Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Day 33: Eureka!

Day 33
Chanute to Eureka 64miles

Anyone who thinks I have some sort of glamorous life on the open road, will hopefully have their view changed today. At one point today I was changing a flat tyre in a public toilet! However, this being America, the place was very clean and also air conditioned! And actually I wasnt in the toilet itself, rather a little entrance hall area. But it was definitely nicer than doing it in the heat of the late morning sun.

Today was definitely the easiest riding of the entire trip. 64 miles of generally very flat roads. Able to maintain excellent speed and it was good to get out before the worst of the heat hit.

Was planning to stop at Toronto but just before I arrived I had to climb an actual proper hill! Look at it. When I get home I'm going to write a polite but firm letter to Kansas to make my feelings on this matter clear.
This needs flattening out right now!

Although when I got to the top I thought I might have stumbled upon an alien compound. I cycled through pretty quick lest I get zapped by some advanced technology!
"Hello little prawn" (said in my best South African accent)

Stopped briefly in Toronto, but there wasnt really much there. Managed to get some fresh water and ice from the local deli. By this point I had covered about 45miles in quick time, and only had around 20miles left to my destination. It was soon after that I had to stop to fix my puncture. Its my third one of the tour. I suspected it might have been a case of a previous patch not quite taking. My planned stop tomorrow, Newton, has a bike shop so I might invest in a couple of new tubes.

Arrived in Eureka at around 12:30. I had read about a very kind lady who lets cyclists stay with her. Apparently she runs the local pool, so I headed that way. This also allowed me to rectify a large aberration from yesterday in that I didnt go swimming!

I stopped at a gas station just before the pool to get a drink. This lady started asking me about my trip and then introduced herself as Becky. The same name as the woman I was looking for! It was indeed her and she had me follow her to the pool! I chilled out for the afternoon (yet more free swimming!) and talked to Becky. She seemed very friendly and like others, felt genuinely happy and honoured to be able to host people from around the world. I also wondered if the people of Eureka thought about the most famous use of their town's name every time they got in the swimming pool and the water rises slightly!

After a hard afternoon of relaxing, I headed over to Becky's house. She showed me round, showed me where the food was (including loads of ice cream!) and where the shower and laundry stuff was. She said to make myself at home, and unlike when many people say that, she actually meant it! So after she headed back to the pool I had a bit of ice cream, fixed my punctures and had a shower. There are some other cyclists in town, who I met briefly at the pool, but not sure what they are doing – seem to be part of a big group.
Another day, another pool...

Like many other hosts I have had, Becky is such a kind person. Very down to earth too. And despite having 5 kids (although 4 are currently away), and the job managing the pool, she never turns away a needy biker!

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