06.12.2007 Kansas at Last
A new state, a new landscape, but the same mission – Texas 4000 has pedaled into Kansas! We crossed the state line early this morning, twelve miles into our 90 mile day from Buffalo, Oklahoma to Dodge City, Kansas. Crossing the boarder was dramatic for a number of reasons: 1) we crossed the entire state of Oklahoma on our bicycles, 2) the landscape seemed to change drastically as soon as we crossed, and 3) I won my first border race.
Border race? A Texas 4000 for Cancer tradition going back many, many years – the border race is a very symbolic component of our border crossing days; we race, all out, to each state line. The Texas-Oklahoma border didn't go too well for me, so I was anxious to make it up this time around and take the glory on the road. The scene today was set to be a short race, with the border only twelve miles into the day, which meant strength would take priority over tactics in this one. Chris McCraw and Alex Chang, two of our strongest riders, and I broke away from the group early and started picking up the pace. Soon, Alex was left behind, and Chris and I were shooting it out for the border one-on-one. I was able to pass him a few feet before the line, just as our support vehicle was passing us as well, and threw my fists into the air. Insignificant, yes; but it is still nice to win every once in a while...
The day today went by rather quickly. The morning routine was streamlined very efficiently, putting us on the road much earlier than usual, and flat roads and tailwinds kept us moving along rather quickly the whole day. Kansas, or at least the part we've passed through so far, is much prettier than I expected. The rolling hills are covered by prairie grass in this area, with signs of civilization far and few in between. The occasional field is filled to the horizon with wheat, but most of the time it is just endless and open land as far as the eye can see. It is sort of surreal cycling through this landscape, with no cars on the road and no people, besides my teammates, around me – I really enjoyed it today.
Now, we're in Dodge City, Kansas. I'm sitting on a curb a block away from the church that has so graciously taken us in for the evening, borrowing an internet connection from a nearby house. There is a storm blowing through the area, so I must come to a close before the rain forces me back to the dark ages... Thanks for reading.