Go west young man

Another lame day has me add only a modest 35 miles to the trip counter. How disappointing. At least today I had a pretty good excuse. I woke up early from the wunder-hostel in Golden City and rode west towards Kansas which I reached after three hours of riding. I knew there was a bike shop in town and I intended to have the shifting fixed once and for all. It grated my nerves that the few times I worked up the audacity to ask the bike to downshift all it would do in response was give an audible click but stay in the same gear as if nothing happened. As if, in fact, the click was its way of mock acknowledging "10-4 on that request, Ras. Up yours. Over!"

Sometimes that meant that I would just get off the bike in disgust and walk up the hill and sometimes it meant having to power pedal it up much to my knees' discontent. Nothing quite to really drive home the point than going uphill at 3 miles per hour while taking enormous breaths in the vicinity of rotting roadkill. Hoping at least you'll be saved the indignity of swallowing one of those revolting flies buzzing about during those labored gasps. Gosh, just the recollection makes me nauseous all over again.

I've been seeing the gruseome remains of all manner of animals since the first day of my ride. I always fight the urge to stare but the morbid sense of curiosity within sometimes wins this primal need to get that visual confirmation. Most times I can avert my sight and look away before making this identifaction or have anything whatsoever to do with being witness to it. At other times however it becomes more difficult. Such as when you're crawling uphill at a near standstill. Or when you have unfortunately no choice but to run over it because banking to the left or right at that precise moment would mean an inevitable accident. And then the thud of your wheels going over the grisly mess is enough to turn my stomach.

Boy, what a pleasant journal entry, huh?

I arrived in Pittsburg and found the bike shop easily enough but because it was a busy Saturday my bike was not ready until past 6 in the evening. Even though I had plenty of pep left in me to ride on into Kansas' inviting flat roads there was no time left on the clock. Some daredevil cyclists are rumored to ride at night but I wouldn't think of it.

Day 34