Friday, 8 July 2011

Day 36: One small rest day for man...

Day 36
0 miles

So last night I headed out to the bar suggested to me by the guy in the bikeshop. Got there and grabbed a stool and ordered a beer and a burger. After a while, I overheard the guy next to me talking about how he almost won the lottery. I initially put it down to bar talk, until I noticed the oversized novelty cheque on bad in front of him. It was from the Kansas state lottery, and was for $250,000! I decided to investigate further, and jokingly asked him if he had tried paying it into the bank.
Big cheque, big money!

We got chatting, and Jerry (for that was his name) and his friends were absolutely amazed that I was cycling across America. They were really friendly and very interested in what I had been up to. Jerry also explained that his work syndicate matched 5 out of 6 balls on the lottery and that there were each getting around $13k. If they had matched the last number, they would have been splitting over 100million dollars (said in best Dr Evil voice)!!! I spent the rest of the night talking to Jerry, Glynn and Randy and then also Jerry's wife when she turned up. Apparently she already has her eye on using the money as a down payment on a new car! They were all really friendly. Just before leaving, I went to the restroom. Came back and asked the bartender for my tab, only to be told that Jerry had paid it for me. They even gave me a lift back to the church – we arranged to meet up again tonight for a few more beers.

Anyway, today was a day of relaxing and being a bit touristy. My first stop was the Cosmosphere – the space museum. Today was a good day to be there, as it was also the launch of the last ever space shuttle mission. So they were having a bit of a party with cookies, and staff giving a presentation about the history of the space shuttle. All in a room which had a mock up of the international space station on stage!
We have lift off (and free cookies)

After the launch I toured the rest of the museum and went to a couple of the shows. There was an IMAX film called Tornado Alley – I think most of it was filmed in Kansas! Luckily for me, tornado season seems to have finished now, think its more in the spring time.

The main part of the museum was all about the history of space flight, from the German rockets of WW2 right up until the modern day. There were lots of cool exhibits including a full size model of a space shuttle, the Mars rover and in the lobby they also had an actual SR71 blackbird spy plane. I also think the blackbird is such a timeless piece of design – if you showed it to people now it would be easy to believe it was a modern plane, and not something built in the 1960's. It also still holds the record for the fastest ever flight between New York and London – around 90mins!
The space shuttle model

The olympics boldly goes where no olympics has gone before

This one made me miss my lovely watch at home (although mine is actually a Seamaster)

The SR71 Blackbird

After the museum I grabbed some lunch, went to the post office to post some stuff home and chilled out for a bit. Will head out for a couple of beers later, but nothing major. Got this 58mile stretch of road with no services tomorrow, so want to get out early and get to the start point before it gets too hot.

But a very enjoyable, and much needed, rest day today. With my back wheel problems now sorted and my mental and physical batteries recharged I'm now looking forward to getting back out and getting to Colorado in a few days with any luck.


  1. Since when does a bike have tires! ref last blog . Anyway you are making good time and deserve a bit of a break. Looking forward to seeing your speedo showing over the half way mark.

  2. Glad you got a day off in a cool place.

    Also good that the locals were so nice to you.

    Its a pity more people don't see that side of the US.

    You can't beat small town USA!

    Good luck tomorrow.

  3. Its good to read about your trip to the museum and see Wenlock got invited too!

  4. Space, the final frontier? I envy you seeing the space museum. Ever since I saw the first moon landing when I was at school, I have had a keen interest in space travel. Amazing what some fuzzy images and Patrick Moore saying they would sink into the moondust can do. It's still pretty amazing when you consider a modern calculator has more computing power than any of the Apollo computers. If they hadn't used test pilots, they would never of made it to our moon. How did they find people prepared to sit encased in a tin can, risking death, I don't know.
    Stay cool.