Hardball is riding from Cincinnati to Austin to Denver then back!

Hardball is riding from Cincinnati to Austin to Denver then back!

Home at last. I rest easy knowing I don’t have to set up and break down my tent for a long while. I will go back through my whole journey later and make sure I get all of the days updated.

Daily Updates:

Day 1 (7/7/2012)

Departed early like 2am. Made it into Indiana with good time, took a nap in my tent for an hour then rode on with morning light made it to Versailles had breakfast at Mcdonalds, recharged my phone. Headed out from there towards brownstown. Google told me to go through the Big Oaks Wildlife reserve. To bad you can’t cause its surounded with land mines and barbed wire, literally. So I had to ride around the park by the time I got to the other side my phone was puttering out, and I was almost out of water. With help from some nice locals I was given some directions and water. Its still hard to navigate because, there are not very many street signs.
So with no gps I found Seymour, IN which finally had some stores. I am back at MCdonalds hiding from the heat. They have free power, wifi and unlimited powerade. Got my phone charged up and brownstown is only 13 miles away! Can’t wait to take a shower. Sun has definitely left me red tinted.
Primitive camping, no shower. Gona stink tomorrow. No cell service either

Day 2 (7/8/2012) :
Another early start gets me to salem at 5:30 am. Arbys is open. Grab some water and breakfast. Then head out.
Make it to paoli by 10:30 . grab some snacks, wait for the local garden co-op to open. Eat some produce and rest on the library steps. Might as well make one more ride before the temperature goes max.
I’m at French Lick right now. Drinking a beer and about to jump through their fountains. Still no cell service but, I am finding wifi. I want to make it to licoln city tonight. Still over cast and cloudy might wait till 5 to move on.
Rain has hit hard for an hour, I went and played some slots at the casino and won 10$
I hope it will dry out so I can ride on tonight.
Rain looks iffy, so I decide to camp in the Hoosier Forest. Roll out of French Lick at 11. Dark and hard to find a good camping spot. I finally stop and start to set up my gear when all of a sudden two dogs coming barking out of the darkness. I whip out my droid light and blind them. They stay 50 feet back and continue to bark. So I decided they were harmless. I eventually got camp set up and the dogs had backed off but still continued to bark.

Day 3 (7/9/2012/) – I wake up to sunlight and start to pack my gear up.The dogs finally gave up barking and are just laying around staring at me now. I roll on through Hoosier National Forest climbing its large hills. I arrive in jasper 9:30. Stop for breakfast, get two bowls of oatmeal. Local reporter spotted me and wanted a picture of my bike. Good and rested I press on towards the Lincoln State Park. Get into Lincoln around noon. Finally a shower, my first. I get to wash my clothes as well. I have to stick around waiting for my clothes to dry for a few hours leave for Boonville at 4.
Looked like an easy 18 miles….ran into 2 miles of gravel and some not so friendly rollers.
At last I make it to mcdonalds in Boonville. Getting ready to push on to evansville shortly.
I make it into town at night fall. I meander around the town seeing if anythings open to grab some food. I pass one corner and a couple guys are trying to jam out. The one sees I’m looking around, and asks what I am looking for. I say food. He says they got food here at the bar he was standing in front of. I asked if it was good food. He said probably not, but he then went on to talk about how much fresh home grown produce he had. He offered to feed me, no way to refuse. Not like I was going to get anything better elsewhere.
Turns out that his mother lived in KY and had her own farm where the produce was coming from.
We walk back to his place and he invites us in and shows off his record collection, and hands me a plate of produce. He asked if I was vegan. Not sure how he knew.
Dinner was fantastic homegrown beans,potatoes, onions, corn. We head to a local bar to grab a few pints. Chris says I can camp on his lot. Which is great because I am beat.

Day 4 (7/10/2012) – Awake cold, from a decent sleep. I get everything packed up and say bye to Chris. Then head west.Reporting from mcdonalds again. Mt. Vernon. 11:00. Planning my attack on Shawnee forest.
Almost out of Indiana!
Well I figured out that their is a bike path that starts in Elderado and runs almost all the way to Cape Girardeau. So I’m going to stay away from the forest.
I head west towards the bridge to Illinois. I stop to take pic, about to roll over the bridge, but I notice my rear tire not holding air. I head to shade to change the tube. The workers at the bridge are nice and bring me a cold water.
Sure enough there is a staple I pull out of the tire. I managed to get the new tube in and roll over into Illinois. Its starting to get hot 1:30 and my phone overheats.
I go to the shade. Cool down for a minute. I look at my route and it wants me to ride some more google gravel. I say no to that, and back track to the county road. Slightly longer, but not risking it on gravel, that no one else wants to drive their car on.
Back to Mcdonalds in Elderado to restock and blog. I plan to ride down the bike path tonight for a while. I got another flashlight to fend off wild dogs.
I get to the bike path and find that its cinder. Its going to be a long grind. I fly through Harisburg as it is the only paved section of the entire trail. The sun is about to fade away so I stop for a snack. I proceed on in the darkness. I realize after a little while that my phone mount as fallen off. With no phone I am unable to continue in the dark, so I ride back to last bridge I crossed and set up camp.

