Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Austin Russell, Great Bend, And A Fast Ride...

"Don't know if it's illegal to be handsome and ride a bike at the same time, but, whatever, I live dangerously." ~ Anonymous

On leaving Kinsley, KS, I was headed towards Great Bend where Austin Russell would be putting me up for the night.  Austin is the Director of the middle school band in Great Bend.  It's his first job after graduating from college.  And he's proud of his job and what he does ... and he's proud of his students.  It shows when he talks about his work and his students.  Great to see that.  Despite the media trashing the "younger generation" and trying to give it a title "X generation", etc., they, like my generation, are doing fine and don't really need a title to get by.

The ride to Great Bend was fast.  Weather was good; wind was at my back.  If there was some way to make this the case every day, I'd be willing to pay for it.  But, that's not the case.  Austin had left his house unlocked for me to get into whenever I arrived in town.  Nice to live in that kind of town.  After Austin finished for the day, he came home and we had a beer and talked.  I convinced him to let me take him to dinner for allowing me to spend the night at his place.  Mexican food.  Not bad for the middle of Kansas.  After dinner, Austin drove me around town, showed me the middle school where he works, and took me on the route I should take to get out of Great Bend to avoid a busy highway.  Appreciated that.  It's one of the benefits of using Warmshowers.org because the majority of hosts are cyclists and know the surrounding area where they live, so they can give info on how to get out of town with the least amount of hassle.
Austin was a fun host with some good stories to share.  Should he decide to come to Silver City, NM, to see what climbing mountains is like, he has a place to stay with us.  We both have the iPhone 5S and were talking about/sharing apps.  He loved the Dark Sky app and the Ride With GPS app, both of which are favorites of mine.  I did this short video of this app downloading: http://youtu.be/soEVK-zQOfM  I noticed a banjo in the room where I was sleeping and gently joked with him about banjos and the many jokes that are told about banjo players and to think seriously about pursuing the banjo.  Hopefully, he has a thick skin!

Here are a few photos that I took while riding through Kansas...
On Entering KANSAS...
A Place That Used To Be...
Outside of Dodge City (East Side)...
A Pizza That I Could Not Finish...It Was Good, But I Couldn't Eat Those Last Few Pieces...
In The Land Of Kansas...
A Photo From Texas...On My Way To Canyon, TX...And It Smelled Like The Capital, Too!!!

Next post, Salina, KS, where I spent the night with Sam and Maggie Browning.  It turned into a long day due to, guess what, THE WIND!!!  Their friends, who get together at Sam and Maggie's house every Thursday for a potluck dinner, were there, too.  Short but fun night!!

For now, a tune to exit with..."Stand and Deliver" by the Steep Canyon Rangers: http://youtu.be/8ej4bZnVFWc  Still one of my favorite bluegrass bands.  This one's for you, Austin.  Keep on livin' the dream...you're what kids need these days.  Someone who cares about them...