Woooah, Half Way There.

Trip Start Jun 04, 2011
Trip End Jul 26, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Kansas
Friday, July 1, 2011

We passed a milestone today, our halfway mileage for the trip. By my count, we have covered 1,972 miles so far this trip. I live in a very, very big country. We took a group picture at the "ABB Official 1/2 Way Point" which was about 25 miles into today's ride. Usually we splinter into our groups ("Team Collins", "A-Team", "Chetlos", "Tony the Tank Engine", etc...) based on our preferred riding speeds and don't reconvene until our nightly "route wrap"  where we go over the ride for the next day. Today, for a change, we rode more or less together as a group for the first half of the day.

As you can see in the picture, there aren't very many of us - 11 riders and 4 staff members crossing the country. This is a small group by ABB standards but I think it's a nice size. We don't stress out the staff at hotels and restaurants when we arrive; I know each of the riders fairly well and am able to interact with all of them each day; and best of all we don't have to fight for a washing machine at the hotel. It's only a little bit larger than the La Vida groups which I think are optimally sized. I like being able to look around a room and tell whose missing without a checklist or a headcount. It makes me feel like we're in this trip together even though we're really just a random group of people who signed up for the same trip for a variety of reasons. 

One of my biggest concerns about this trip before we started was the other riders. I knew I would have my dad and brother, and that was enough for me, but I was afraid that the other riders might be boring, or grumpy, or both. They're neither.

I think my second largest concern was that Kansas would suck. It doesn't. As soon as we crossed over the border into this pleasant state we were greeted with the midwestern friendliness I was starting to miss. Everyone in this state is chatty, smiley and interested in our trip. They'll make small talk about anything out here. Today we had a group of older women talking to us about Eisenhower while they cleared our plates off the table we had been sitting at so they could take it for themselves. They seemed like regulars at "The Dish".

Speaking of The Dish... I had the best lunch and maybe the best meal of the trip today in Abeline. This sandwich shop was different, and delicious. There is a new menu every monday and according to a review I read online the chef creates combinations based on whatever foods she finds in the market. The menu today sure looked that way. I had a "Ham Sandwich" that was nothing like the sandwiches my dear friends Pat and Jean serve up at the Gordon Deli. This ham sandwich was warm, had melted muenster cheese, bacon, and lightly toasted bread with an apple butter and chives spread that was nearly to die for. 

This entire town was picture perfect and one of their main streets is called "Buckeye St." What is there not to like about Abilene, KS? We were even able to take regular quiet county roads from McPherson instead of riding on the highway - a novelty for this trip but something I love about riding at home in Ohio. I think we will be off the highway for most of if not all of the rest of this trip which I'm very excited about. And to make things even better, unlike today's high temperature in the mid 100s, tomorrow's is only supposed to be in the mid 90s! Who would have thought that we would be riding in the 70s and 80s through the Nevada desert and in the 100s through Kansas.

Distance: 65.11 mi - 1,972.12 total
Time: 03:40:30 - 132:58:17 total
Elevation Gain: 438 ft - 66,234 total
Av. Speed: 17.7 mph - 14.8 overall
Av. HR: 129 bpm - 129 overall
Calories: 4,056 - 131,823 total

Flat Tire Count: 
Scott - 6
Stephen - 3
Mark - 1

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Jeff Bracken on

Pretty amazing that you have completed the first half of your trip! You must be eating a lot of calories to compensate for the 1,000's of calories you burn each day.

McMullens on

A big congrats on your accomplishment !

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