Day 5 (7/11/2012) – I get up with the sun early and pack everything up. I roll down the trail, scanning for my phone. Sure enough a 1/4 mile from where I had my snack, my phone laid with strava still running.
The phone shortly dies, but I don’t need it. The trail has no turns. I eventually make it to Tunnel Hill, the mid point of the trail and also the name of the trail. I pass a few other riders who say that veina is only 10 miles away. I get some water and head towards the tunnel. Its tall and long. I have to turn my lights on half way through. On the other side its more cinder grinding, luckily there are a few others on the trail to keep me company. Make it to veinna and hang out in the park drying all my clothes. Its starting to get hot so I wander around town see an IGA and a tavern. I hang out in the tavern charging my phone and have the bar tender heat up my ready rice. Eventually I around 4 I head over to the IGA and stock up. Its just cooling down as I head back to the trail. The cinder goes by fast now and I am greeted with some hills before reaching the river. The bridge to Cape Girardeau is lit up brightly and has a nice large shoulder. I wander around town and park my bike on the university. It looks like its about to storm. I run to the bar across the street. Got some more ready rice and a beer. Planning my next stop.

Day 6 (7/12/2012) – I leave the Cape Girardeau around 12:30 am , I find spot along side the road towards the outskirts of town and set up camp. Very few cars pass. I lay down for an hour, when I see flashing lights outside the tent. I talk to the officer and hand him my ID. Some one called the police, they thought I was in trouble and needed help. I told him I was just tired and needed some rest and that I was headed to texas. He handed my ID back and told me to be careful.
I laid back down and slept till dawn. Onward to Chaffee, hit gas station up for trail mix breakfast. Onward to advance, MO where I am reporting from a Mcdonalds. A nice old man insisted on giving me a dollar to help on my travels. Some clouds have blocked the sun. So I must get on the road to dexter.
Not much happening in Dexter. Found mcdonalds. I’m going to stock up and then try and make it to Piggott,AR tonight.
I stop to charge my phone at the campbell school. Chat with the security for a couple minutes. Wile the mosquitoes eat me alive. The border is only a few miles away.
Cross the Arkansas border around 11:30. Less than 24 hours to get through Missouri.

Day 7 (7/13/2012) – I roll through Piggott around 12:30 am. There is one gas station with a 24 hours subway open. I chat with the locals for a bit, they want to check out my bicycle. So they back their truck around and push the cooler to hitch edge so we can have some brews while we chat. No real cell service, and my phone needs charged, so after they leave, I head inside subway. The mosquitoes are even worse in AR. I misplaced my charger so I have to use my laptop to charge, which takes for ever. I decide to get a sub and wait till dawn to leave.
The sun start to show its self after 5:00 so I pack up and head for Rector. Its not very far, but not sleeping is showing its toll.
I get to Rector, and eat some ready rice, a potato and take a nap in the park.
A older lady comes over and asks If I am okay, and I explain why am so tired. She says it looks like I have things under control.
With a little more energy I push on to Paragould. Hour or so later I roll into Mcdonalds. The only thing I can eat from here is hashbrowns and fries. Which makes it a cheap visit.
I’ll be cooling down here for a while. I hope to make it to New Port tonight. They have showers!
I make it to jonesboro pretty fast. I wander around town, and end up on main street. Food and a 2 story bike shop and camp/climbing store.
Eating at the brick house before I head out to newport, should make it there at sunset. Tomorrow is little rock!
Well Google throws more gravel at me, I go along for a little bit, but decide that gravel is not for me. Back track to the pavement. I eventually get to a sign that says newport south, so I take it. I turns out to be a US highway 67. A patrol car pulls me over a few miles down it. I looked for signs, but nothing said that it was motorized vehicles only, the entrance ramp was under construction. He lets me go, but doesn’t want to see me on this highway again. The cars fly by fast, but there are not very many, and the shoulder is 8 feet wide. I ride it all the way to newport. The guy at the gas station says I need to go downtown to get over to the state park. I made it to mcdonalds to charge my phone. 4 miles to the park, and rest. I notice that I have another leak in my rear tire. I just pump it back up, I can change it later.
I get to the park but, but have know idea where the campground is. I wander around lost come up on a fast gravel down hill and wipe out. Spend 5 minutes getting the bike back together then head back to park entrance, and find the camp sites.
Well worth it. The bathhouse is brand new and raised off the ground, and its mosquito proof. It throw my tent up next to the bath house and call it a night.

Day 8 (7/14/2012) – I get up with the sun. Pack my stuff and head back downtown to mcdonalds. Its spiting rain, I park the bike under the over hang. I need to charge my phone for a a while.
The rain has stopped and there is a Kroger next door. Getting stocked up then changing my tire and heading to Bald Knob.
Make it to the mcdonalds as the sun starts to show through. I hang my bike clothing in a tree to dry out and I air my self out for a while. I finally feel comfortable enough to go change inside mcds. On the way in the manager says I need to keep my shirt on at all times or the customers will complain…..
I don’t find an outlet to charge my laptop, so I move to a booth. I re-open my laptop and bam giant crack in the screen. So I can only see the right half of my screen now.
I made It down to Beebe, but little rock is too far away tonight. Going to see if the rv park has a spot for me.

