New Mexico to Kansas City 2017

Cimarron New Mexico to Kansas City
To see videos – be sure to look up Kelly’s facebook page. Kelly Caster-Myers

This is the 3rd leg of our cross country tandem bicycle trip.





















This 712 mile ride should take us about 15 days of a leisurely stroll on our tandem bike.
To see videos – be sure to look up Kelly’s facebook page. Kelly Caster-Myers

Day 14

We finished! We are ready to put the bike in the van and drive back to Indiana.

Day 13 Iola to Osawatomie KS

More hills and heat!

Day 12 Eureka to Iola KS

We were on the road by 8:30am ready for a 50+ mile day, strong crosswinds, more heat and more hills.  We lost the wide berm we had become accustomed to for the majority of our trip, so it was difficult to stop for pictures or for any reason.

We were getting close to our destination when Ken noticed a man walking down the road, then crossed the street, apparently, to speak with us.  He told us he was walking to Manhattan KS (over a 140 miles away) and was lost.  Ken checked map quest and attempted to get him going in the right direction.  The bigger problem was he had very little food and water.  He claimed he would be okay because he had a couple bottles of Powerade.  I gave him some protein supplement and a few snacks and he headed down the road.  We reached Iola and decided to make a stop at one of the few bike shops on our trip.  There were a couple locals at the Velo+ Bike Shop and we wound up staying over 90 minutes talking bikes, touring and emergency fixes.

We road for a very short time on the bike trail we will be enjoying for about 25 miles tomorrow!

Day 11 Wichita KS to Eureka KS

As we get ready for today’s ride, we know we’ll have the wind against us for part of the way, so we have our work cut out for us.
Well Eureka, we have arrived!
The wind wasn’t as bad as we thought because it was mostly cross winds, but it was the heat and the hills that made it a hard day today. But shortly after we arrived in Eureka we met some other bike travelers. Morin was riding across the USA and met up with Heather & Jaime who were riding from San Francisco to Yorktown.

They were wanting to get another 25 miles down the road before stopping to camp. (click image for larger file)

So we talked and as we went back to our motel, they road on.

We stayed in another super old motel.

Day 10 Kingman to Wichita KS

Not much to see on our ride to Wichita . . . OK nothing to see on our ride to Wichita, but once we arrived we saw a beautiful downtown. This was an Indian display for the Plains Indians. Very nice park area in downtown Wichita.

Day 9 Pratt to Kingman KS

A short distance but a difficult ride. We had a 35mph cross wind for the entire ride today. A stop to visit some windmills and a closer look at a cotton field.

In about a week, the farmers will spray the cotton plants which will actually kill them. Then the cotton buds will open and be ready for harvesting.

Day 8 Greensburg KS to Pratt KS

Leaving Greensburg was difficult . . . because we didn’t want to. We fell in Love with this new, old town.

We had already been told by several locals that the town was flattened by an EF5 tornado in 2007. 95 percent of the buildings, homes, and businesses were completely destroyed.

Before the tornado an Antique store was in an old Church building.

But this is what is left.

FEMA brought in temporary housing in the form of completely furnished trailers, but about half the population decided to leave anyway.  Those who decided to stay rebuilt a beautiful community, powered by wind and solar, becoming the most LEED (Leadership in Energy Environmental Design) buildings per capita in the world.

The people in Greensburg are very helpful and kind.  I guess when you lose everything, you really get your priorities straight.
We took our time leaving the motel, waiting for the skis to clear and the temps to warm up a bit.  Ken wanted to take pictures of downtown Greensburg so we headed in that direction.  We rode down main street then stopped at “The Big Well” museum.

We spoke with a woman leaving the museum and she suggested we check it out, so we did.

Pieces of what was left of the town were on display.

Looking down the hand dug well – the stairs lead down to almost water level.

The museum is a compilation of the building of the town around the well in the 1880’s to the total destruction caused by the EF5 tornado in 2007. The struggle to rebuild the town and the model for sustainability that it is today. We did not want to leave this beautiful little town but realized we had to hit the road.  So, we said goodbye to Greensburg and headed to our next destination. What a difference a day makes!  The skis were clear and we had a cross/tail wind to help us on our way.  We only rode about 11 miles when Ken decided he wanted a Gatorade.

We road into to town and saw this building. Look what’s inside the local fire department garage on the right . . .

A beautiful display of the Fire Department.

We stopped at a bakery/deli

After all, we had ridden all of 47 minutes and worked up quite an appetite! After lunch, it was time to move on again, but first, we spoke with one of the locals who was a cycling enthusiast and was curious about our trip.Finally deciding to move on, we reached Pratt KS around 3pm.

