Sunday, June 28, 2009

Beautiful Morning!

We've had some intense heat here lately, so to have a morning be 75 degrees with a northerly breeze was a great thing. A good friend and I rode out Kestrel road this am to State Line Rd., then came south the 1/2 mile or so to the site. Wasn't a ceremonious event really, we placed the memorial, spent a few quiet minutes listening to the breeze and birds. We enjoyed our kinship with cyclists all over, and thought about Earl and his family. We got back on the bikes, and enjoyed our earned tailwind for a flowing hilly ride home.

Ride on!


This is taken from the shoulder of the road at mile marker 105 on Highway 73.
I'm eager to see how it looks when the trimmed grass greens up again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I visited the site tonight - to see where the memorial will go. It is almost exactly at mile marker 105. Sunday, I'll plan on leaving Hiawatha, heading north at about 8:15 am, plan to be there easily by 9:00. Probably won't stay long. Anyone is welcome to come along. The round trip will be about 23 miles, and we'll go at an easy pace. If you'd like to meet us there, that'd be fine, but please park well into the shoulder.

Earl's obituary and some wonderful tributes can be found here:


Monday, June 22, 2009

Earl Johnston

Earl is the gentleman who was mentioned in the previous post. Seems a little tougher now that I know his name.

Friends who have posted comments here have wonderful things to say in his honor - I'm not a bit surprised. I've not yet met an unhappy cyclist on a long tour. They get sore, disheartened, dirty, sweaty and stinky, but they are all happy. That he has a powerful faith is awesome, too. I know any number of cyclists who are as close to their God riding their bikes as they are at the altar for communion.

If anyone has contact info for the family, please let me know. I'd very much like to send a card from Kansans who are glad that people come so far to ride our gorgeous countryside.

For anyone interested, I am planning on going out to the site of the accident next Sunday morning, June 28th, probably around 9:00 am. I'll ride out on my bike, and would encourage you to do the same. I have a very nice front wheel from a touring bike that I hope to place on the side of the road in honor of Earl, and hopefully as a reminder to drivers to keep eyes open.

This is the latest from our local newspaper. If I am privy to any other information, I'll post it here.



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cycling fatality, not far from home.

This is a huge bummer.

A cyclist from Arizona was on highway 73, not far from Hiawatha this am, when a vehicle who was reportedly swerving to miss a deer, struck and killed him. I don't know much more about it, and I don't know anything first-hand.

I've spent a lot of time on 73, there have been some scary times out there, I've been fortunate to this point. I'm so grateful. This has really gotten me down. I didn't know this rider, didn't know he was around, but I'm so sad.

Like most cyclists, I'm sure he had a family, friends, and had made a substantial sacrifice to come this far, to ride with great people, and to see and enjoy new landscape. I hate that his loved ones got the phone call from so far away, and that they can't say good-bye.

If you are a motorist out there, please keep your eyes open, make good choices, and we'll all get home safe.