Easy Rides are Created by Conversation (2013_bak)

The ride 53 mile ride today was fabulous.  Partly due to the good roads, but mostly due to a new other riders in the BAK.  I met one particular rider, James, just after the first SAG stop.  Actually he rode up from behind and started the conversation.  I was a little surprised at first, but soon I realized the miles were slipping by without any notice.

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We talked about our spouses, the communities we live in, his job, my graduate school experience, and the BAK. This is the first BAK for both of us. However, this is the first time he has cycled any long distance, and he spent some time talking about how he prepared. He kind of reminded me of me when I was first learning how to long distance cycle.

Throughout the day we were passed by several & passed only a few other cyclists. For the most part the other cyclists asked how we were doing or commented on the ride. As James would say, “it broke up the monotony”. Which is the glorious thing about the BAK. Not only is it strenuous fun, but it’s also a great opportunity to meet others interested in the same activity. The BAK is a big social party for those who like a challenge.

Tomorrow I hope to catch up with James or another talkative cyclist. Sure I will enjoy the company, but mostly want to get a picture with a fellow cyclist. Right now I’m kicking myself for not having one snapped to add to this entry.

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BAK & New Friends

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Today started with a beautiful ride from the Colorado border to the quant Johnson City, Kansas town.  Although officially the trek is only 17 miles after riding around town I clocked in at just over 19. 

Unfortunately while I was peddling my personal SAG, the wonderful gent who ensures I have a place to lay my head, was busy looking for a new phone. During his excitement of taking pictures and seeing me off he left his phone on the vehicle hood. It was fine for the first mile he didn’t realize it was there, but of course one he noticed it that was when it decided to slide off and under the tire. No phone meant a dash to Ulysses, KS and a quick, courteous replacement.

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Mean while I peddled on down Highway 160 and into Johnson City where I was greeted with several waves and welcome signs. I am sincerely humbled by how enthusiastic this community was to welcome so many cyclists and their SAG’s. As a first time BAK participant I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I certainly wasn’t expecting a welcome to the family greeting. Not only were the townsfolk welcoming but the other BAK participants were as equally friendly.

There is so much to share & reflect upon. Actually I’m a little overwhelmed and if it wasn’t for this tiny phone screen I’m using to write, my tent calling me to rest, and the waning light of the day I would share more.

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I will leave you with this though, I have visited a unique architectural zoo
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But more on that later. For now it’s time to enjoy the sunset and rest up for a 57 mile ride.

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Flutters of the Gut

Okay I’m just a day away from the beginning of the BAK (Biking Across Kansas) event. My stomach is fluttering. I’m still a little unsure of what it will be like to ride with hundreds of other cycle enthusiasts. However, I do feel fairly prepared.

My legs, lungs, and butt have been practicing for the big event. The only thing that isn’t quite ready is my mind which honestly is the worst thing not to have prepared. The body can do many things, but it can do very little if the mind doesn’t lead.

So in order to help keep my mind off any pain or panic, I have packed some light reading (as can be seen sitting atop my tent). I also have note pads and pens ready for a homework assignment from my writer’s group. If everything works out I’ll have an hour or two each day to just sit, think, and write. Of course I’ll always find time to read.

I’m sure after the first day I will be able to take a deep breath and begin to fall into a nice routine. However, until then my stomach will wrestle with a million little butterflies. Hopefully since my bicycle is glowing with anticipation it might be kind enough to help me settle those butterflies.

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