Chris, Alex and I woke up in the Eads city park to the roaring of trucks and the first rays of sunlight. Did I mention that Eads is a highway town in the middle of a bunch of wheat fields? Probably explains why the wind getting into the town was at gale-strength.
It is telling that while writing this several days later, I forget whether we crossed into Kansas from Colorado on Day 21 or 22. The terrain along the border was the same. Eastern Colorado was just as flat and empty as Kansas. The same wild wind blew across the dry fields.
During breakfast, the old-timers at the diner were complaining of the very same thing. "It's drier than a popcorn fart", said one. It was only good manners that saved us from being chased out of that diner for laughing that morning. He was right though.
But onwards! The McDeath clung to me, and I sought to get far from Pueblo, where I contracted the ailment. The 3 of us pointed east, towards Leoti, KS.
After a day of riding into a headwind on the flats, I am struck by two thoughts. One - riding a day into a headwind is significantly harder on the body than a day in the mountains. Same resistance, no downhills!! Two - Dayum Kansas, you flat.
We reached Leonati, and sought out the city park. We set up tents, and made dinner. Just before bed, I spit out my warmed-up chili. No, it wasn't because of the McDeath (though it still made me feel like a dessicated bike-zombie). GOATHEADS! The dreaded thorn.
Goatheads are a type of thorn found in parts of the US. They are very small, and have multiple barbs that are well known to pierce cyclists' tires and tubes. I had at least 30 on my bike. THE MULE! YOU HAVE BEEN WOUNDED! The front tire fared well, but due to the lack of tread protection on the rear, a goathead go through and pierced my tube. Flat tube #2 of the trip.