There are heat warnings. Specifically, it’s 101 degrees with a heat index of 114!!! The roads are bubbling up and sticking to our tires because they too are pissed off. You can see the heat rising up off the road in those blurry little see though lines, and the water I continue to pump into my body is as boiling hot as I am. The water situation is a losing battle anyhow. Inevitably, I end up dehydrated and cranky.
I forgot to mention that the cows are literally dropping dead in the pasture from the heat, all 2,300 of them thus far. It is really sad, and speaks volumes about how hot it actually is. But, if there is a plus side, the local news team seems really excited to have something to report on. Speaking of the local news, it is super entertaining in small town Kansas. The news casters seem like they are in a high school play about news reporting, with their scripted chuckles, giggles and kooky one liners. But, that’s another story.
All we see are these poor smoldering cows as we ride through Kansas. We rode and rode for miles and miles, and saw cows and hay and that’s about it. 76 miles later, we rode into Newton, Kansas, and saw a mexican restaurant. Perfect! We leaned our bikes on the wall outside and went in. I’ve never been outright cringed at for my appearance, until today. As I walked past a woman happily eating her chimichanga or whatever, she blatantly cringed and turned away in horror as I strolled past en route to the bathroom. Huh, I thought, I must look pretty bad.
Turns out, my appearance was cringe worthy, my clothing and skin were covered in dried and crusted white salty sweat. Rings of it everywhere. Well, guys, that’s what happens when you bike 76 miles through a Kansas crosswind ripping from the south at 22 miles per hour in the 101 degree heat. So, we scarfed down baskets of chips and salsa, and ate our hearts out. We arrived at the city park, where we discovered a pool. We dove in. City pools are usually free to cross country cyclists, which is awesome. The pool had a shower, which was also amazing. We camped out for free in the park with another cross country cyclist we met named Matt.
Keep your fingers crossed for these guys.