TRIBUNE, KAN. – We're walking back from dinner at the Cactus Patch restaurant, and realize we're riding through history. We're in the town of Tribune in the county of Greeley. The next town down the road tomorrow will be Horace. Follow the bouncing ball. What did Horace Greeley write in the New York Tribune? “Go west young man!”
We started heading West early in the morning after a torrential downpour struck at 4:30. We ate and washed up at the church (still open, as promised) and hit the road at 6:45. After a few miles the terrain opened up more than before, if that's possible. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/16/1984-bike-tour-day-35-go-west-young-men/
UTICA, KAN. – How many times have I heard people complain about driving across Kansas because it's soooooo boring?
Chalk up another reason why bicycle touring is the best way to see the country. Kansas, by bike, is anything but boring. For one thing, you get to stop at all the small-town cafes.
I have a notion that many of these towns where we've stopped lately — Bison, McCracken, Ransom, Utica — are all frontier towns. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/15/1984-bike-tour-day-34-eating-across-kansas/
LA CROSSE, KAN. — We're sitting here writing at our journals at a picnic table that's about 30 miles south of the geographical center of the US.
We clicked off a lot of miles today, and I am tired and a little sore, but I feel like I could charge across more than 100 miles of Great Plains tomorrow morning. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/14/1984-bike-tour-day-33-dont-fence-us-in-were-rolling/
We stopped at a cafe this morning for a long breakfast and fiddled around so we got a late start. Bruce later admitted he just didn't want to get going, given the accident yesterday on the busy highway.
We strapped his bent wheel rim to his panniers and left, finally reaching County Road 88 and the TransAmerica Route. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/13/1984-bike-tour-day-32-limping-across-kansas/
Tuesday, June 12, 1984Chanute to El Dorado, Kan.99 milesLocater map
I’m reprinting the day-to-day journal entries of a cross-country bike tour my friend and I took in 1984. More about the TransAmerica Tour 1984
We’re staying at a motel across the tracks in a town with the unlikely name of El Dorado after Bruce had …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/12/1984-bike-tour-day-31-shortcut-proves-hazardous/
Tonight finds us at Bryan and Janette's apartment in Chanute. They're a wonderful couple that Bruce met at a restaurant in town where he was eating. Bryan found me a few hours later as I was riding into town.
That's because Bruce and I got separated today.
We cycled the 35 miles from Golden City to Pittsburg in about 3 hours. Riding our first flat roads in four weeks meant we had a lot of power to cover lots of ground — fast…
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/11/1984-bike-tour-day-30-kansas-is-big-state-to-lose-partner-in/
GOLDEN CITY, MO. – Was this a mirage after too many hours in the saddle? We slipped into a couple of valleys after Pennsboro and were climbing out of the second one when I saw something standing up ahead of me in the road. At first I thought it was Bruce, but he was behind me. Then it looked like a tree had sprouted from the pavement. As I got closer, I saw it was a woman sitting astride a horse watching our slow approach. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/10/1984-bike-tour-day-29-charmed-by-flat-roads-finally/
The Ozarks are starting to level out, and we were on pace for a 90-mile day when we saw the homemade sign on Route 38 between Hartville and Marshfield: “Lazy Louie Bicycle Camp.” It was only early afternoon, but we knew we had to stop; we had told the Cookie Lady back in Virginia that we'd check in on him.
Lazy Louie opened the bicycle camp in 1976, the first year that cyclists started passing through on the Bikecentennial route. A eastbound couple who we met in the morning called the camp “kind of rustic.” The camp is an overgrown woodlot across the road from his house and barn. There's a shelter, picnic table, and shady grassy areas for tents. You can tell he has put a lot of work into it over the years. ….
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/09/1984-bike-tour-day-28-lazy-louies-bicycle-camp/
HOUSTON, MO. – The hills in the Ozarks are bigger, steeper, and harder to climb than I expected. At Carl's Cafe in Eminence, Carl said we'd have to walk our loaded touring bicycles up these hills. No way. We pedaled — very slowly.
Bruce isn't feeling well this morning, but I don't think that's holding us back. Gravity's doing that. .
This whole area of the Ozarks draws lots of whitewater adventure seekers. Current River is popular with tourists …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/08/1984-bike-tour-day-27-beautiful-scenery-and-never-ending-hills/
OWL'S BEND, MO. – If you could pick a time to be sick, it probably wouldn't be the day you're pedaling the rollercoaster hills of the Ozarks.
We left Johnson's Shut-ins in a light drizzle and immediately started climbing. A little while later, a carload of Boy Scouts who we camped with the night before pulled up alongside me, and they said my friend was way down the road. I waited for him, and when he caught up, Bruce said he wasn't feeling well. After that, we took it real slow. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/07/1984-bike-tour-day-26-ups-and-downs-in-the-ozarks/