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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Downtown Airport Thing

At the instigation of Jennichilds, who got me into cycling almost a year ago, I rode with her and Roj in delightful, pointless circles around the old downtown airport.

Amazingly, this tiny field was where you flew to if you flew to Kansas City before KCI was built. I think Jimmy Carter landed there in Air Force One back when he was Head Goober, but it's hard for me to picture anything bigger than the little Pipers and Lear Jets I saw and heard coming and going as we did our flat-assed laps.

New Century Air Center near my house in the boondocks is bigger than this airport by a wide margin and an Air National Guard squadron of Chinooks.

I only did five laps, 18.8 miles. And they were leisurely miles, as after hitting a fast (for me) 13.7 mph average for those first couple laps, it seemed ever lap after had to pause for a change from sunglasses to regular glasses, a pair of gloves, and a prolonged conversation. So I finished with a lousy 12.9 mph average. Great for a route with hills and stop signs, not so hot for a route I should be able to pin the ears back and just hammer it.

Lollygag as we did, we finished in near darkness, and I've never ridden into darkness in such safety. There were cars, most of them the airport cop, which is only one car, and most of them were going the opposite direction of the vast majority of the cyclists.

And cyclists were legion. Any car that didn't have a bike rack was owned by one of a handful of pilots or else by one of three runners who made the same laps I did but the other direction and on foot.

I prefer hills and a bit more variety, but I'll have to keep this ride in mind when it gets to be fall and the darkness comes earlier. And maybe I'll come out some other time and see if I'm right that with some focus and concentration, I could average fifteen on this loop.

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