Day 9 (7/15/2012) – Up early with the sun, I pack things up. The humidity is atrocious everything is soaked. I roll on to cabot where I eat my ready rice out side a gas station. A man gives me $5 dollars for my journey! I roll through jacksonville and stop in north little rock mcdonalds. A storm sneaks up and I have to run out side to put my bike under the overhang. I guess I am stuck here util it dries up.
After an hour things look better and I find that there is a best buy close. I pick up a new smaller laptop. I now am traveling with two laptops. I now need to get to downtown little rock and set the laptop up. I find a small bicycle shop and pick up a tube,its directly across from the pedestrian bridge into the city. I roll around the city a while looking for something interesting, I spot some brewpub and head towards, I find that there is another bar underneath. One of the employees says I can park the bike inside, so I roll it on in. Its a country tavern style nothing I can eat but french fries. I have a blue moon and chill for a moment and try to figure out where I can get wifi.
A man sits down beside me and orders a miller light and complains that it costs $3.50. He is loud and boisterous and never seems to stop talking. He introduces himself as Huck, and claims to be an IT expert. Says he can fix anything, I laugh and show him my laptop screen. He offers me $40 for it and I laugh even more.
He rambles on about knowing the people who created eniac computer and that he has done work on every building everywhere in the world. I head outside to set up my new laptop, which he offers to help. By the time we get outside he is rambling more and wants to get a cheaper drink up the street at big whiskey. He says he will buy me a drink. I tell him I will meet him up there in a little while, after I set my laptop up. I get some fries and and a couple more beers and get the laptop running good. Then I pack everything back up and head up the street. On the way there I see Huck coming from the bar towards me. He offers his place up to shower and eat. I don’t want to spend any more money so we walk a mile to his place. I have to carry my monster bike up 10 steps to get into his building. His room is the first on the right. He says to bring the bike on in. His roomate don is on the couch watching harry potter. There is barely any room for the bike. I lean it on the couch. Huck crashes on his matress which is on the floor in front of the tv. Hes got a stove so I make some oatmeal. Huck must have been drinking all day. He is rambling a little less now, but manages to upset his roomate. I get my water stocked and eat the oatmeal before saying goodbye. Huck doesn’t seem to understand and says that I can stay the night. It’s 6:00pm.
I roll out of little rock not knowing how far I can go. Eventually I find a park and put my tent up.

Day 10(7/16/2012) I get up 5:30 and start to pack up. There are already people walking their dogs, and getting ready to play tennis. I keep heading south to breton which ends up having some very nice bike lanes all the way into town. I find a mcdonalds but no wifi. I rest for a minute then head out to Malvern. Lots of long rollers. About 5 miles out from malvern at smaller pick up truck that has some yellow flashers , looks like it my be for city maintance, pulls over 200m in front of me. A guy gets out and starts digging around in the bed of the truck. he pulls something purple out and holds it over the side of the road. It’s a gatorade hand out! G2! Re hydrated I make into the Malvern Mcdonalds at noon. I rest up and head for Arkadelphia around 6. About 10 miles out from Arkadelphia my front shifter cables breaks. Luckily I have a spare, and its easy to fix, in five minutes I’m rolling again. I make it to arkadelphia 8:30. Walmart has the cheapest unclce bens ready rice I have found yet. Refill water and eat some rice. The sun sets, so I plan to head out towards prescott and sleep somewhere on the way. Once out of town I find a nice shed to camp behind.

Day 11 (7/17/2012) Up early before the sun is all the way up. There are lots of cars flying by now. I get all my stuff packed up just as some one rolls into the business I was at. ~6am. I continue on towards gurdon and prescott. I make it to prescott early 9. Stop at the gas station to eat more rice and refill water. As I am about to leave I hear a jingling, and find that I have a broken rear spoke. It’s only one, however I am carrying a lot of weight. I test it and it wobbles only slightly. I hope that I can make it to Hope AR without my wheel giving out.I soft pedal all the way to hope. Hoping for a bike shop. The closest shop is out side texarkana. I finally make it to the hope mcdonalds 11:30. I decide to try and change the spoke here especially since the next shop is way out of the way. I was hesitant to bring my chain whip and tools, but I am glad I did. 20 minutes later and I have the new drive side spoke installed. I give the wheel a little truing and its ready to roll. Now I just have to wait for It to cool down outside, and I’m headed for texas!!!!!!!!!!!
I hit the Walmart up for some cheap rice and food before I head out. Leave a little after 6. One small river and then I’m in Texarkana by 9.
I cross the line into texas, and then head back across to the bar that is across the street in Arkanasas. The arrow bar, says it has wifi.. looks promising. I walk in to find everyone smoking and drinking coors light. I say I need a beer. A budwiser I say, cause they don’t know what beer is. I get aluminum bottle, its only 2 dollars. Nice deal, but cash only. I search my bag and pull out my last two dollars in cash.I talk to the people around the bar for a minute, but they are just NPC’s. I pound my beer and leave. Google points me to Hopkins. Finally a bar with real beer and real food. Spinach salad, and goose island. O yeah, WiFi too. I have few more pints to drink!

