This was my first ride in Kansas. All in all it was pretty uneventful. I rode about 70 miles against mild headwinds in 95 degree weather. What made the ride noteworthy was the people more than the scenery.
While pushing through Edgerton, I spotted a woman walking to her mailbox. We made eye contact and exchanged smiles. As I trudged down her street, she called out to me, "You need some water?" I obviously needed water. This kind woman, Kelly, proceeded to invite me into her home, introduce me to her husband, daughter and granddaughter, gave me water and even fed me their first cucumber of the year. Before arriving in this state I had heard that Kansans had a reputation of being nice. Kelly was certainly a testament to that.
In Ottawa I stayed in the home of Jarrett, a native of Kansas who was terribly passionate about promoting cycling in his town and state. He wanted Ottawa to be the cycling hub of his state, which certainly was possible given that it was the intersection of two of Kansas' major bike paths, the Prairie Spirit Trail and the Flint Hills Nature Trail. He, much like Tom, had an inspiring story in which cycling played a pivotal role in Jarrett's return to a healthy lifestyle.
After feeding my barbecue addiction at a local restaurant, I retired to Jarrett's home. I told you, it was an uneventful day.