May 22nd, 2019 / (140km/87mi)

Like a miracle after the last two days, the sun is out this morning and there’s no clouds in the sky. Still, I am only on the road shortly past 8am.

I decided yesterday evening to deviate from the official TransAm bike trail route and take a detour south via Garden City and then to Dodge City to the east, instead of directly going east to Ness City. Reason being: there’s more towns on the southern route and better options for motels which again gives me more options to go for more customized distances of the daily legs. I am concerned about the next days’ weather forecast and might need be able to adjust short-term.

The highways are great to ride, there’s always a wide shoulder of at least 3 meters/9 feet. Keeps trucks at a distance. And things look the same on each of the highways here no matter which one you take. My latest tactics is to check out my route via Google Street View and see how wide the shoulders are. Learning kicks in slowly after my disastrous UT-191 experience around Moab.

The scenery is – well – what scenery? I don’t have to do many stops to take a picture today.

My relationship with Google Maps suffered again today. She sent me into a side road to avoid the highway and at first it looked like a major road. It was paved. For 8km. Then it suddenly ended and turned into a gravel road. OK, sweetheart, I’m not going to ride all the way back. And after another 8km turns into a mud road with puddles of water all across. We didn’t talk to each other for the rest of the day.

Oh, and I have another tire blowout. Just after I have finished my lunch break at a nice rest place along KS-400. The moment I get back onto the road, my back tire goes flat. A tiny thorn has been waiting patiently there for hours just for me to pass by and roll over it. A match made in heaven. But our close relationship doesn’t hold for long and we separate shortly after again. And here I go again on my own, going down the only road I’v ever known, – sorry, I am getting carried away. I continue my ride along KS-400 towards Dodge City, where I arrive around 4pm. A decent day on the bike.

For tomorrow the forecast is again not very promising: it’s supposed to start raining this night at 2am and then continue thru the whole day. Sucks. I am sick of sitting around in a motel room and not getting forward. I will see what I’m going to do. Weather, don’t mess with me!

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