Day 26 - Great Bend to McPherson KS
Always Stop For Coffee
Mileage: 65 miles
Total Climb: 510 feet
Weather: Nice, then rainy and cold, then sunny and nice again.
We, as a group, have realized that the good weather one day, bad weather the next thing must be a rule for this year’s ride. Almost every day our riders pack rain gear just in case the forecast is wrong. Even when leaving under sunny skies, theres always some slight chance that the weather might not hold out, or a freak ice storm might come by in the middle of June. After about an hour of riding had been completed, our cyclists were once again greeted by rain and lower than normal temperatures. They were cold, but we had a few tricks that we would try and use to warm them up.
By the first sag stop, which was in a rest area under a large gazebo off the main road, a few of our riders were already wearing trash bags for extra protection from the rain. One extra problem was that the rain was being blown sideways by some intense winds, and the temperature didn’t seem to be rising any due to the lack of sun. Some riders opted to warm up in the van during their rest stop so that it would be a little easier for them to deal with the low temperatures, rain, and wind they would be dealing with as soon as they left.
Luckily for them, the town of Lyons had a hidden gem for those that were regular imbibers of warm caffeinated beverages (almost everybody). There was a Dairy Queen that had cheap, very good coffee for them to drink and help warm up. This was especially welcome since our hotel breakfast didn’t have any coffee on hand until very near our departure time, and many of our cyclists prefer to start their morning off with a cup or two. It seemed as if their coffee consumption was encouraging the clouds to lift and the temperatures to rise, though, and by the time most of them made their way through the rest of Lyons, they were traveling through sunny, warm weather again. Sometimes coffee just makes life more bearable, I guess.
Lyons was at about the halfway point, and on their way to McPherson, they passed by a few smaller towns, but at the end of the route they would have a bit of construction to navigate. They have been building the same part of town for what seems like a few years now, and when the hotel staff was asked about it, they said it was supposed to be finished August of 2017… a little too late for us, but everyone seemed to be able to get through it just fine. Another day, another storm, it seems like. Tomorrow we head into Abilene, home of President Eisenhower!