Timon of Athens, 2010-08-16 18:12:35
Well, I knew it would be hot.

Met up with Randy from Kansas Cyclist last Friday for a good ride on the trail. We had agreed on these forums that we would meet-up at 9 in Garnett and head south for what we knew would be a nice ride. I had not met Randy in person previously, we had just sent some emails back and forth over website matters. He turned out to have the three Ps; punctual, polite and personable.

I pulled up at the trailhead at 8:50 and Randy was already there. I got out to get myself ready and we introduced each other. It was already 90 degrees. I went into the depot and applied the sunblock, top off the water bottles, came out and we were off.

It is always nice to ride the trail with someone else who can bring a different perspective on things. We discussed biking, each of our websites, the history of the trail and just things like which detour we would take at Welda. This sort of thing made the miles go quickly between Garnett and Welda. We saw a lot of wildlife, rabbits, lizards and a big green snake in the middle of the trail. The trail needed a little upkeep as there were some pretty big limbs down on the trail.

We hit the open about 3 miles out of Welda and started to feel the wind. It was about 15 miles an hour out of the south. There’s always a headwind. The main benefit was that it helped keep us cool.

After a brief stop in Welda where Randy took some pictures of the old schoolhouse and an abandoned cafe, we decided to take the Old Colony Road detour along with the limited traffic. It had the benefit of following the trail closely and about a quarter mile past the construction there was a small access rod that got us back on the trail and off the rough road. We were rebels and had to go around the blockades across the trail where the detour officially started.

For those that have not been on this section of the trail between Welda and Colony, it is very open. No windblock, almost no shade, and for a good amount of the time you are between a dirt road and the highway. Now, this is not without its charms. Randy stopped at some Plum trees that were reachable from the trail. He informed my that the bright red fruit was ripe, sweet and delicious. I took his word for it. The heat was starting to get to me and I wasn’t feeling quite as chipper as I usually was in this point of a ride. Water seemed like a better idea than fruit. My cycle computer informed me that we were at 95 degrees at about 10:30 in the morning.

We made Colony and I could tell that I needed to turn back. I felt bad because I knew that Randy wanted to make it to Iola and back. However, I figured being honest would make a better impression than cracking later on the trail so told him that I wasn’t feeling the best. I hoped that he would go on, but I must of looked pretty bad because he offered to turn back also.

We stopped in at Colony foods where I got a Gatorade and Randy got a Dr. Pepper. I knew that the owner there lived in Scipio from previous discussions, so I asked her where the Scipio Supper Club was. I had read about it numerous times on the web but kept finding different addresses. Turns out that her daughter had just bought it and is running it. Having nailed down the location it is now added to the site. It’s nice because it is right off the trail.

Well, we turned back and I was humbled. The rest at Colony did me good but the temp also went up. Over 100 now. The good news was that with wind was at our backs. Randy and I talked about the bicycle laws in Iola which require all cycles in the city to be registered. Not just residents, everyone. I have not seen this enforced, but if you were in an accident it could be trouble. I will post more on this situation in the news section.

As I huffed my way into Garnett. I knew turning around was an excellent idea. Another twenty miles on that day would not have been a good idea for me. Randy was the picture of health and most likely could have made Ottawa at that point. We loaded up out bikes and were both off. He back to Olathe, me to take some pictures around Garnett for the site. After a stop at Sonic for a Cherry Limeade.

Overall, for me a tough ride. I have made this ride several times without problems, even previously on a day with comparable temps. Somedays your body just says no. I was glad I was smart enough to listen this time.


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