Day 12 (7/18/2012) – The bar closes at midnight so I head out too find a place to rest. I start to head out of town, when I realize that half of the buildings are vacant and there are big grass areas inside the town. I just pull over and set the tent up next to some old building. I awake with the sun, there are police down the road, but they don’t seem to care about me. I wander around town, find the mcdondalds. I’m headed to atlanta next. I manage to sell my broken laptop on ebay. I head to the post office to ship it out, 6 pounds lighter I roll out.
5 miles from atlanta a chunk of my tire goes missing and I get a flat. I pump it back up, but its not holding. I roll slowly into town. Park behind some food place and get some fries then change my tire and tube. Ready to roll again. I push down the road to a taco bell with wifi.
So thanks to my roomate for pointing out that mcdonalds fries and hashbrowns are not vegan. They have beef and milk in them.
Mcdonalds should probably worry less about me drying my clothes out side and focus a little more on how they are poisoning america with their garbage food.
There is a superwalmart I’m going to hit up before moving on. Next big city is Tyler Texas. I grab an extra tire and tube from walmart and roll out of town.

Day 13 (7/19/2012) – I sleep till 7 am and ride onward toward Gilmer. I cross the lake of pines, which is more like the shallow swamp of lily pads. I climb large texas rollers that are not very friendly for my heavy weight bike. The heat is coming on and I continue to sweat uncontrollably. I stop every hour for water and food break. No cell service for miles.
I finally get to Tyler. I find Ricks on the sqaure a place that has beer and food (not a real bar or restaurant cause it doesn’t have draft beer) and the bottle selection is poor. I get some steak fries and a blue moon. At least I can chill here with wifi but a 4 dollar “happy hour” blue moon bottle is pricey. Ill try an get to bed early tonight so I can get up early like 4 and ride till noon. The heat is to harsh to ride during the day. I need to make it to waco, TX by Saturday at noon. I have a car ride set up to take me the last leg down the highway to Austin.

Day 14 (7/20/2012) – I make it to Athens, TX 10am. I find a apple bees with unlimited salad. I tell the bartender I eat giant bowls full of pounds of spinach. After salad 5 she gets the idea and orders them two at a time. This is the busiest apple bees I have ever seen. I was not the first person to order a beer either at 11. After 6 tall blue moons and some 11 salads or so I move on to find wifi. Mcalister’s Deli is close and has lots of good reviews. Wow what a rare gem in Texas. Good food, awesome menu. I get a veggie club with avocado and then order just a spud. Its two big baked potatoes. No way I can eat them both.
Onward to corsicana tonight when the temps cool down, and then a morning ride to Waco.
About 8 miles from corsicana when the sun goes down around 10 I get a rear pinch flat from a rock.
I realize now why it is so hot riding through Texas. It’s is not only the Sun from above that cooks you, but the road below stays over 90 degrees all night. Sitting on the pavement changing my flat tire I was sweating from the intense heat from the road, but it was dark out. I make it into town before midnight. Hardly anything is open. I find a 24 hour whataburger.

Day 15 (7/21/2012)- I sit in whataburger for an hour or so, cool off refill water. I think about just sitting there till 4 am, but I need some real sleep if I want to make waco. 1:30 am I head out of town, eventually find a spot to camp. It doesn’t get cool till 4 am. I get everything ready and roll out 6:30. I just keep riding and only stop to refill my water bottles, with my reserve water gallon.
My phone dies a little out side of waco, I just follow the road into town, and stop at the subway. Get my phone plugged in and Adam has just passed by. We have a quick subway lunch and start to head south to Austin ending my first leg of travel. As we approach I can see that I have finally made it to a real city, Tall buildings and tons of bike lanes. Traffic is bad for a Saturday, but we make it to Austin 2:45. I rest till like 11:00pm then find some new belgium ranger beer. Going down pretty smooth.

Day 16 (7/22/2012)

Adam gets off work at midnight we head out to the HEB grocery, have to hurry only sell alcohol till 1.
Get some Dales Pale Ale and some Lone Star Beer. Some real Texas beer in a can. Get some some food to cook, no more mcdonalds!
There are crickets everywhere in Texas. Literally everywhere dead and alive piles of them. In restaurants, bathrooms, gas stations, millions along the road. I don’t think anyone goes hungry here, so many crickets. At least there are none in the house.
My allergies started to act up after I hit Texas, not sure whats causing it.Runny nose and sneezes.

Went to one of the bike shops today. There were 3 huge shops within like 20 yards of each other. The Austin Bicycle Sport Shop was busy. IMG_20120722_153822

Their show floor was bigger than most car dealers show rooms. They were smart and backed by specialized. Multiple fitting stations and tons of places to lock your bicycle up outside! They must have had at least 20 employees working.

That night we head to Cedar door after Adams shift. I get to try the 512 IPA. 512 Pecan Porter. Real Ale’s Fireman.

Day 17 (7/23/2012)

We get some lunch from Torchy’s Tacos.
This place makes taco bell look like a dumpster, and the tacos are faster. Their salsas are tasty too.

