Day 26 – I Like Ike 

Finally a much appreciated day of rest as we got the opportunity to enjoy Abilene, Dwight Eisenhower’s home town. We took a shuttle and toured the museum and original Eisenhower boyhood home. It was fascinating to say the least. The home was really interesting as 6 boys were raised there which required 2 room additions. Other than a few glaring building code violations I really enjoyed seeing it and learning about how the family was raised. The museum was really terrific and informative both about his life but also about WW11. I liked the plague that he kept on his desk in the Oval Office, ” Gentle in manner, strong in deed”.  Ike was truly a man who brought the values of Americas heartland to the nation and the world. See photos of the 129 year old house 

Yesterday we departed McPherson in a very quiet peleton. People pretty much just wanted to get the 62 miles done with and begin to rest up. So it’s a single file no chatter line rolling along at a pretty mellow speed. One group of 2 or 3 was quite a ways up ahead but within sight. So up pulls Howard along side of me a quietly says, ” I’ll give ya $20 to bridge the gap and pull me up to em ”  jokingly.  I cracked up, and told him first I didn’t need the money and second I couldn’t catch them. So we ride in a bit and Howard rolls up to Sabine and says the same thing to her !  It was hysterical as he’s the top and strongest rider and he’s always getting us to rise to an occasion and ride FAST. He’s an inspiration as he’s the quintessential strong British gentleman cyclist. We are lucky to have him along as he brings you to another level of riding. We all love it, thanks Howard. 

Yesterday we passed so many beautiful homes and barns all of them now much closer to the road. Some were large ag farms but the houses and grounds were manicured to perfection. Beautiful huge green lawns and many had the state flags and old glory flying for Memorual Day. Every one was an Andrew Weyeth painting in itself. Boy that was a beautiful ride. Each year, we are told the Crossroads riders vote Kansas as their favorite state, I can see why. Even the road side bull frogs sing a chorus as we glide by. 

We passed a handful of cemeteries along the way and most grave stones had American flags. What a special Memorual day. Thank you to all of those who served our country and those who sacrificed their lives for our country’s freedom. 

More news from the road. Since we’ve not ridden on interstate highways for about 7 days the number of flat tires has dropped to just a random few. What’s the common road side hazard you ask ?  Steel belted tire strands of metal. They cause almost every flat. Tiny steel strands  that many require removal with tweezers. The second most seen obstacles are bungee cords galore. Watch out for the metal hooks. 

Add to the road kill and hazard list Possums, porcupines, and car mufflers !  

Yesterday we headed directly East again but for the first time I think we turned and went straight North. We are starting to pinch diagonally now as we are gaining latitude. Tomorrow is another straight east ride and it might be a bear. It’s a 105 miler with 6,000 ft of elevation climbing. Hey if your going to be a bear, you might as well be a grizzly! 

Last night we hit  hit a Mexican restaurant and enjoyed some margaritas and brews. Afterwards we picked up a few sixers and watched the NBA semi final game in the hotel breakfast room !  Big night out on the eve of rest day. 

Photos 

Many of small town Abilene and Ike’s house. Antique shop tricycle, dinosaur on an old gas station roof

Long horn statue and Cowboys saddle at the Hitching Post Cafe

The Abilene train where Ike left as a boy to attend West Point, used for his campaign, and then returned to be laid to rest at the memorial. 

A shoot out reinactment, and old stage coach and 

Just 1 beer please 

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