kretzmeier, 2012-06-18 20:21:01
On most trail rides there is always something a little bit different or new. This last weekend was no exception for me. While a Kansas rain would have been welcomed, the Saturday clouds kept to themselves. I used this trip to source out Wifi access for future reference.

I had located public access Wifi in front of the Garnett Library last year. That is just west of their town square. This weekend I learned that the Richmond City Library just 1/2 block east of the trail has 24/7 Wifi. I spoke with the librarian to confirm it was on 24/7 and obtained her permission to make a public posting.

I pack my Ipod touch for trail video and photographs
and the Wifi access allows me to view weather radar, forecasts, storm warnings and check emails during trail stops.

The trip home Sunday apparently was a payback for all of the joyous rides I have taken on the trail. At about five miles in a flat tire brought me to a halt. By the time I had my spare tube installed I could see my frame pump was not coming up to standard. So it was a walk and a push on into Princeton where I could assess matters lying down. I learned the spare tube had a crack in the valve stem and my pump was failing me.

The friendly trail at this point presented me with the Trail Ambassador Jim C. from Ottawa riding up. With some warm conversation, a cold patch of my old tube, and the use of his pump I was back on the trail. I had been held up for two hours. The southern winds were now growing, my rear tire was somewhat under-inflated and the sun which I adore was starting to be too much of a good thing. As I passed south of the former truss company North of Garnett I heard a vehicle on the highway touch its’ horn. I wonder what??? A few seconds later a rustling like stampeding Wildebeests in the brush and 30 feet in front of me a deer with a huge rack comes pounding onto the trail. After swallowing my heart, I thank God I wasn’t in his path. It was on to Casey’s in Garnett ( We really need to seek improvement where the road crosses for the new school. It is dangerously soft and loose ) I filled my tire with air, my body with a sandwich and drink and it was back on the trail.

With the wind, the sun and the climbing I began to drink water every mile towards Welda. There were times my speed moved to a snails pace of 5.6 miles per hour.

I decided not to buck the wind but gear down, head down, and preserve my strength. At mile marker 103 the bench provided some relief while the wind howled through the cottonwoods. Slight nausea seemed forthcoming. An energy bar was the ticket. Does anyone else do this? I was to the point where I was 6 miles out, but I kept telling myself it was only 4 miles to the reach the asphalt, like riding on asphalt doesn’t require any energy.

I made it into Iola, my old frame pump is now in the trash. ( And it was a Blackburn carbon pump,too. ouch! ) Even though this may have been a payback ride for many great rides, it won’t spoil me from looking to riding the trail another day.

Timon of Athens, 2012-06-19 10:10:51
Jim C. is a trail institution. I think I can count on one hand he number of times I have been on the trail and NOT run into him. I am glad that he was able to help you.

I also wonder about that nice cut through the trail in Garnett. It look like they just ran a bulldozer through the trail and let everything fall where it may. Who OKed this? The trail is a state park. I assume that the paved section through Garnett is maintained by the city but this is outside of that.

I, for one, partly blame the current practice in small town of putting a school on the edge or outside of town where the property values are cheap. Most of these schools (sometimes elementary) only have access by highway. Great, lets make sure all the children in town have to be driven to school and back.

JD_Shawnee, 2012-06-19 18:20:18
Interesting story and experience Jay. And it has been windy lately. That alone could have been worse than the flat?? You did good.

Couple years ago, I had a blowout flat just south of Princeton. It surprised me since the tire was a tuff-skin type. I did made it to the Princeton trailhead okay. But found out that my hand-pump was on the road bike back home. But I did have a spare tube.

Luckily, across the street directly west of the trailhead, second house south, the owner there had a battery operated pump. So we put in my extra tube, booted the tire (my boot was fairly small), and started to fill it with air. We had to stop early tho; otherwise, the boot would have eventually pushed thru the hole in the tire.

The short of it is, thanks to the mechanically inclined Princeton neighbor, I slowly made it back to Ottawa on a half-inflated rear tire. I’ve carried a large boot and extra tire ever since. 🙂

Thanks for the wifi info. jd

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