After lunch we get peeps together to head to the green belt.

I am lucky since it rained the week before the water levels were high enough.

The water is refreshing and we hang out and watch the slack line walkers put on a show.

Day 18 (7/24/2012)

Zen – Asian Japanese food fast

They have sushi and lots of other goodies. I get the seaweed salad to start. No green dye!
We sample all of the Austin Beerworks brews too. Pearl Snap Pilsner, Fire Eagle IPA, BlackThunder Porter.
The pearl Snap is the bomb diggity for this time of year.

We ride over to the Yellow Bike Co-op. I get my wheels trued, and clip my shifter cable.

Day 19 – (7/25/2012)

Ginger Man Taps

Day 20 – (7/26/2012) Get the bike ready for the next leg. We roll out for a beer and dinner before I head out.
The draft house has nice selection of beer. I get the rye IPA. Adam gets the double IPA.
Still in search of food we head back to Zen. More pearl snap, seaweed salad, sweet potato fries and rice bowls.

Day 21 – (7/27/2012) I make it to Lampasas by 1:30 its sweltering out. Mcdonalds stop first. No outles so I move on. The main strip of the town is under construction, no side walk. I manage to find Storms and old drive in style burger joint. They have wifi and electricity. Their french fries are actually potatoes!

I hit up H.E.B. for dinner. Guacamole and hummus. Back to Storm’s until it cools down. Tomorrows destination is brownwood.

Day 22 – (7/28/2012) Long hot ride this morning.
Texas has signs about every mile that say “1 mile ahead historic site”. Well after I see about 3, I decide that they are probbaly not worth stopping for. Why not just put a sign up that says “Texas we are historic” or at least say which historic site is ahead. Well I decide to stop at one that has shade.

I make it to Brownwood by 1. There is basically wifi everywhere here so I hit up the chilis for some chips, salsa and beer.
Next stop Abiline.

Day 23 – (7/29/2012)

A Longer hot ride this morning. I make it to Abilene before 2. Not sure where to go I hit up the Logans roadhouse. Free Peanuts so I get some beer and charge my phone. It’s a steak house so I order a vegetable skewer and some sweet potato fries.
No wifi so I go for a walk in 100 degrees. Stock up at walmart. I find some wifi at Zookini’s. They have an okay salad bar so I have some dinner.
Next destination is Snyder. On my way out of town I get to stop by the flying j and take a shower!

Day 24 – (7/30/2012)

Windmills and soybeans. Are all I see for miles. A few stops along the way. I get some subway in sweetwater, but no time to stay. Onward, towards Snyder with the wind in my face.
I manage to throw my chain off in to my spokes and break two of them as I roll into Snyder. I roll into the closest gas station. I eat some ready rice look for some food and wifi. There is only one thing that will make this situation better…… beer. There is a cafe a downtown 2 miles away so I soft pedal after changing clothes.
I make it to the Big Apple in Synder. Beer, wifi, food in that order. Drinking some Ziegen Bock Amber from texas. Much better than hudy amber. They have the Real Ale “Remember the Alamo” Golden Ale. Pretty tasty I go for a second.
I get to meet the owner. Bill is great and his pub is excellent, he even knows what a vegan is.

I manage to change my two spokes out front. I have to pound the spokes out of the hub, cause the chain sheared them off. A lot of my other spokes are messed up as well.
I meet the Mayor, he says I can sleep out in front of the pub if I want.
Tomorrow looks like Lubbock!

Day 25 – (7/31/2012)

4 packs of oatmeal for breakfast. Looking more like desert and no water in sight. I get a flat half way to post. I manage to find a tiny shade tree and get it changed.
I make it to the subway in Post at noon.
There are bike shops in lubbock, but they close at 6pm. I rest in subway till 2 and head out. Get to Slaton by 4, cant find a gas station with a microwave so I hit the grocery store up for food.
Onward to Lubbock all flat so I pick up the speed. Make it to dfc CYCLE & FITNESS at 5:50. Get spoke, tube, spoke wrench, shifter cable and more nuun. They have new flavors, Bananuun!
Onward I find a gas station with microwave. Double ready rice for dinner.
I hit the closest bar within walking distance. Buccas, no draft or wifi. I get a few happy hour beers and water then move on towards Texas Tech.
I get to the campus bar zone. About 6 within walking distance. I try the Mesquite bar need two IDs to enter and I get a gay wristband. There are about 8 people in the bar. They don’t serve draft after 7? Dos Equis is on special. They have wifi but its passworded. I don’t see the bartender till I do some jumping jacks. Cash out.
Next is BashRipRocksKitchen oldest bar in lubbock. Large with a bunch of games, there is only 5 people here. Good wifi and Zeigen bock amber on draft special. They have a huge selection of beer. Kitchens closed.
Ill need to seek more food, I hope to make it to flying js to get a shower, then onward to Tulia, TX tomorrow. Amarillo Is so close.

