Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 70 ~ Two Triples

Gregory enjoys the toys at Carla and David's house.

An Osage Orange ~ Very Bumpy Texture

"Here, and for the next 300 miles west, Highway 56 roughly follows the old Santa Fe trail, and frequently crosses it..."

Battle of Black Jack ~ "This "battle" was part of the struggle to make Kansas a free state...John Brown's company then killed five Proslavery men..."

Gregory "helps" his dad repair flat tire #3. Note: He is holding the tube, well sort of.

Supervisor Gregory
Just for the record, I did hold the tire for Mike while he pumped it up.

How would you like to mow this front lawn? Kansas is the most well manicured state we've been in. We are sure that all homeowners in Kansas must own a ride on John Deere lawnmower!

Check out the tree growing out of the top of this old silo.

Driving the fire truck in Edgerton, Kansas.

Fire Captain Williams

Gregory's ready to fight some fires!

I loved this. The library in Edgerton, Kansas is the "Bank Of Knowledge" as are all libraries! Founded 1906.

Two Triples! Mark, Julie and Natalie meet us in Gardner and take us 20 miles back to Shawnee via the back roads.

The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop, Olathe (pronounced O-lath-a)

Natalie and Gregory riding scooters after a 40+ mile bike ride. These kids never get tired!

Date: Sept. 27, 2009

From: Baldwin City, Kansas

To: Shawnee, Kansas

Route: Hwy 56E & back roads north to Shawnee


Miles Today: 40 miles


Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: 86 degrees and windy (We finally got a bit of a tailwind!)

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates, 8 Wyoming plates (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho plate (found in WY), 2 Colorado plates, 1 Kansas plate (gifted from David of Baldwin City)

We spent most of the morning visiting with our hosts Carla and David and bid them farewell so they could get ready for their granddaughter's birthday party. In their front yard Gregory finally got to see an Osage orange up close. We’ve been seeing these along the highway and wondering what they are. The pioneers planted this hearty tree as a hedgerow (or wind break). The oranges aren’t for human consumption but some animals will eat them and if you put them around your foundation they will keep out the varmints like cockroaches. The wood also burns as hot as coal.

One mile out of town we got flat #3. This time it was the front tire. We were going downhill at about 30 mph when the front started to wobble and Mike started to yell, "I've got a flat. I've got a flat." Gregory and I firmed our grips on the handlebars as our captain led us to a safe stop. I patted Mike on the back and congratulated him on a job well done. That was a bit scary. The master mechanic had us back on the road in no time. We had a "snake bite". That is two small slits in the tube where the rim pinches it due to low pressure and hitting something in the road. Though we didn't have the full 145-psi we like, the tire would get us to Mark at Precision Tandems in Shawnee, Kansas.

We thought we’d have a brunch in Edgerton but Mike at the Edgerton Firehouse informed us there was no cafĂ©. He wouldn’t wash our bike but did let Gregory hop up in the cab of the engine and he suited him up in helmet and fireproof coat. We thanked fireman Mike profusely and rode 5 more miles of hills to the city of Gardner where we got Gregory his Cherry Limeade at Sonic and then ate Mexican for lunch.

Gardner was our meeting place to connect with Mark of Precision Tandems. Mark runs his online business from his home in Shawnee (a suburb of Kansas City) and has been extremely helpful to us in the past. He specializes in multiple seat bikes and though he doesn’t have a retail store or shop we’d heard he helped some other triple tourists in their time of need. Mike made arrangements to connect with Mark and get his expert advice on the parts needed for a complete tune-up of our Santana Triple. He generously offered to ride out to Gardner to guide us into the city and we were thrilled he came on his triple with his racing partner Julie and his 9-year old daughter Natalie. Two triples cruising down the road is quite a sight! We were thankful for a bit of a tail wind so we could try to keep up with these guys! They were kind and gave us a rest about midway. The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site was a perfect stop. We missed out on the special Wild West Show but got to wander around the museum and the festival with its men in civil war uniform on horse back, gold panning and a demonstration of the use of a whip. They even let these 6 cyclists in free of charge with only a half hour left in their day.

Mark led us through back roads and well kept industrial complexes for a comfortable ride into the city and we were extremely happy to avoid the heavy traffic. It helped that it was also a Sunday. Fortunately they just built a Courtyard by Mariott within walking distance of Mark’s place (fancier than we’d usually do but very convenient) and we checked in and dropped the bike off with him for tomorrows tune up. We had a delicious meal at the nearby Herford House (happy hour prices all day Sunday…yeah) and a relaxing swim and soak in the spa. As Grandpa and Grandma Williams would say, “We’re living high on the hog tonight!”

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