It had rained overnight in Harrisonville. I was up at daylight, but the roads were way too wet to ride. According to the most recent forecast, it should be dry later in the morning. The local convenience store did not have any worthy breakfast items when I went shopping the night before. To kill time, I walked down to a diner down the street and got an omelet and cinnamon roll. Eating a real breakfast allowed enough time for the roads to be pretty dry when I started just before 9 AM. Once I got out of Harrisonville, I practically had the roads to myself. It was a nice change of pace to be off the big US highways and on small, but paved country roads.
The wind was light and the sun was breaking through once in a while. The mental jukebox was playing Roger Miller’s signature song “Trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let 50 cents. No pool, no phone, no pets. I ain’t got no cigarettes. Ah, but 2 hours of pushing broom buys an 8×12 4 bit room. I’m a man of means, by no means, King of the Road”.
Outside the next town of East Lynne (by the way it was the only Lynne, there was no west Lynne or anything) , I saw a rather strange sign outside a fenced area in front of a hill: “No Trespassing, Raw Sewage”. It seemed like overkill to me. If they had just put the raw sewage part, I don’t think anyone would try to trespass!
Next, I passed through Gunn City, which consisted of a few homes and a convenience/liquor/beer/snack store. I didn’t see any guns, nor mailboxes with anyone named Gunn. It went by so fast I missed one of my turns. Actually, I took a turn when I should have gone straight. I didn’t go straight because the pavement had disappeared and I was forced to take a gravel road.
There was enough wear pattern where the gravel was gone in certain tracks and the ground was hard,dry, and relatively smooth. I was on this type of road for about 3.5 miles. I was glad to be back on pavement. The ride to Holden was smooth in many ways 🙂
My later than usual start made me miss out on second breakfast. Still, the Ruben sandwich and strawberry shake were pretty tasty. I know a beer would have been a better combo for the Rueben, but they didn’t serve beer at Annie’s Route 58 Diner and I still needed an ice cream fix.
After Holden, the terrain got hillier. I had to work pretty hard on the way into Warrensburg, home to the University of Central Missouri Mules (for the male athletes) and Jennies (for the female athletes).
I checked my route as I was leaving town. Everything was going fine as Business US 50 led me into the divided highway of regular US 50. About a half mile down the divided highway, I could see that my nice wide concrete shoulder was going to be replaced with a narrow strip of crumbling asphalt. I knew I couldn’t ride that for the next 30 miles to Sedalia with such heavy and fast traffic. I took the nearby exit and got into state roads that led me around the Whiteman Air Force Base. This added a few miles to my original route. The skies were getting cloudy and I was a little apprehensive about possible rain. My phone battery was also getting low. Before I decided to turn off my phone, I got a call and text from my new found friends from my stay in Garnett, KS two days ago. If you recall, they had invited me for a killer dinner they made off their own BBQ grill just outside our hotel rooms. Jeff and Jodi Colvin were planning to spend the night in Sedalia and wanted to know where I was. I gave them an update via text, then had to power the phone down so I’d have enough juice to get directions at critical points. It was a long series of roller coaster hills for the next 30 miles. The wind wasn’t bad as it was mostly cross wind.
When I stopped to power up the phone near what I suspected was one of my critical turns, a young man in a 20+ year old Buick came to a stop near the intersection 20 feet away from me. Since I was just checking my phone, I waved him on, he yelled out his window that he wanted to make sure I knew he wasn’t going to hit me. He had tattoos up and down his arm, piercings on his face and ears, but spoke in the most courteous way. He confirmed my directions for me and verified that I would be on paved road. He sure blew away some of my stereotypes!
When I estimated that I was within 5 miles of Sedalia, I powered on my phone to confirm my location and send a message to Jeff and Jodi. A message was already waiting on my phone. They had checked in to a hotel and had invited me to dinner with them if I wanted. Of course I wanted! I had just passed a golf course and was closer to town than I originally thought. A woman in an SUV saw me studying directions and asked if I needed help. Apparently her husband was a cycling enthusiast. We were about 20 feet apart and there was still traffic noise that we had to talk over. When she heard me say my original starting point and ultimate target, she said “If you’ll just follow me down this road, you can have dinner and spend the night with us!” It was an offer I would have accepted, but I already had a dinner planned with Jeff and Jodi. As a “Lone Rider”, I never dreamed my social calendar would get so full!
It was only another 2 miles until I checked into the same hotel as Colvins. I quickly showered and changed. They drove me to a nearby Mexican restaurant and we had another wonderful evening sharing life lessons, experiences, hopes, and dreams. I hope I can have them over sometime at our home. When I got back to my room, I found a delightful email from an Emma Curry. She was the woman who had invited me to dinner. I had yelled out my website site and she had sent a message via that channel. Today the weather was fair, the hills challenging, but the people made it all part of the adventure.
The Lone Rider