Day 26 – (8/1/2012)

I get to flying jay around 2 am. Get a shower and then head to the closest park.
Get to New Deal and have some ready rice breakfast. Onward to Abernathy. I stop at a local store and get some french fries and charge my phone. Onward to Hale Center. Quick stop for water then I push onward to Plainview. I make it to the chilis around 1. No wifi. Get more rice from walmart. Head back to mcdonalds for wifi.
Hope to get a good ride in tonight, so I have plenty of time in Amarillo Tomorrow.

Strava has been acting up. It wont submit yesterdays ride, and today It just randomly crashed.

I roll out of town at dusk I don’t go vary far, throw my tent up.

Day 27 – (8/2/2012)

Wake up at 2 am head to Kress take a shower. When I get back outside I notice both wheels are flat. I pump them up, they hold air so I ride on towards Tulia. Take another nap till 7. Change my rear tube. Restock in tulia. Ride onward to Happy. I get another flat 1 mile out of Happy. Won’t hold air.
I walk it the bike to the only thing in Happy, the Happy Cafe. Its an old southern diner style restaurant. I older fries and a coke. I am the only one there. The waitress says a whole 2 things the entire visit. She asks what I want, then when I check out she says the price. I start to change my rear tire out back. She has the back door open to take trash out. She sees me and just stares. As I get everything packed to go, the waitress turns the hose on that waters the 8 dead basil plants and sprays me at the same time. Luckily all my clothes were packed up, so I enjoyed the mist. I am more than happy to leave Happy.

I get to Canyon stop at Subway for lunch. Restocked I notice my rear has yet another flat. It holds air so onward to an Amarillo bike shop. First shop doesn’t carry the size tubes I have. Next shop I get 4 tubes. They tell me to head to 15th street and check out bike life. The guy works on bikes and used to run a shop. I call the place no answer. My phone dies so I never find the spot.
I head to the Burger Bar. Good beer and fries. I change both my tubes, and true up my rear wheel. Around 9:30 I see I have missed call from the bike life. I call Alex he is at another bar few blocks away. I meet him and have a beer. We ride back to bike life. I get a shower and a futon to sleep on. Great finish to a hard day with 4 flats.

Day 28 – (8/3/2012)
Tires still holding air.
Walmart for supplies.
When leaving Amarillo I was told to head west and check out the Cadillac ranch.
Cadillac Ranch

I stayed on the other side of highway and never got my own pictures.
Onward to bushland,get some water, now north to Channing.

Get to Channing around 11:00 , rest outside the Cowgirl Cafe. The owner stops by and says to be cool, and I can stay in his truck thats unlocked. There is nothing in the town so I head on. I get a little out of town and then have to sleep.

Day 29 – (8/4/2012)

Wake up early head to hartley, get water and snacks and keep rolling .
Dalhart, Eat all my ready rice.I get to restock at the gas station, last stop before NM.

I roll out towards new mexico around 9 am central. I encounter the strongest winds I have ever ridden through. I am barely able to roll the bicycle at 7 mph in the middle ring. I have to stop and take 2 walk breaks.
Texline, get a small rest to refill water


I make it to Clayton, NM at 3:30 Mountain. Beaten and bruised from a relentless wind I roll into the Subway to find my ride had just arrived 5 minutes before, we had been out off cells for 8 hours.

Hardest day of riding of the whole trip.
We head back to denver. To find the BBQ in the park was cancelled by the cops for selling too strong of beer.
Decide to just rest and drink some Colorado beer.

Day 30 – (8/5/2012)

Farmers Market

Liqour Store
BEst buy
Sunflower Grocery
Jazz in the park

Day 31 – (8/6/2012)

Wynkoop Brewing Company
Vine Street Pub

Day 32 – (8/7/2012)

Day 33 – (8/8/2012)

Day 34 – (8/9/2012)

Day 35 – (8/10/2012)
Performance bike

Day 36 – (8/11/2012)
Cheery Creek Farmers Market
Denver Beer Co
BBQ- Rain Out

Day 37 – (8/12/2012)
Things start to dry out around 10am. I get my bike tuned up and my packs filled.

Day 38 – (8/13/2012)
Get my tent strapped on, and say my good byes. Head towards the sun around 7am.
I head east until there is just farmland. I keep rolling only to find that the road I picked turned to sand for 2 miles. Get some good cyclocross training in and finally make it to Watkins. Ready rice and water then roll on.
Bennett ,Strasburg, Byers, Deer Trail all go by smoothly.
Wind and rain start to pick up.
At Agate I find no pavement in all directions. I roll down the busted old state route 40. There is barely any pavement left of the road. After a few miles the road dead ends into barb wire. Its starting to rain a little more so I decide to take US Highway 70, its only like 12 miles to Limon. Eventually the frontage road returns a few miles outside Limon.

I make it into town before 6pm. Nothing of interest. I hit the local grill and pub, french fries and coors light. I ditch this place asap as everything is over priced and not vegan. So I find some Wifi at Arbys.

I wait for nightfall and slink into the KOA campground un-noticed. Get a shower, and some rest.

Over 100 miles today, If I can do it again tomorrow I will be in Kansas!

