Day 53-55: Tuesday, June 17th to Thursday, June 19th

Eureka, KS to Newton, KS

We left early hoping to get to Newton, KS to the famous Newton Bike Shop and our friend James Barringer and his lovely wife Heather.

We continued to battle the same cross winds we had the day before and counting down every mile till Rosalia, where we were to turn north.  We finally made it to Rosalia and happily accepted the tailwind when we turned.  We looked around for a place to eat, as the maps had listed there was a restaurant in this small town.  We asked a man at the post office and he said we could see if the “Old Hat” was open and when we got there it was not.  We were hungry for some real food, so Phil got out the stove and we cooked our food right there in front of the restaurant.

About 15 minutes passed and we were starting on our second course of our meal and a man showed up to the restaurant.  Turned out he was the owner and was opening the restaurant for lunch.  We cleaned up our dishes, used the restroom and bought some chips and candy inside his place.  We got to talk to him for a while as well.

2014-06-17 12.18.35 2014-06-17 12.18.23

We then enjoyed the tailwind for 17 great miles to Cassoday, KS.  We averaged almost 19 miles/hr the entire way.

We stopped in the Country store in Cassoday.  We ate some more good food there as well.  Your able to camp in the city park but we found out the train goes by every 20 minutes.  We decided to continue on, but the 19 miles to Rosalia of cross wind had taken it’s toll and we were unsure if we could make it the next 38 miles to Newton.

We got approximately 5 miles outside of Cassoday and Phil stopped when he saw someone’s nicely manicured lawn.  Phil thought it would be a great place to camp for the night.  We knocked on the door and two teenage girls came out of the side door.  Phil asked if it would be okay for us to pitch a tent in their yard for the night.  The one young lady called her Mom and then said her Mom was okay with it.  Knowing we could stop here, we let Melinda and Lisa know, who were behind us.  They had planned to stay in Cassoday, but Phil let them know about the train.  We waited for them to arrive and Phil rested.  Linda was a little antsy and really wanted to move on, but Phil was truly very tired.

2014-06-17 17.02.24  2014-06-17 15.59.38

When Melinda and Lisa arrived, we were still unsure about whether or not we could use the bathroom and we were unsure if we really wanted to stay.  Phil had contacted James Barringer about a possible pick up truck ride into town.  Melinda and Lisa were also very tired and were not thrilled about camping in the yard.

The Newton Bike shop saved the day and one of the Bike Techs in the shop, Art, came and got us in his pick up truck.  As we sped over the Flint Hills of Kansas into Newton, we didn’t feel like we were missing anything by not biking that last 38 mile stretch.

When we arrived, we were greeted by James and the film crew that was doing a documentary on the TransAm Bike race called “Inspired to Ride.”  His wife, Heather, whisked us off in her SUV to get showers down at the local community center as it was closing soon.

After showering, we then got the grand tour of the bike hostel, kitchen and bike shop.

2014-06-20 00.58.36 The signature wall

2014-06-17 21.36.23James and Heather

2014-06-18 14.37.13 Harley, the shop dog

2014-06-18 18.51.09 And the bike wash

We figure out that our tires, good as they were, were hurting our coasting ability and therefore we were using up a lot of energy pedaling.  We ordered new tires, which would be there in 2 days.  We decided to stay in Newton a couple of days.

Wednesday, June 18th

We relaxed a lot that day.  Linda went over to the coffee shop next door and had some oatmeal for breakfast with a Chai Tea.   Linda also walked down to the grocery store to pick up some food.  Phil stayed and hung out at the bike shop.

Two cyclists coming from the west arrived in the afternoon.  They had traveled on the Western Express from San Francisco.  A little while later another cyclists arrived come from the east traveling with a BOB trailer.  Everyone decided to take a rest day at the Newton Bike shop since it was so cool.

2014-06-19 00.21.20

That night at 1am in the morning, the fourth place cyclist of the TransAm Bike race arrived at Newton Bike Shop.  We stayed up and waited, so we didn’t sleep much.  Luckily we were taking another rest day.

2014-06-19 07.14.07Jessie  (4th place racer) leaving Newton Bike shop in the morning

Thursday, June 19th

Phil and I started our day out with breakfast a few blocks down.  Linda then went down tot he thrift store to buy some new flip flops as she had lost one of her pair somewhere between Cassoday and Newton.

Linda got back in time to help greet the famous Julianna Buhring, who holds the Guinness book of world record for fastest woman to circumvent the world by bicycle.  We both got to meet her as well as the 6th place rider who arrived with her.  Phil got his picture with her and she signed his helmet.

2014-06-19 11.45.36 (1) 2014-06-19 20.25.16

More racers continued to pour into the Newton Bike shop.  James and Heather were getting tired but they continued to be awesome hosts and provided an amazing service to the racers and other TransAm cyclists.   Three other cyclists arrived that day going east.

Our tires also arrived that day and the bike techs replaced our tires.  We had a great time at the Newton Bike shop.  Thank you so much James and Heather!

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