Day two went almost as planned.
We packed up and checked out of our hotel room around 8am. Continental breakfast. Packet oatmeal in a styrofoam bowl. A couple bananas. Horrible coffee. Riding from the heart of Kansas City out of it, you really get a feel for a midwest small city. The gradience of city to country is really amazing, kind of a golden grey.
At one point, Google maps put us directly through a closed road that ran next to a small airstrip. We talked our way through at a closed gate. We crested the hill and looked back to where we came from. Totally picturesque! We stopped and looked at where we were, and we thought about our day ahead of us, and were able to take our first social media break of the day. I introduced us and our story via the Bicycling Magazine Instagram, as I live shared our story through their massive network, and a live, engaging audience.
I took a pee break on a fence.
Then we hit the road. Nearly 100 miles of rolling Highway 50, forever, so I hit the gas.
Google Maps took us on some random country roads to cut out sections of Highway 50, and we loved it. But, we still had so so so many miles to go. I motored for as long as I could and let my brain focus on the sounds of the highway. On the sound of the wind. On my own reality and unplugging from it.
Our first snack stop was atop a farmers fence down some wide and empty dirt road off of highway 50. I needed some calories in me so badly, and discovered the wonders of completely coating an ‘Apple Pie’ Lara Bar in a few spoonfuls of almond butter. We took the time to post one more time for Bicycling Mag’s Instagram, and motored on.
The whole day was really a meditative blur. I dipped in and out of lucid daydreaming, and total awareness of my own body. It was exactly what I needed.
We put in some more miles that I barely even remember, and ended up stopping at a Wendy’s for our final snack before rolling into our destination of Sedalia, MO.
We roll into Sedalia, a wide, American sized small town, and wind our way over to the Missouri State Fair grounds, where Brent had found a camp site.
The sun was setting and we realized that they didn’t have anywhere we could start a fire, or cook our dinner, and scrambled to figure something out. I offer to unload my bike, and zip back into the heart of this small town. A Walgreens and a gas station later, I find myself rolling into the massive parking lot of a Wal-Mart. I walk in rolling my bike with me, still wearing kit, and being looked at like I just landed from mars. I guess you don’t see too many people in spandex in these parts, let alone in your local Wal-Mart.
I still remembered how to make a camp stove out of a beer can, and the only single’s I could buy were tall cans. I’d never made one out of a tall can before, but figured I could make it work. After not being able to find denatured alcohol in their home section, I did some google research and found out I could use Heet, a gas line antifreeze agent for cars. I’m sure this couldn’t be healthy to breathe in.
Rode back to the camp site during a beautiful gradient sunset, Wal-Mart plastic bag in hand. Shared the beer with Brent. Told him about my solo venture into Middle-America wearing bright spandex, and built the camp stove. Shared our evening with Bicycling Mag’s Instagram. We cooked dinner and breathed the fumes of burning chemicals as I finally set up my tent.
We finished eating and essentially mumbled to each other. I haven’t ridden a century in a while. Never mind a fully loaded century, surviving on space food.
We fell asleep immediately. Not even any of the normal banter between tents, or well, tent and hammock in this case.
All photos of my backside, and frontside courtesy of Brent Knepper of Everything Will Be Noble, as we share our trip experiences together with tandem blog posts. So make sure you go follow along with him!!