Posted by: rustymccain | July 6, 2011

Storm Surfers!

Today we became “storm surfers”. Not storm chasers, but storm surfers. We woke up to some ominous clouds to the northwest. I quickly jumped on the computer and saw that the storms were moving our way. It did not look good for us. Ray, undaunted, began to prepare for the ride. I, on the other hand, was daunted. Double daunted. I even got out my “I’m with Daunted” T-Shirt and threw it at Ray to wear. But my weak suggestion that we wait out the storm never made it to the floor for a vote, so I prepared for a wet day.

Mr. Undaunted

We stopped at a local market and had a quick cup of coffee while I studied the oncoming clouds. They were looking pretty nasty. We rode out of town into another headwind, but could notice on little sliver of lighter sky ahead of us in the general direction we were riding. The hills we are now riding are long low hills. While they do not provide a great, free downhill on the other side, the climbs are not tough and add interest and character to the countryside.

Much to our delight, the wind became a side wind, with a bit of push, so we were making good time. We both knew it was just a matter of time before the storm caught us. I looked back at one point and got an instant feeling of what Dorothy must have felt like right before the trip to Oz. Ray looked back a few minutes later. I told him not to look back, just keep pedaling.

Dorothy, we ARE still in Kansas

We worked together and the wind was more of a help today than a hindrance. It is really interesting on this trip that Ray and I have become like synchronized swimmers, only without the pool, the water, the music, the swimcaps, the nose clips, grace or athleticism. OK, so we are not exactly like synchronized swimmers, but we do a lot of things instinctively at the same time. We tend to stand to pedal at the same time. We tend to drink at the same time. We have often said the same thing at the same time. When one takes a nature break, the other one takes a social nature break. We tend to need small rests at the same time and we both feel the need to eat at about the same time. Our speed has been very similar and we have ridden every mile, save one day, together.

Because the sky was cloud-covered, the temperatures were pleasant today. As a result, we only stopped once, to get drinks and then quickly took off. We knew all morning the raindrops were not far behind. We kept the best pace we could. It seems we can ride all day now at a slow pace. But our legs are simply using muscle memory pattern. We hit a couple of small hills today and neither of us had any snap at all. I am convinced neither of us could outsprint a three-year-old on a tricycle to the end of the driveway.

At our constant pace, we kept moving despite seeing a few bolts of lightning on occasion. Thankfully the lightning appeared to be many miles away and never appeared threatening. We finally took a deep breath about 5 miles outside the town of Chanute, KS, our destination. Though we were getting just a few raindrops on us at the time, we knew we had dodged a bullet. We had caught the wave just ahead of the storm that seemed so threatening.

A Storm Outrun

For our earlier than usual start and hard effort, we completed our 64 mile day by 10:45, so we have a full day of fun activities in Chanute: Eating, laundry, eating, resting, eating, sitting by the pool, eating, congratulating each other on outrunning the storm and eating. Tomorrow we head for Pittsburg …. Kansas. Then on to Missouri. We are 2,183 miles into our journey.

Several people have expressed an interest in riding with us some when we go through Kentucky next weekend. We will be staying in Beaver Dam, Cave City and Bardstown that weekend. We would love to have people ride with us. We need to continue our daily routine, riding times and riding speed. So, aside from some special plans with my IronSon on Friday night, we won’t make any special plans, but we will provide details in the next couple of days about where we are starting our ride on Saturday and Sunday and where we are staying in Cave City and Bardstown. So if anyone want to come visit and/or ride with us, you are welcomed to do so. Thank for checking in!


  1. I’m enjoying the Tour De France by day and you brave souls by night. Seen much of the country you are seeing and only by seeing it as you are can you appreciate the beauty and immensity of this great land. Stay safe. Rita

  2. Another great day in the saddle for the two Amigos. Keep the cranks turning. Would that I could ride one day with you but it’s not meant to be. You will be in Kentucky and I will be in Virginia. Glad you out ran the storm. They are no fun at all. Good luck each day. I noticed after your next rest day, you have 22 straight days of riding, if I read correctly….nice. 🙂

  3. Okay, 20 straight days. Nicer

  4. Dear Mr. Daunted and Mr. Undaunted: Keep an eye out for two pair of ruby slippers while your are passing through the gateway to the Land of Oz – they are powerful tools and might just crank up your pedaling power outrunning those storm clouds! Enjoy your last day in Kansas as you cross this great country from Sea to Shining Sea!

  5. What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? Thanks for all the beautiful sites and allowing us to view the country through your camera. Great job storm surfing!!
    Wonderful stories. We are proud to know you!

  6. I love the pic you have posted. As always, you look like hardcore and ready to kick some butt. Keep up the good work… it’s one day at a time. Remember, this isn’t a race, it’s fun… so just enjoy it and keep pushing.

  7. I’m leaving Louisiana in the morning, so I hope to spend some time with Mary Ann and mom on Sunday. We’ll miss you.

  8. I really appreciate the daunted and undaunted stories! Just keep plugging along. Remember that the storms are a blessing and that the temperatures are reduced because of them. You NEVER want to disturb the gods of cycling! Keep at it! When you get to Berea, KY, please say hello to my first-ever collegiate alma mater. I spent 3 years in Berea, fighting the wind, rain, and the cold during the winters, while attending Berea College. It was an epic time for me. I trust that the gods of cycling are much kinder to you.

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