Day 39 – (8/14/2012)

Wake up to tons of fog and dew everywhere. I wait for the sun to clear everything up.
Make some oatmeal at the gas station across the street and get stocked up.
I head to the frontage road, only to find dirt, gravel and sand. I don’t really have a choice at this point. I roughly roll past a few towns without services and finally make it to Flagler around 11:30. I find the I-70 diner has wifi.
I order 2 french fries. Looks like I should be onto pavement very soon.
Burlignton is next.

5 more miles of dirt. Then as I approach Seibert, the pavement returns.
I get a front flat after Vona. It holds air so I roll to Straton and change it.
Make it to Burlighton at 5. Subway for dinner, and then I head for Kansas.

I get a second to chat to another rider as he rides to the state line and back.
I roll into Kansas, no markings or signs.

I make it to Goodland, KS by nightfall! I get to camp at the KOA.

Day 40 – (8/15/2012)

Wake up to find my rear has a flat tire. I head to Walmart, but they don’t have any tubes larger than 26″. I grab a patch kit just incase.
Blogging at mcdonalds, before I change my tube and head out to Colby.
Make it to Colby at 1pm. Subway for lunch. Onward to Oakley.
Headwind for 20 miles till I turn east. I make it by 6pm.
The weather looks iffy so I pull up to the pizza hut and use their wifi to check the weather.
A storm front is coming through. Not much in the city so I head east to the travel center truck stop across town. I eat 3 ready rice and monitor the radar.
Looks like most of the front missed Oakley but its still really windy. I am going to get a shower, and maybe wait here till morning.

Tomorrows destination is Hays. It has bicycle shops. Hopefully I can make it their before 6pm!

Day 41 – (8/16/2012)

I got some awkward sleep at the travel center lounge. Eat some oatmeal and then head out.
I get to the old interstate 40 and its unpaved. Checking the gps but there is no other route.
I start down the gravel and try to stay in the car wheel ruts. The wind is again in my face.

Slowly but surely I make headway. Grinnel, Grainfield then I get two flats. I lay the bike down and start to patch the rear. I manage to get it patched and back on. I go to wipe the grease off my hands on some weeds along side the road and ouch!!! There is some prickly barbs. I realize that this plant is what has been giving me flat headaches.
The prickly goat head.
scary prickly goat heads

Now when I pull of the road, I try to stay on rock or check the grass and ground for this hellish plant.

I managed to pull at least 50 thorns out of my wheels. Most don’t make it all the way through the tire. The front tire still holds air so I give it some air and roll on.
Pass park and then my phone mount falls off. My back wheel runs over the phone. The lcd is cracked and the touch barely works. No map and no music I just keep pedaling.

Quinter, air up the front, Collyer and then finally around 1 I make it to Wakeeney.
I spot the mcdonalds, check the wifi, Subway down the road. Subway for lunch. Its now 2 and I still need to fix my front and get more food.

After more research I find that I have 35 more miles of gravel till Hays. Doubting that I can make it there before 6, I decide that Hays is for tomorrow and my body would appreciate a little more rest.

I get food, supplies and patch my front flat, we will see tomorrow if it still holds. I have to super glue the tread on my front back on. I think the tire might be a little worn.

There is a KOA campground here so I hope to sleep good. The nights get are getting really cold like 55 degrees. I had to get some more clothes to cover up.
I have 60 more miles of gravel that I hope to conquer tomorrow, and then its pavement for the rest of the trip.
Hopefully I can make it to Russel tomorrow.

Day 42 – (8/17/2012)

I pack up and head out of the KOA campground. As I leave some one from the office comes running after me, yelling something about paying. I decide to stop and see what he has to say. I tell him I didn’t stay long and don’t have much money. We walk back to the office. I ask how much it is for the night and he says $26. I say ouch!. He gives me a discount and I only have to pay 10.

I head down the gravel and pass a few small towns and then make it to Ellis. Get water and eat oatmeal. Onward to Hays.

I’m in luck! The pavement returns. I make it to Hays before noon. I get 5 tubes from the shop.
The owner assures me the road from here on is paved.

I head towards the fast food in town. Eat my ready rice at gas station. Check Subway and Mcdonalds, but neither have an outlet to charge. Across the street I set up at the Burger King. It has wifi and french fries made out of potatoes.

I make it to Russel. Eat the rest of my ready rice. Not to much going on. I scout out the camper park to plan where to put my tent.

They have put-put with live reindeer.

I wait for darkness then set up my tent and get a shower.

Day 43 – (8/18/2012)

Leave the campground the back way. Hit the gas station up to refill my water and eat some oatmeal.
Head out a little after 7.
Roll through the little towns stop in Ellsworth for water and rest my legs.
I make it to Salina around 2. No sure where to go, I head to the grocery store called Dillards(Kroger), they sell Kroger brand and I can use my plus card. They have wifi at the store, so I sit outside and eat my lunch. Not very comfortable so I move to mcdonalds.

There is no camping to the south of Salina so I may just find a park.

50 miles away the flint trail starts in Herington. Should be able to make it to Council Grove tomorrow.

Day 44 – (8/19/2012)

Wake up in the park.People are already out jogging and walking their dogs. Head to the gas station for oatmeal breakfast.
Head south of Salina for a few miles then turn east.

