Day 21: Liberal to Dodge City, KS

84 miles, 732 feet climbed

Finally, a true, not imagined, tailwind, with more to come tomorrow. Hooray! At times it was only a perpendicular wind but, especially for the last 20 miles as our route pointed due north along with the winds, it took virtually no effort to cruise in the 20-25 mph range. 84 miles were gobbled up quickly. And our rooms were ready when I arrived at the hotel. A very good day.

With Dodge City, our remaining route roughly coincides with the America By Bicycle “Cross-Country Challenge” with the exception that they end in Portsmouth, NH and we end in Boston. And our complete route is quite similar to the ABB “Fast” ride except that they start in Irvine instead of El Segundo and, by completing in 33 days instead of our 48 days, have generally longer daily distances between hotels. As an example, they take one day to get from Dalhart to Liberal; we took two days. On the other hand, they duplicate today’s and tomorrow’s distances. I’ve not ridden the ABB Challenge so I won’t be able to spot specific routing differences. When we get to New York, I will be able to draw comparisons with the ABB North route, which I’ve ridden twice. (My notes and photos from the 2019 version are available on this site–filter the posts for “America North 2019.”)

Our changing energy posture was well illustrated today. In the first miles, oil wells were evident for a bit. They appeared to be decommissioned, missing some parts, none of them moving. There was also an ethanol plant. Further on, past Plains, wind turbines dotted the landscape, not as closely spaced as those we saw on the approach to Palm Springs.

Ethanol plant
Winter wheat
A rare irrigation system between Liberal and Plains. After Plains, more were present.