Today’s theme is free beer! And in honor of this theme the donor who gives the most to the Saint Luke Foundation for Haiti (simply click this link) between now and Sunday evening will get a 6-pack of my favorite beer the next time we cross paths! NOTE: Not valid with any other offer. Must be 21 years of age or older to participate.
Why free beer you may ask? I asked the same thing when I heard the tales of the Newton Bike Shop in the middle of Newton, Kansas. I am not even exaggerating when I say that EVERY biker I have spoken with riding from West to East has said that Newton is a bikers paradise with inexpensive tune-ups before hitting the Rockies, a warm shower, and FREE BEER! Although Nick and I were a bit sore and conditions were less than ideal, the tales of this “OASIS IN THE GRASS DESERT” kept us going.
We got moving around 9am and started off from Eureka. The locals warned us of a large climb, but after Missouri it was just a tad more difficult than biking a flat terrain. Once we reached the top it was nothing but wide open spaces and a distant storm that seemed to be coming our way.
As the storm continued to strengthen we hunkered down on the side of the road and I even put up my tarp between the fences of a large cattle range. However, we lucked out and only got hit with a few drops. After an hour break we continued moving toward clearer skies and the beautiful land of Newton.
In the town of Rosalia there was time for a lunch break at The Old Hat, a family owned diner. There I filled up on salad and a sandwich and filled up water bottles. The next 19 miles we were biking north with 20 miles an hour wind to our backs. If I had to guess that is the quickest stretch we have had thus far. We were in Cassidy in 55 minutes! Apparently it is known as the Prairie Chicken Capital of the World. So it has that going for it, which is nice.
The final 39 miles was not nearly as easy. As we turned west we now had a straight shot to our final destination (the map was literally a horizontal line across the page) and 20 mph wind hitting us from the side. Had there been less wind it would have been a fairly east stretch of road, but the bicycle gods were going to make us work for that free beer.
A few hours later and just before dusk we arrived to the glorious Newton Bike Shop. And it was everything we had been told and more. As we pulled up we were greeted by the the owners James and Heather and the best bike wrench and beard this side of the Mississippi, Big Mike.
After we were given the tour and showered up, we were given our cups for all of the ice cold Warbeard Irish Red we cared to consume. It was a long day, so one was enough to satisfy my thirst and almost enough to knock me out of the night. However, James, Heather, and Mike invited us out for some night riding, dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and then to a local watering hole.
A brilliant day of riding capped off with a brilliant evening! Saturday is for tuning up bikes, catching up on all things computer related, and resting legs.
Until tomorrow . . .