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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

June 14, 2007      Miles 65      Total miles 2612      Ended at: Chanute, Kansas


I didn't ride yesterday because the tires on my trailer were just ruined from wear. By the time I realized I had a serious problem with the tires, I was away from any bike shops. On my route, there are few bike shops. The nearest place I knew I could find replacement tires was in Wichita, Kansas which was a little over 50 miles away. I finally decided to call, Burley, the manufacturer of my trailer. I suppose one thing that sets this country apart from others is how we do business. I explained my situation to Chad Ash, who is a district manager at Burley and before I knew it, he said he would send me some new tires by overnight air express. When I opened the box, he had also included two new tubes. There was no charge and I owe Chad Ash at Burley a huge thanks for getting me out of a bad situation.
Shailesh and Nita are the owners of Carriage House Motel in Eureka. They knew I was having problems with my bike because I had to stay there for another day waiting on the tires. The delivery of the tires was quite a bit after my check out time of 11:00 AM. They told me not to worry about it and I stayed at the motel until the tires arrived. So, I got a late start today but was relieved that I had new tires.
I wasn't using my head yesterday when I needed trailer tires fast. I was calling all over the place to try to find a pair. Jerry Welch, who I met once at a motorcycle race in Ada, Oklahoma, had been following my trip and sent me an email weeks ago and told me he would be my support man as I rode through central Kansas and that he would bring me anything I needed in the way of parts, food, cheerleading, or anything. If I had called Jerry, I wouldn't have lost a day and a half of riding. Since I am not on any kind of time frame it worked out okay but Jerry, I sure do appreciate your offer. I really do.
Before I left I made a run down the main street of town and took a picture of these old buildings.

A lot of my riding in Kansas has been on county roads. I like that because there is very little traffic and the drivers are always friendly. There are a lot of bridges built by the WPA back in the thirties which are still in use today. When I was in the northwest, I saw signs which showed how a lot of the mountainsides had been reforested by the WPA after wildfires had ravaged the areas. The WPA was supposedly rife with corruption but a lot of their work still stands.
It rained on me for several hours today but it wasn't that bad because it was fairly warm. Temperatures were probably in the 80's. The last big rain I was in was in Canon City, Colorado and I about froze because it was very windy and 45 degrees. I didn't take too many pictures today. This is one of the country roads I was on. I thought I was going to have another hilly day but as I got near Chanute, it flattened out again and after the rain stopped there was only a slight wind so it was actually a good day for riding.
I saw a lot of these pretty orange flowers in the ditches today. The Kansas state flower is the sunflower. I have yet to see one.

A barn which has seen better days in the middle of a wheat field.
I saw no other riders today. I was told a couple of days ago that I need to change my route out of Chanute because the road I was going to be on has been torn up and is in terrible condition. I have already planned my route out of here tomorrow which will only add a few miles to get me back on track.