Record Mileage in Flat Kansas, But Not Easy

You may remember from a previous blog post that at a Mexican restaurant in Clinton, MO, we had come across two brothers who had also been cycling on the Katy Trail. We exchanged numbers and a week or so later, one of them, Bill- along with his wife- invited us stay in their home if we happen through the Wichita area. So we accepted their invitation and really enjoyed getting to know them a bit and soaking in the kind hospitality. 

 Here is Bill and his dog, Fergus. The boys had lots of fun playing with this little ball of fur. (Bill’s wife wasn’t available for a picture when we thought to take one.)

Here is Bill and his dog, Fergus. The boys had lots of fun playing with this little ball of fur. (Bill’s wife wasn’t available for a picture when we thought to take one.)

 Bill helping Jerry to clean the grime and debris from our bikes after the miles on trails and roads. 

Bill helping Jerry to clean the grime and debris from our bikes after the miles on trails and roads. 

 Our record day of 70+ miles from Bel-Aire (Wichita area) to Hutchinson, KS. 

Our record day of 70+ miles from Bel-Aire (Wichita area) to Hutchinson, KS. 

 Zion Lutheran Church in Hutchinson that hosts through-cyclists (hostel-like). We were thankful for the shower, beds, and AC here after our record-breaking 70-mile day!

Zion Lutheran Church in Hutchinson that hosts through-cyclists (hostel-like). We were thankful for the shower, beds, and AC here after our record-breaking 70-mile day!

 As we were passing through the town of Nickerson, KS, we stopped for a snack break under the shade of a tree. A sweet woman quickly approached us to welcome us to the town and let us know of all the town has to offer.  As we were about to finish up, she returned with ice water for each of us.  What kindness!

As we were passing through the town of Nickerson, KS, we stopped for a snack break under the shade of a tree. A sweet woman quickly approached us to welcome us to the town and let us know of all the town has to offer.  As we were about to finish up, she returned with ice water for each of us.  What kindness!

 A few days ago we arrived at the city park in Sterling, KS, where we would swim (for $1 per person!!) and camp for the night.  After Jerry had talked a bit with Jonathan (the father of this family) at the pool which was closing soon (@ 6:00), Jonathan invited us to join their family for dinner. What a pleasure to get to know them a bit and be shown such kindness! One (or both) of the daughters is raising a lamb for 4-H (see in background on the far left).

A few days ago we arrived at the city park in Sterling, KS, where we would swim (for $1 per person!!) and camp for the night.  After Jerry had talked a bit with Jonathan (the father of this family) at the pool which was closing soon (@ 6:00), Jonathan invited us to join their family for dinner. What a pleasure to get to know them a bit and be shown such kindness! One (or both) of the daughters is raising a lamb for 4-H (see in background on the far left).

 We have a unique way of finding biscuits-and-gravy fundraisers in small towns. This one was at The American Legion in Sterling, KS. The lady in the salmon colored top was the chef. This breakfast ended up fueling our hard day that involved a tire blow-out. 

We have a unique way of finding biscuits-and-gravy fundraisers in small towns. This one was at The American Legion in Sterling, KS. The lady in the salmon colored top was the chef. This breakfast ended up fueling our hard day that involved a tire blow-out. 

 Whew! This came at a good time! This person has a hose stretched out to the road for cyclists (between a long stretch without any water sources- no nearby stores nor towns). Thankful for this opportunity to refill our water bottles on a hot and long day!

Whew! This came at a good time! This person has a hose stretched out to the road for cyclists (between a long stretch without any water sources- no nearby stores nor towns). Thankful for this opportunity to refill our water bottles on a hot and long day!

 We were in the middle-of-nowhere, KS- miles from even the smallest town, and the front tire of the triple blew out. This time I was the one at the helm and the explosive sound scared me out of my skin! We had a spare tube but didn’t have a spare tire for the unexpected side wall breakage. So it was time for resourcefulness! Jerry semi-sealed the inside wall with a special tape we had on hand. Then, we prayed the 20 miles to Larned. We made it with this bulging tire!!

We were in the middle-of-nowhere, KS- miles from even the smallest town, and the front tire of the triple blew out. This time I was the one at the helm and the explosive sound scared me out of my skin! We had a spare tube but didn’t have a spare tire for the unexpected side wall breakage. So it was time for resourcefulness! Jerry semi-sealed the inside wall with a special tape we had on hand. Then, we prayed the 20 miles to Larned. We made it with this bulging tire!!

 As we were riding the 20 miles to Larned, KS, on our sad blown-out tire, we were praying that we would first of all- make it there (!), then second- that there would be someone who could help us get to a bike shop 23 miles from Larned. Well, here he was waiting for us (almost literally). Dennis is his name, and his mission is to come check on the cyclists and help however he can. He drove Jerry to the bike shop for the new tire. We enjoyed talking with him, listening to his stories about being in the navy, about life, etc. So thankful for kind people and God’s grace!

As we were riding the 20 miles to Larned, KS, on our sad blown-out tire, we were praying that we would first of all- make it there (!), then second- that there would be someone who could help us get to a bike shop 23 miles from Larned. Well, here he was waiting for us (almost literally). Dennis is his name, and his mission is to come check on the cyclists and help however he can. He drove Jerry to the bike shop for the new tire. We enjoyed talking with him, listening to his stories about being in the navy, about life, etc. So thankful for kind people and God’s grace!

 These two recent college graduates, Nick and Mitchell, are traveling the TransAmerica Trail, too, going west just as we are. It was a pleasure making their acquaintance and camping with them in Larned, KS!

These two recent college graduates, Nick and Mitchell, are traveling the TransAmerica Trail, too, going west just as we are. It was a pleasure making their acquaintance and camping with them in Larned, KS!

I hope that all of you who have told me that you are praying for our safety, protection, and provision- that you would be encouraged by the many ways God has responded to those prayers!