Day 7  – God watched over us today!

A 63 mile ride from Meade to Greensburg KS.  All of the days have been in the 80’s and 90’s so I thought the cooler morning was going to be OK. We left Meade at 9:15 am in 56 degrees with 18 mpg head winds just stopping us in our tracks. The first half of our trip was up hill against the wind so we worked hard just to go 6 mph!  And let’s see . . . 56 degrees minus the 18 mph wind chill, That’s -15 degrees below zero !

Even in overcast weather, It looks like they can grow windmills here too.

We stopped at a gas station and a man came up to us and asked us if we were warm enough. His name was Darrel and he ended up giving Kelly a flannel shirt to wear. Wow . . . such nice people in this part of the country.  He said he had plenty of other shirts because the weather changes so quickly in these parts.

Well the uphill climb in the cold wind turned out to be the best and easiest part of the morning. The worst part was we had a slow leak in our back tire and while pumping up the tire our pump broke. It no longer would pump any air at all. At mile 40 of our 63 mile day we were finally broke down and stopped. At 23 miles from the nearest town, our destination of Greensburg. It was time to call for help.

So we called AAA!  Who else are you supposed to call when you are broken down on the side of the road? They asked the make, model and year of our bicycle and after asking our location we waited for a tow truck. As we were waiting, the clouds broke and sun heated up the afternoon quickly. The wind stopped and the day turned beautiful! AAA had a tow truck out to us in less than an hour!

The AAA driver towed our bike to the Best Western Plus Hotel in Greensburg (our next destination) then he drove us around town to find a bike pump. Well we didn’t find a pump but we were very grateful for AAA going above and beyond the call of duty to help us out. Thanks AAA !

oops we still have a flat tire problem and no store in town that would have a presta valve bike pump. So we asked our hotel clerk, Debby, if she knew of anybody who road a bike. Debby picked up the phone and started dialing (OK, pressing buttons) On her second call she found a person who may be able to help. Tony, a youth leader at the local Youth Core Ministry (YCM) had a pump and was at the hotel in less than ten minutes!

FIXED! We are ready to ride again! Thank you Darrel, AAA, Debby, Tony and most of all, God!

Day 6

A Ride to Meade KS.
More wide open meadows but no Antelope and Prairie Dogs.

Looking at this wide open range, its easy to see “The World is my . . . Bathroom”.

We visited the Dalton Gang hide out. This tiny house has a basement and a tunnel.

The tunnel was an escape route so the gang members could sneak from the house (on the left) to the barn (on the right) if the house was surrounded.

side view with barn on the right and house on the left. We walked through the very narrow tunnel then walked through the house and barn. Very interesting place and story about the Dalton Gang.

Day 5

A ride to Liberal Kansas

Packing the bike just right. We haven’t lost anything yet.

Hey Dorothy . . . we’re back in Kansas!

                                                      Click to see video

Liberal Kansas has claimed it to be the home town of Dorothy. Even though it was never mentioned in the book or movie, Liberal has taken claim to her home.

Day 4

We woke up with a fox outside our room.

We left a quiet town to ride 63 miles to Guyman, OK. No place to stop for food or water. There were actually only three places to stop under a tree for shade and we took advantage of them. We brought plenty of food and water with us so we were fine.

Day 3

SO, we just peddled 43 miles on a chipseal type road surface that was completely unforgiving. It felt like we were riding an impatient jackhammer that needed some anger management classes!

But those Prairie Dogs are still so cute.

Our only chance for shade and we took it for a nice comfortable lunch break.

We arrived at our motel (from the 1930’s)

The rain was near by but never touched us.

Day 2

Still heading East from Cimarron NM. Will stop in Clayton NM for the night. There is a bunch of nothing out here. We road 50 miles today, and at the 4th mile we stopped in Gladstone. Gladstone has just one store (as a matter of fact that’s all that’s in Gladstone – no houses) This is the only store within 83 miles!

Gladstone Mercantile, Post Office, Gas Station and deli. The only store with 83 miles.

Kelly found this certificate posted on the bathroom wall. I guess it was legal back then.

After we left Gladstone – on the road!

We spent the night at the Best Western in Clayton NM.

Day 1
A ride from Cimarron NM towards Clayton NM – Leaving the foothills of the Rockies we starting riding our bike.  56 miles of Antelope, Prairie dogs and lots of . . . nothing!

Cimarron NM – our starting point.

View of the Rockies in the distance.

Another view (looking behind us) of the Rockies

Prairie Dogs all over the this meadow. But we didn’t have a club so we left them there.

Lots of Antelope roaming free on the range.