Riding Sideways

Hank – We left the hotel early hoping we would arrive at our destination before any rain fell. At first we were going to go through Winfield on our way to Arkansas City. That way if we got tired from dealing with the wind we could bail out in Winfield. But once we arrived in Udall we decided to take the most direct–and shorter–route to Ark City (as the locals call it) instead. (Arkansas City is not pronounced like the state of Arkansas. It’s pronounced like the state of Kansas with an “Ar” at the beginning.)

The sun came out for a little while. Then it pulled a blanket of clouds over its head. Before it disappeared it said, “I’m feeling a little under the weather. Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow, okay? I’ll be thinking of you.”

I was hoping we would stop in Winfield. It’s the county seat and has the county museum. Winfield was the home for the Kansas State Asylum for Idiotic and Imbecile Youth, which had a dark history. The buildings are now part of the Winfield Correctional Facility. Arkansas City was a registration point for settlers who came here to get land in Oklahoma territory in what the largest land rush yet. It is known as the Cherokee Strip Land Rush. About 100,000 participants took advantage of the US Government’s offer of homesteads. Unfortunately, we’ll miss out on the museum because we’ll be long gone by the time they open at 1:00 pm tomorrow.

The winds were strong today. Most of the time we had a side wind and we leaned to the left to compensate. When traffic allowed I rode next to Kathy to take the brunt of the wind. I don’t know if it helped at all but I made the effort.

We were happy to be done with today’s ride. It was just a little strenuous. Sitting in the hotel room at 2:30 pm I felt like it was already 7:00. I did the laundry and found a Kershaw pocket knife in the washing machine. It’s similar to the Kershaw I own but smaller. Now I’m twice as likely to hurt myself. 😁 The freshly cleaned knife came in handy cutting the pizza we had for dinner.

We’re only a couple miles from the Oklahoma border so tomorrow we hit state #41.

Kathy – We left this morning at 7:30 am to hopefully stay dry and avoid the afternoon rain that was scheduled. Leaving early meant riding in cold temperatures starting out at 33 degrees with the wind chill. We eventually warmed up into the low 50’s but with the wind chill it was only 43 degrees. The rain has not come yet.

The wind was not our friend most of the day. We had sustained winds around 20 mph and gusts in the 30 mph range. We rode 47 miles with headwinds and sidewinds the majority of the day. We were lucky to have a small tailwind for about 16 miles, but it was really a sidewind with only a very slight tailwind. It didn’t help us that much. We rolled up and down many times today even though Google maps said we would have minimal elevation and mostly flat. Google maps lies again. 🙄

Those winds kicked my butt today. I was very happy to arrive at our destination in Arkansas City, Kansas. Since there is not much around the hotel (and we are too lazy to ride a few more miles to a restaurant) we opted for Casey’s General Store pizza for dinner. It’s not too bad. Resting up and thankful today’s ride is done. ✅

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