This should be the route I'll be following...

Monday, 27 July 2009

It's Monday so it must be Kansas

It's 1.30 here and I've only cycled 15 miles so far today but that's fine as I've washed all my hideously skanky clothes, got new suncream, got a new chain and cassette on my bike, so life is great. And according to the Weather Channel is going to be cool (relatively) and possibly wet so Kansas might not be so much of a nightmare after all. Famous last words....
What's happened since Friday...mmm...Missouri turned from being covered in trees to being Cheshire, without the tea shops or the footballers. Lots of cows, fields, rolling hills (for a change). I've already forgotten where I stayed on Friday night. I can remember Saturday lunchtime but Friday night is a bit of a blank. I met Chris and Chris on Saturday, female Chris is from Vermont and male Chris is from Cheadle Hulme (effectively Manchester) though he's been out here for 7 years. They are sound, spent the last couple of nights camping with them. They headed off at 630 this morning to beat the heat so if I get my act together I'll probably meet up with them again tonight or the next couple of days. So we met up on Saturday lunchtime and were going to cycle together but as I was leaving town I spotted the mobile shop where i bought the SIM card from that isn't letting me access the internet. As this was likely to be the last chance to sort it out for 700 miles, I thought I'd give it a go. An hour and a half later, it still wasn't sorted and I had 45 miles to cycle before it got dark in 3 hours. I managed it but I was knackered. Ah, I've remembered Fridays night stop now...behind a grocery store in the middle of nowhere. Not especially memorable or scenic. The store sold farming supplies but had a cafe of sorts, serving breakfast of sorts, so I had a couple of bad cheese and ham sandwiches for breakfast with the farmers. I don't know where the wives hang out. The men appear too old to have young kids so they aren't likely to be looking after them but all these breakfast places are pretty much women free zones, apart from the staff. Well, they probably dont want to listen to rodeo or fishing stories I suppose. Stetsons have put an appearance in over the past couple of days, mentioning rodeos has reminded me. Didn't see any till Thursday but definately more common now.
So Friday's camp was behind a shop, Saturdays was in a city park in Ash Grove (one for you mum) which was ok. Last night was also in a city park, in Pittsburg, another town who's golden years were about 60 years ago I suspect. On the way in a big sign announced "Pittsburg - A Main Street Town" which I took to mean that the town centre was actually in the town centre. No. The retail parks on the north side of town were called "Pittsburgs Main Street" and the town centre was almost as dead as all the other I've come across. And in the spirit of being in America I've been to Walmart again (for fruit) and also Starbucks (it's the only place to get decent cakes).It's amazingly difficult to not shop in chain stores. And the guy in the bike shop did me a big favour as it was supposed to be his day off but when I rang him on Saturday he agreed to do it - after 2 hours messing about though I think he was regretting it. Mind you, it did cost me 100 quid.
I'm glad to report Kansas is actually flat, which is nice. I've mailed 10lb of my gear to a town 600 miles ahead to reduce the amount of stuff I'm carrying so I might get through Kansas a bit quicker. By all accounts, it's somewhere to get through ASAP so with less gear and new chain it should be a breeze!
We ate at a chinese buffet last night - "Yummees". Classy. It wasn't wholly authentic (not that I suppose English chinese food is) but there was garlic bread, sushi, chips, chicken nuggets...But I was stuffed for $10 so it was ok. I've just remember a salad from Saturday lunchtime. The waitress asked if I wanted a jello salad. Enquiring as to what this was, she brough one out. It was jelly with fruit in, topped with fake cream, that was to go with my hot beef sandwhich. Bizarre. I declined.
I sent 3 photos which aren't on here so God knows where they are. I bet I've been charged for sending them though. Modern technology....
The roadkill hasn't been that exciting. A great moth the other day - big and green, with a swallowtail going on. Must look it up. More armadillos, lots of them, a possum or two. Chris and Chris have been capuring their favourite roadkills on photos...perhaps I should start, with the more intact ones.
Time to go otherwise it's going to be a rush to get to the campsite again. See ya...


  1. hey. is dorothy still living in kansa city. from wizard of oz . im suprised that yuo didnt mention it. suonds like yuor eating some strange food i would definately pass out form not eating. whats an armadillo. thuoght they were shoes.?
    alex x x

  2. Hi Matt
    I was given your blog address by your friend Irene at a singing group, is it ok if I post the details on the Manchester wnbr forum? I'm sure everyone would be inspired by your amazing adventure, good work!

  3. Hiya. . Yes, feel free to post it up. . Cheers. Hope the singing is going well

  4. Hi Matt, great blog again, loads of photos have come through (Matt on a fire truck; Matt without a second chin taking a picture of himself, Matt needing a damn good shave and a photo of Borea) so it has eventually worked - bring on the roadkill! Can't believe you've had three posts about Kansas without one reference to a certain J. Garland??? Watch out for tornados...

    Alex and gang xx

  5. Hi son,still fat, I see. Perhaps you should skip a course or cycle faster.
    You seem to be meeting lots of interesting people and your travelogue is fascinating. You should email your comments about the death of town centres to all the LAs in the UK.
    Dad said,why didn't you get your kit washed in the 81million gallon pond?
    8 days and counting!