked for water for our bottles. That said, the place it self was a nice picture of smalltown America (nevermind the food) as it seemed to be the hangout for local farmers to gather, drink coffee and talk about crops, the weather, tractors, etc. (We didn't see them eating anything.)

In search of decent drinking water and something to eat, we left town ASAP. Soon we arrived at a local gas station/market/café called the Lizard's Lips Cafe at the intersection of the 54 and the 105. The owner was eager to have us sign her guestbook (where we checked on all our riding buddies ahead of us) and offered us some cool water. She told us that the leader of the Race Across America (RAAM) had just come through town at about 8PM the night before. We had heard that the race was coming through Kansas, but we didn't know that we'd be riding on the same road.

For those of you that don't know, the RAAM is an annual event in which several individuals and teams race across the country from San Diego to Atlantic City. You would not beleive how insane these riders are. They make the trip in days (not weeks) and spend an average of 18 hours a day in the saddle. We have nothing to complain about, although we will ride about 1000 more miles than they do. For more information about the ride check out

Sadly we learned that one of the riders was killed in the event somewhere in CO. We don't know much about it, but I have a feeling that there is information about it on the RAAM website. Our thoughts go out to that rider's family.

As we continued down the 54 for nearly 40 miles, we encountered three RAAM racers each follwed by a support vehicle blaring music. It was really fun to see them and we pulled off the road to cheer them on.

By the way, both AK and I cannot get over how green Kansas is (so far). Although when we told a local this, he laughed and said, "ha, wait a week!"

Along the 54, we arrived in Eureka for an early lunch. I killed a big burger and fries while AK again struggled to eat because she was not feeling super and her chicken strips smelled and tasted like fish (probably fried in the same oil as the catfish). We took our time eating and finally rolled out of town over an hour later.

After another 22 miles we arrived in the small down of Rosalia. AK declared starvation and we stopped by the market/grill called the Old Hat for our 2nd lunch. The man behind the counter was very nice and AK declared his grilled cheese to be the best ever. (From AK - I really wanted to eat 2 or 3 of them but restrained myself.)

After chatting with the man at the Old Hat for some time, we eventually got around to leaving. We had 17 miles left until Cassoday and the best part is that we were going to be heading due north. All day long we had been blasted by winds from the south with slight westerly tendancies. Although it wasn't a full headwind it is tough to deal with as you tend to ride "slanty" and get blown around the road. (From AK - the 18-wheelers combined with the wind really impacted me today. I was blown off the road twice by trucks and 3 times by the wind with no cars around. I also chose to pull off the road a few times when I saw some larger trucks in my mirror. We are learning the different shapes of trucks and which ones blow you around more. Big boxy trucks fully loaded will throw you around a ton, especially when passing in the opposite direction.)

Anyway, we turned northward to enjoy a blasting tailwind all the way to Cassoday. I was blasting miles at about 25 mph for the longest time, and AK was not far off of that. It was an awesome feeling.

In no time we were in Cassoday and started looking for the city park that was to be home for the night. After finding it, we rode a bit further to a local market for some canned veggies to go with our Lipton red beans and rice. Inside the market, a nice local woman informed us that the United Methodist Church also accepts cyclists for the night.

Seeing as though the Methodists have been so very good to us on the trip, we couldn't help but knock on the Pastor's door. Soon, Jim was showing us around the church and welcoming us in. Woohoo, a real kitchen and no setting up the tent!
Once settled, we walked down to the park for psuedo showers at the hose spigot. The water was cold, but it felt great since we were riding in the 90's all day.

We have just finished dinner and now AK is in the process of repairing her 3rd flat of the trip (that makes 5 total). Her latest one was a really slow leaker, but nonetheless it must be repaired. We now have a tube with 3 repairs on it, and we have named it Patches.

Oh, I almost forgot about my story from yesterday of the postman in Walnut, KS. When we were in the post office, a woman came in and the postman addressed her and informed her he had been expecting her return to the post office since her visit earlier in the day. Confused, the woman asked how he knew this. His reply, "Because I'm psychotic." Now, we all know that there have been several psychotic postmen in the past, but I don't think any of them would admit it as readily as this man did. The woman did not correct him as it looked as though she had no idea what he was talking about, but I think the man meant to say he was "psychic"... But then again, maybe he was just being honest.



At June 25, 2005 11:13 AM, Anonymous said...

Ahh yes, the legendary psychotic postman. Now all you need is a singing bush and the invishible swordsman and your will be trip complete. I hope ya'll feel better.


At June 25, 2005 11:06 PM, Anonymous said...

I am home and the cats Maggie and the boys seem very happy to see me. It was so good to see Jeff at the wedding in Hawaii, it was just beautiful. AK we really missed you.

I guess it is back to the real world, ug



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