Day 33: Pratt, KS to Dodge City, KS
Total Mileage: 76 miles
Happy 4K of July! Lots and lots of American pride today as we rode 76 miles into Dodge City, KS. A bunch of us got red, white, and blue clothing from the local thrift shops and Walmart to prepare for our Independence Day ride in Kansas. A couple locals in the area rode out with us today for 20+ miles and joined our dedication circle. All decked out in our ‘Merica gear, we were ready to take the streets.
Started off as a super super team, with the entire team San Fran riding together to the first water stop. Traveling in such a large group is a lot of fun, but can be dangerous especially when you’re riding on the side of a highway with semis rolling past you and strong gusts of wind. Unfortunately, we had a minor crash right before the first water stop with Nick and Casey, which led to some injuries. So we decided to break up into our smaller teams after we filled up our bottles and grabbed some snacks for the road.
Today’s team name: White Power with Dany, Kat, Ali, and guest starring Dan (one of the locals from the area). The way teams were picked today was based on the ribbon design and color we picked out of a hat. We all chose white ribbons, which led to our team name, White Power. So Dan, our guest rider, is one amazing person. He is an avid cyclist that placed 3rd to19 year old Lance Armstrong in a competition, biked 238 miles in one day that spanned 3 states, and has spent the last 12 years searching for his father-in-law’s marine pilot squad from WWII. We all have a little crazy in us, and he’s definitely got a lot going for him, he said it himself! It’s what keeps us thinking outside the box and getting adventurous. We also learned about the term Freegan from him.
Along highway 154, we unexpectedly ran into metal sculptures in Mullinville, KS. There were over hundreds of flapping, whirling, and static metal sculptures set on poles, many of which were political sculptures/totems. Did some research and found out they were done by M.T. (Moon Tosser) Liggett. “When I put up a piece of art, I don’t ever ask anybody if they like it or they don’t like it,” he declares. “If you like it, that’s fine. If you don’t, I don’t care.”
76 miles later of red, white, blue and strong headwinds, we made it to Dodge City. I was feeling a bit exhausted and sick from the ride, so I decided to take a nap, thinking it’d make me feel better for the fireworks later on in the night. I woke up feeling worse; my throat was bothering me, my sinuses were acting up, and I was losing my voice. Decided sleep was more important than fireworks so after I ate, I went straight to bed hoping I’d feel better in the morning. Still did a little bit of exploring in Dodge City before I slumbered away and got shaved ice cream donated to the team (thanks Lamie and Gloria). It would’ve been great to join in on the team with lighting up the fireworks, but I just had to take care of my health so I could ride as soon as possible. “Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Let’s hope I feel better in the morning!
One of my favorite AV shots of the trip. Team San Fran 2013, ‘Merica!