“Knocked out #3 with some company for a change. Jay, a roadie that I’ve been riding with on gravel quite a bit recently, came along for what turned out to be his longest day in the saddle ever. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions, relatively light wind and ridiculously nice temps in the 60s-70s all day.
Based on wind I suggested we head north in to it to start; I had a route in mind that would take us to Florence, KS, roughly 115 miles total.
3 weeks ago, this was a heavy clay mess with standing water for a quarter mile. Now just a puddle to swing around.3 weeks ago, this was a heavy clay mess with standing water for a quarter mile. Now just a puddle to swing around.
First 50 or so were fairly uneventful, just grinding away in to a light breeze north, then east. The one spot I was worried about being muddy turned out to be dry enough to ride around and another was easily bypassed in the neighboring field.
The roads got steadily more interesting as we approached Florence, culminating in some truly awesome MMR rollers north of town. Unfortunately it seems the locals enjoy coming out there too and have a nasty habit of chucking beer bottles wherever.
I had the misfortune of catching a piece of glass just right in my rear tire – cut through right by a side knob where it would be difficult to seal. Fortunately we were able to rig up a plug from the tag off of Jay’s vest and the sealant soaked in and held for the day (and still is!).
With the flat out of the way we made a quick stop at the spring that supplies Florence with its water, then in to town to the Flint Hills Market and Bakery for some delicious sandwiches, coffee, and cookies before turning south for home.
The road heading out of town is one of my favorites, a rolling ranch road with a wide mix of conditions from fresh chunk to barely traveled washouts to hard packed fast dirt. We rolled home just as the sun was setting, turning in a total time faster than I expected given the long stop we made for lunch. This will definitely be another route I tweak (looking for more interesting roads heading north) and save for later.”