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pedal plenty

notes on a north american cycle trip in 2008

Archive for June, 2008

Day 41 stats

North Platte, Nebraska to Lexington, Nebraska

Distance: 60 miles
So far: 2017 miles
Wildlife:
two tortoises. Yes, really. Tortoises. On the road. How strange.
Ice cream: Yes
Other cyclists: three. Barbara from Albany, NY going from Lincoln to Casper and Greg and Craig from Arizona going across the country.
Trains: Yes. Lots. Lots of very, very long trains. One took 5 minutes to pass.

train.jpg

Posted by me on June 30th, 2008

Today in Nebraska

… previously in Nebraska there was corn, road and trains.  today in Nebraska there was corn, road and trains.  Don’t get me wrong, Nebraska is nice.  It’s green and sunny and there are more towns here than anywhere else I’ve been but it’s mostly corn, road and trains.

So instead of corn, road and trains here is my Top Five on-bike snacks:

  1. Gummie Lifesavers. I can eat a whole packet in about 20 seconds.

  2. Banana The original. The classic on bike snack.

  3. Sesame snaps (last seen in Wyoming)

  4. Twix (not really good after you’ve cooked in your handlebar bag in 90F (31C) heat

  5. Fig Newton. It’s figgy. You’d think a figgy thing would be good for you but Fig Newtons are quite bad things. Full of dodgy fat, a lot of sugar and … eh … minimal figs

agristuff.jpg

Posted by me on June 30th, 2008

Nebraska

Nebraska … what’s that like? Well Nebraska is a state in the middle of Ummmerica. Well, not quite the middle but the Mid West. I am as yet unclear as to where the Middle Middle is, like the Midlands in Engerland (and I don’t know where that is either). I wonder if there is a Mid East ? Or a Mid West East. But I digress. Where were we? Ah yes, Nebraska .. what’s that like?

Today in Nebraska on the State Road 30 looked like corn on the left, road in the middle and a rail road line on the right. Every so often a train would come by. A very long train. Sometimes with more than 100 railroad trucks on it.

Nebraska is famous for its very long trains (I made that up!). And Nebraska is hot! It was 95F. Nebraska is also famous for its trees. It’s the Arbor state or summat. Pah! Those Nebraskans know nothing of the trees, they should visit Washington. And another thing Nebraska is famous for is the lacking of prevailing winds from the West. Grrrr. And popcorn. Apparently they make great popcorn. I have yet to sample some but I can vouch for their ice cream. Very nice soft scoop ice cream. Ice cream is the new pie.

scaryclouds.jpg

Posted by me on June 29th, 2008

Day 40 stats

Julesburg, Co to North Platte, Nebraska

Distance: 82 miles
Total so far: 1957 miles
New state: Nebraska
New Time zone: Central time. This time zoning thing is like having to endure the change to BST every 3 weeks.
Hotness: Yes, very, very. 35C or 95Fnebraska.jpg

 

Posted by me on June 29th, 2008

Small town Ummerica

I love small towns. They are the best. Everyone is super friendly. There is always a lovely, well groomed, shady city park. A decent place for breakfast, lunch, dinner. A library. A grocery store. And a motel with a decent rate.

Today in my tour of small towns. I left my nice room in Sterling Motor Lodge ($37) and cycled to Iliff where I stopped in at Cecilia’s Cafe. I had the best French Toast yet and lots of coffee while chatting with my waitress and another lady who used to drive an 18 wheel truck until fuel got too expensive. Interesting factiod: it costs $1500 to fill an 18 wheel truck with gas, last year it cost just $1200. And then onwards to Crook which had a shady park. And next to Sedgewick which had a bench under big shady tree. And the nice lady in the saloon filled my water bottles and we had a chat about tornadoes (my new favourite topic of conversation). And final to Julesburg which has a nice shady park and I am now in the Holiday Motel ($36) having had a nice time talking to the owner Susan and a soak in the great big, deep bath in my room (NB America is not very good at big deep baths – this is the first one I have come across since Tacoma). Then I went to the Colorado Welcome Center (Yes I know, I should have gone when I came into Colorado not when I am leaving) and I spoke to everyone there. I am now quite the smarty-pants on The Pony Express. Maybe tomorrow or the next day I will actually see The Pony Express coz they rerun it every year and it will pass by route.

cecelias.jpg

Posted by me on June 28th, 2008

Day 39 stats

Sterling, Co to Julesburg, Co

Distance: 60 miles
Total so far: 1875 miles
Bad water for my waterbottle: Crook gas station men’s restroom. I didn’t drink it
Good water: ahh the sweet, sweet water of Sedgewick
Cyclists: Elidh (sp?) and James going from San Diego to Minnesota. They are bike mechanics. Maybe I should travel with them to learn something.

farmstuff.jpg

Posted by me on June 28th, 2008

We interrupt this …

program to bring news of severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes in …. Sterling.

Hmmm. I’m in Sterling.

If the tornado should strike go to the basement …..

Hmmm I don’t see a basement here.

…. and put a bag on your head and cover yourself with blankets.

Yes, I can do that. I hide in the shower, draped in bed linen.

But 20 minutes later, I emerge from my anti-tornado cocoon in the shower stall. I must eat. I cycled 105 miles today on 2 apples, a banana, 2 cups of coffee, some OJ, 2 blueberry pancakes, a slice of pizza, two Fig Newtons, a Twix and a bottle of Sprite and 4.5 litres of water. I know that sounds like a lot of food but it’s nowhere near enough for 10 hours of slogging into a head wind.

I ask the man hanging out in the motel car park

Is it OK to go out?

The police have been by to say the storm is coming this way.

I’m starved. I must eat but …

Are you scared? he asks.

I dunno, should I be ? I’ve never been in a tornado before.

Oh don’t worry I’ll keep you safe.

I scuttle off thinking it’s probably safer in the restaurant with the wind whipping round my ears than this parking lot.

I overhear some ladies in the restaurant …

Oh look at the white cloud … maybe it’ll touch down …

I dive under the table but continue munching on my tacos.

Haggis is whipped up by the storm and deposited in Kansas with Dorothy and Toto.

Please note: this post contains some mild exaggeration

cr36.jpg

Posted by me on June 27th, 2008

Day 38 stats

Fort Collins, Co to Sterling, Co.

Distance: 105 miles
Total so far: 1815 miles
Snake sightings: one dead and one very alive and very big and very close to me and Haggis. Thankfully not the well known Colorado Jumping Snake. We put on a spurt and avoided it.
Tornadoes: nearly one
Days of self inflicted marguerita abstinence: 6 days
Days of beer abstinence: only one

merino.jpg

Posted by me on June 27th, 2008

If you were …

… wondering where all the fishes in the sea went.sushi1.jpgsushi2.jpgsushi3.jpg

Posted by me on June 25th, 2008

Pie Fest

PJ took me to Granny Scott’s Pie Shop. Wow! They had so many, many pies. We got:

  • pecan pie
  • strawberry cream pie
  • chocolate cream pie
  • cherry almond pie
  • coconut cream pie

I fear we ate so much pie that I may never eat pie again.

pie1.jpgpie2.jpgpie3.jpg

pie4.jpgpie5.jpgpie6.jpgpie7.jpg

Posted by me on June 25th, 2008