Climbing expectations

I’ll come back and update this later. It’s been a busy day and I haven’t had much time to sit down and write. Also, I’m struggling to get my photos uploaded with the internet service available.

Today’s ride was officially 74, but ended up being 75.5 on my bike computer. As promised, there were a lot of hills, some quite steep, or long, that challenged riders’ legs heading up. We were told during a meeting on Wednesday night that there was a hill outside of Elmdale that would remember, and they were not wrong. It’s a steep grade, and long, and most riders alongside me stopped at the top to photograph the way they had just come, and maybe to prove that it really was that bad.

Of course the other side of steep hills is the downside, where with little effort a rider can move very, very ¬†fast. Today, on the last stretch to Council Grove, I hit 42.6 miles per hour – and it’s an exhilarating feeling.

I stopped to eat at Ad Astra restaurant in Strong City, and might have eaten the best burger of my life. It had jalapenos, a spicy sauce, bacon, and and egg. Believe me, it was delicious.

One last thing to say before I hit the sack tonight – I should mention how incredible the town Goessel was to all the riders. To be honest, there was some talk going into town that this little town of 500 might not be able to offer us much to do, or provide the services we’d need. Those thoughts were completely wrong. Moreover, they seemed to go out of their way to make us feel welcome. There were dozens of signs coming into town welcoming us, and more on the way out thanking us. One series of signs caught my attention.

“Thank you for visiting our town.”

“We hope you don’t leave with a frown”

“Enjoy your trip and the hills”

“We’d join you but we have to pay the bills”

I hope to write more tomorrow and update this entry. It’s a long day – 82 miles – and there’s a 100 percent chance for rain, all day, I’ve been told. I hope that’s wrong.

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