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Saturday, July 05, 2014

Independence Day Ride/Bombas

I returned to the Prairie Spirit Trail with my new chain, cassette and crank to redeem Sunday's Ride.

The trail was much drier and faster than on Sunday. Garnett had received almost two inches of rain the night before my first run at this, and while I've figured out that there are faster and slower sections of the trail (I think mainly based on where the traffic is, the loose parts I suspect get less bicycle traffic to compact them), it wasn't exactly fast.

The thing about a rail-to-trail ride, you're never coasting downhill so you're always working, but you're never cranking like you have to to get up a hill. You have to bring your own intensity if it's going to happen because the grade won't inspire it.

I was supposed to pick up Mo between five and six, so really I should have turned tail after my lunch at the Colony Diner. But I ran the numbers and I was going to get back to the car too early. I rode down to Carlyle and a bit beyond and something happened. I needed to take a dump. I know, TMI, but Carlyle was a horrible vault toilet I wasn't sure I wanted to spend much time on and I was really getting to feel the need. Iola, according to the map, had a 'modern toilet' at the trailhead. That turned out not to be quite true, but there is a Taco Bell right by the trailhead that does have a modern toilet.

To try and get back to my car on time, well, I hauled ass. I knew I was cutting it close, but not by how much. I thought I'd be back at my car at 4:00, it was actually 6:30. Yikes.

I stopped for water at Colony and a couple of old timers were hanging out on the porch offering me directions to the state mental hospital at Osawatamie if I was out on a bike, but the owner of the diner wasn't having it. She gets 40 to 70 of us every weekend in warm weather and for a town of 400 or so souls, that's like a Shriner convention coming every weekend through the summer. I told the geezers that rides like this were what keep me sane, but really, even if it wasn't, the business trail riders bring to the town probably make the difference about whether there's a diner for old timers to sit in front of at all.

Anyway, a good ride, just shy of 104 miles. I was late getting Mo for the fireworks but we still got downtown in plenty of time for the chaos. The city display is awesome, but all around the city was alive with people setting off their own fireworks. I think more so than in recent years, which while annoying after midnight, might be a sign the economy has come back.

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