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Tuesday 21 June 2011

Day 43 - Home with the Hansons

Today is a rest day thank goodness. RAAM riders haven't stopped and when I last checked they were approaching St.Louis - ridiculous. Whilst I have ultimate respect for these guys I think the people who do the solo round the world ride are a little bit more hardcore. With my brooks saddle that I ordered for my bike, I got a magazine which documented three men who had been chasing the title. To qualify you have to ride at least 18,000 miles through 3 sets of antipodean points. They are entirely self supporting and cycling with front and rear panniers and many of the countries they are passing through do not have the plentiful supplies of food and drink that I have here in the US. The winner completed the challenge in about 165 days (I think) which means he was averaging at least 100 miles everyday. On his last day he rode 110 miles to the ferry in France, and then another 50 miles home to his house in England. Absolute madness!

Today I have been hanging out with the lovely Hanson family. Ethan was a colleague from mine at LG&E, he is married to Katie and they have a nearly 3 year old son called Landon (not Donovan.. I always get confused). They have put me up in their basement which has been very cosy and seen quite a lot of sleep while I recharged my batteries. Ethan even put the noise machine down there this morning so rainforest noises would drown out Landon's running and jumping!

This morning I spent quite a bit of time working on my blog, or more specifically the map at the top so people can easily see my progress. I've embedded a google map with markers for each of my days and these in turn contain links to my blog posts.

This afternoon Ethan and I went and shot a little bit of golf down at the driving range - he was a lot better than I remember, but I was just as bad. After 30 mins or so one of the buggies which collected balls appeared. The driver is protected by a cage for any balls which might hit, and so we decided this should be our target. I gave Ethan a couple of my balls as he had fnished his, and with his penultimate swing he managed to hit the buggy right on the roof from a good 100 yards. He got a thumbs up from the people next to us, but the driver showed no emotion.

This evening we had a nice meal in downtown Wichita and I picked up some summer riding gloves which I hope will deal with my arms and elbows which I get a bit after some of the longer rides. Downtown Wichita reminded me a bit of Louisville and was very clean and renewed. We headed over to the 'Keeper of the Plains' - a giant indian sat at a fork over the river, legend has it that this defends against tornados, and so far he has not been hit.

Its been really nice to be in a home instead of a tent or a motel and a big thanks to the Hansons for their hospitality. You are always welcome in Europe or where ever we are living!

Ooooh - some other exciting news, Pam and I got olympic tickets for the beach volleyball, I was convinced that we had got rowing tickets as this was the only other event of a similar price and I figured demand would be lower for rowing than beach volleyball, its on our wedding anniversary so that will be cool.

Wind direction tomorrow is looking good, so hoping to put in a fair few miles.

1 comment:

  1. Brian,
    I don't know if you remember us (Day 34, near Lewellen, NE standing in a wheat field in a strong gale force wind)but after we returned home to Memphis after three weeks on the road, we've been avid followers of your blog. Al has started at the very beginning and reads it each night after work, like he's reading chapters in a novel. We look forward to it each day, seeing you capture the America that few Americans really get to see. Have a wonderful rest of your journey and we'll be following you every dip in the road. Al and Alison