I pass through Gypsum and come upon another traveler.


He is headed to St Louis also. His bike is a little different. He has 81 speeds, 3 X 9 X 3.
I ride and chat with him till Hope. Turns out he has a Computer Science Degree as well, just decades difference.

He informs me that that trail in Herrington is not complete yet and I will have to get on at Council Grove.

I continue on as Ken rests. Make it to Herrington and eat ready rice. I get back on and head to Council grove.

I make it around 4. I scout the trail. Its crushed limestone looks pretty packed.
I rest in town at subway and plan out my options.
I would rather be on pavement, but the trail is carless. So I can travel in the darkness. Hopefully I can find a nice quite camping spot as well. I plan to rejoin the pavement in the morning and make my way to Osage ,Ottawa and end up in Louisburg just a few miles from Missouri.

Day 44 – (8/20/2012)

Wake up on the trail.
Pull a thorn from my rear tire. Change it. Roll down the trail a mile to find it start to turn to large rocks. I look down below to see the road north is nice packed gravel. I back track and get off on the gravel road. After 4 miles I rejoin pavement. The Flint trail is just not ready for use yet.

Some nice lady named Stacey gives me like ten 1 dollar bills in Osage City.
Roll through Ottawa

Make it to Louisburg. Stop at the pricechopper and get some food. I head towards the ouskirts of town. Everything is open till 10pm. I wait at a picknick table for everything to close, then set my ten up behind pizza hut.

Day 46 – (8/21/2012)

The sprinklers wake me up, I have the rain flap on, so I just push one of the sprinkler heads back down. They shut off after a few minutes.

Oatmeal at the gas station. Get all packed up. Realize I have another thorn in my tire, and a spoke is broken.

Get the spoke changed. Get the new tube in. Roll out of town sometime after 9. I make it to Harrisonville pretty quick.

Tons of rollers all through the begging of Missouri. They are steep and fun. You’ll have to check out strava to see the crazy-ness.

Roll into Windsor around 2:30. Find the Katy trail. Its double wide and much better looking than the Kansas trail.
Subway lunch.

I will make it to Sedalia tonight. Try to camp in the park. Going to skip part of the trail tomorrow and hop back on at Jefferson City.

Day 47 – (8/22/2012)

Wake up in the Sedaila park. Lots of people already up and moving at 6:30. I eat some oatmeal at the gas station before heading out.

I stop in Tipton and eat some rice.

About 10 miles from Jefferson City I break my chain. Nothing I can do, so I start walking.
After a few miles some one stops and asks what the issue is. He has a chain tool with him, however my chain is miles back. He gives me a ride into town to the bike shop. Got a new chain and rolling good by 1pm.
I get some Chipotle for lunch. At Mcdonalds for wifi.

There is not much on the trail for the next 100 miles. Need to get some groceries before hitting the trail.

Day 48 – (8/23/2012)

Leave Mokane, MO on the Katy Trail.
Change front flat, pull thorn out.
Bunch of shade till the sun is directly over head at noon.

I decide to leave the trail and head into Washington, MO..
Burger king to recharge my phone.
Grocery store for lunch.
Panera bread for dinner.

30 miles to camp at Babler state park.
my front derailer falls apart right when I need it the most
the hills are crazy

I make it to the state park around 9pm.
Shower and set up camp.

Day 49 – (8/24/2012)

Wake up at Babler.
Scrape my self up try to climb out of the park.

Gas station breakfast ready rice. Pull thorn out of the rear change the tube.
I head for downtown.

Get a new front derailuer front the cycle center.

All within a 1/4 mile there are 3 brew pubs.

6 row Brewpub- I try the double IPA, Smooth, Hoppy and delicious. The food is not to my liking, so I move on.

Buffalo Brewpub – They have 5 different brews. I get the rye IPA. Its okay and the fries are soso.

Shalfly Brewpub- Biggest of them all. Lots on tap. I get the Oktoberfest, and its okay. I like try the IPA and like it better. I sample the pumpkin, its to much 8% alcohol and spice.
I get the veggie black bean veggie burger. Its good.

The 6 row had the best beer.

I head east over the river, there is a nice paved bike path all the way to collinsville.

BK- Have some fries and wait for my host.
Spend the night in Collinsville, Illinois

Day 50 – (8/25/2012)

Burger King hash browns for breakfast.
subway for lunch.
Salem walmart- stock up for the last time.
ready rice dinner
Salem Wendys for wifi.
Have to change another rear flat.

Plan to camp in charlie brown park, they have full amenities.

Day 51 – (8/26/2012)

camped in Montgomery, IN

Day 52 – (8/27/2012)

Montgomery gas station for oatmeal breakfast.
Loogootee snack break.
Quick Subway lunch in bedford.
Brownstown been here before once before.
Reporting from Arbys’ in Seymour.

Last night in Indiana at Versailies State park.

Day 53 – (8/28/2012)

Wake up to lawn mowers trimming the park. Pack up and head into aurora get some Subway breakfast.
Roll through Cleves Ohio around noon.
I get back to price hill and hit Krogers up for food.

Make it home by 2pm!

Legs feel weird not to be pedaling right now.