Bike Trip Day 10 – 7/29/11 – Garden City, KS to Dodge City, KS

Start:  Garden City, KS

Finish: Dodge City, KS

Weather:  95 degrees, sunny

Bike Time: 6 hours

Miles:  58

Distance to date: 647

Any number of sayings could apply to me today.  ‘Be careful what you wish for.’  ‘The most difficult things are the ones you least expect.’ ‘Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug.’

I slept in, left late, figured 50 miles to Dodge City would be a breeze.  It turned out to be the most difficult cycling of my trip, except maybe for Vail Pass.  I cruised along the top of the world out of Garden City, an ant scampering on the picnic table of life, flat and broad with food popping up all around me.  The plain hollowed out in a dip and I got sucker punched in the stomach with a headwind that would not quit, and road construction as well.  Twenty miles of grinding pedaling, dancing over the pebbles strewn across the shoulder or shaking like a jack hammer over the scarified pavement.

All ended with sweetness and delight when I hit Cimarron, KS at noon and discovered Clark’s Drug Store, with full soda fountain and cheerful blonde waitresses who insisted on filling my water bottles with ice water.  I had strawberry, the ‘it’ flavor among the toddler set according to my niece Isabel and nephew Owen.

The last eighteen miles to Dodge had no construction, but the brutal wind kept at me.  I arrived at my motel near three, but after a dip in the pool, I felt terrific again.

I rolled back into town for sightseeing.  Dodge City is a small time tourist trap, but great fun. The gun fight reenactment at the Boot Hill Museum is both corny and cool, the extensive exhibits are fun, the character actors really get into their parts.
The rest of Dodge is a dusty Ag town, except for a superb train station turned theater, circa 1890‘s and a gem of a Carnegie Library, now the Dodge City Arts Council Gallery.  I happened
upon a reception with a great show of local artists and live piano performance of a few flawless rags.

So much of the history emphasizes the harsh brutality of the plains, how the endless stretches of land and ceaseless wind drove settlers insane.  The wind is not an obvious threat, like a storm or cold or flood, yet it threatens by being so insidious.  I realized my five hours of pedaling against the behemoth was but a taste of prairie life.

Ice Cream Soda at Clark Drug in Cimarron, KS

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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5 Responses to Bike Trip Day 10 – 7/29/11 – Garden City, KS to Dodge City, KS

  1. pat bringenberg says:

    Love it!

  2. Paul Lewis says:

    I’m following your progress, Paul F. Last week I biked 25 miles and when I got back home I conked out on the couch for 90 minutes. Huzzahs to you, sir!

  3. Sherri McCutchen says:

    Shorty: I can’t wait to hear about each day’s ride! Here’s hoping there’s a miracle tailwind in your future!

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