Riding West

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I really like riding my bike. Not so much when I’m firing all wrong, but that still is alright. I think that either you are passionately hooked on bike riding or you aren’t. There might be an in between. I feel sorry for those people though. I remember reading a quote by Jens Voight saying that his bike is going to be sitting in the corner, gathering cobwebs when he retires, maybe riding twice a year. I felt so sorry for him. Cycling as a job, without passion, isn’t something that I’d wish for even an enemy. It is much to hard of an endeavor for that.

Anyway, I don’t have that issue because I love doing it. I went out for a couple hours yesterday. I was supposed to keep my hand elevated, iced, but I thought maybe this might be the last couple days I get to ride outside for a bit, so I should make the best use of it.

I rode out West of Topeka to Dover. The Flint Hills start right after Dover. At least it gets hilly there, I’m not sure it that is technically the Flint Hills. Anyway, it is beautiful. Beautiful even when it is 90 something degress, super muggy and the wind blowing close to 30 mph, which it was doing yesterday. I didn’t feel stellar, but I wasn’t close to bad. I was riding alright into the 30 mph headwind, which is a good sign.

I like riding out West. K-4, the road that goes from Topeka to Dover is about the only road near Topeka that actually isn’t on a grid pattern. It flows somewhat and doesn’t adhere to the corner ever mile deal that the rest of the county does. It rained a lot yesterday morning and then just heated up. You could cut the air with a knife. It has rained enough that everything is super green around Topeka. It’s going to be a banner year for hay. I don’t really follow hay prices, but I know last year that I saw a bunch being shipped out to Colorado on flatbeds, so it must have been expensive. I guess that is what drought does to things.

Anyway, I plan to ride to Kansas City today to go to the surgery appointment. It is at 3:15. It’s around 80 miles there, so that is a little over 4 hours. Maybe more because of the heat and wind. I’m not sure exactly what is going to happen. I guess they are going to cut back open the wound and look in to see the damage. Seems sort of archaic to me. Seems like there should have been someone in the city of Topeka that could have come in to the hospital and fixed my hand before they sewed it up originally. I guess hand surgeons are a rare find around here. I’m still thinking that the tendon isn’t as bad as I was told. I am typing right now with hardly an issue. That doesn’t seem possible if I severed the tendon to my index finger. I guess we’ll see.

Okay, I’m going to try to finish up cutting the trees this morning before I ride over to Kansas City. It might be the last time for a little while that my left hand is going to work better than my right. I’ll post how it goes later.

I took the splint off to ride yesterday.  It was making my fingers turn blue.

I took the splint off to ride yesterday. It was making my fingers turn blue.

There is a guy in Dover that doesn't much like cyclists.  He made this piece and it is sitting on the crossroads in Dover.

There is a guy in Dover that doesn’t much like cyclists. He made this piece and it is sitting on the crossroads in Dover.

It was so humid yesterday, that I was still pouring sweat when I got home back into the air conditioning.

It was so humid yesterday, that I was still pouring sweat when I got home back into the air conditioning.

Here are just some shots of West of Topeka. It is very green this year.

Like I said above, there is a lot of hay around here this year.

Like I said above, there is a lot of hay around here this year.

This was my mom's favorite corner when we drove out K-4 when I was a child.

This was my mom’s favorite corner when we drove out K-4 when I was a child.

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11 thoughts on “Riding West

  1. Doug

    Wow. Too bad about Jens. No respect for that attitude, dude.
    I blogged about this same thing a few years ago. I can’t agree more.
    I guess we ride for different reasons..and I would guess my reasons are more like yours than Jens’.
    Don’t forget to ice your hand, man.
    Peace.

     
  2. Steve Wathke

    Good luck today. Hope it wasn’t as bad as thought. Did you say you are riding your bike to your appointment? Will you ride home? I think your hand will be throbbing way too bad to ride. Hope you’re catching a ride back. Best of luck man.

     
  3. Euro

    It’s your body, but you will end up killing yourself by not listening to your doctors’ advice.

     
  4. channel_zero

    Well, doctors and procedures fall within a wide range of success to resolving nothing. At least one or more evaluations from specialists is necessary though.

     
  5. stooky

    Jens can ride for whatever reason he wants. I doubt very many retired professional football players spend their time playing backyard football. That likely goes for most sports/athletes I would think.

    Jens may be in the same boat as former Detroit running back Barry Sanders. He is one of the best running backs to ever play the game but says he didn’t really love playing. He just said that with the talent he had it would have been a shame to let the opportunity go to waste.

    I myself am one of the “in between” guys that you feel sorry for. Don’t feel sorry for me. I live a very well rounded and happy life. I enjoy riding my bike as much as the next guy but I don’t center my entire existence around it and because of that I have the freedom to enjoy/experience many other things in life.

    To each his own I guess.

     
  6. Steve Tilford Post author

    Stooky-Balance is good. Well rounded and a happy life is all we can wish for. But, don’t compare bike racing to professional football. It is not close to the same. Jens has had the privilege to be able to see the world from inside out. And to propel himself over some of the most beautiful roads in the world. For him to say, even in jest, that he is going to let his bike gather dust in the corner, is a sin in my book. He should be making mental notes about places he would like to come back to see later, when he has no pressure and the time to truly enjoy them leisurely. That is what I do. But, to each his own.

     
  7. Bryan

    I love riding off Auburn road down Hwy 4 to Dover. What I DON’T like is heading east or South out of Dover to get back. Heading east brings you over some nasty little and steep hills; heading south brings you up Camp Daisy Hill. In my book neither direction is enjoyable.

     
  8. Jim B

    Steve, good luck with your surgery. I had surgery on my thumb in late February and it went very well. Almost back to 100% strength now. Hope yours goes even better.

     
  9. JR

    I agree with stooky.

    Jens IS very passionate about cycling now Steve. I think it is rational to want to do something else. People change.

     
  10. Xyz

    Jens has like 8 kids or so. Bike riding and traveling are awesome, but they have their place. He doesn’t have the freedom to run off anywhere to ride for fun. Or if he did one would question his priorities.

     
  11. mark

    Steve is a lucky guy to love what he does so much, he can not understand those who do not. I am going to be more careful with my chainsaw.

     

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