Cycling through the land of Bob Dole; loading up on supplies

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 15, 2013

Editor’s note: David Freeze is biking coast to coast. His trek started June 10 in Oregon. He’s sending dispatches from the road to be published in the newspaper, at, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at

Once again, my plan was to hit the road very early. It is hard to get up, but so beautiful to watch the sun rise out in beautiful rural farmland.

On the road at 5 a.m., with manageable winds, I left Larned, Kansas not really sure what I would see today. Turned out that there was the farmland in the beginning, then 58 miles of very sparsely populated land, with no stores or other services. A large portion of this was a national wildlife preserve. I never saw a single animal, but I did hear a lot of birds.

I was pretty happy to break out of all this and hit Nickerson, where my ice cream recharging was available.

It was hot again by noon, and sweat was rolling off my elbows. After the ice cream, just nine more miles to Hutchinson, Kan. That is where I got new bike tubes, and also am spending the night.

There is a wonderful hostel here at Zion Lutheran Church, just for cyclists. There is a kitchen, individual TVs, a bed, showers and plenty of nice people. I met the organist and she showed me around. Bob from the bike shop told me about it. I will get an evening meal and load up on stuff at the grocery store for another hot ride tomorrow.

I heard in the bike shop a prediction for slightly cooler temperatures, but still plenty of wind.

This is the area that Bob Dole is from, and I mentioned to one person already that I am headed home to where Liddy Dole was born.

I have a new pair of shorts, straight from the Salvation Army.  

Tomorrow will depend on the winds, but I hope for a good day. Back up to 73 miles today,  but that was all I wanted.

One thing leftover from yesterday was the mention of a nice couple that I met on the roads. They had a tailwind, and were all smiles. I was fighting the headwind, and not too happy. Sarah and Pedro from Bolivia brightened my day. They told me of the start of their trip in Boston, and that they were headed to Portland, Ore. Then, they will continue on to South America. The total trip will last about two years. They were probably in their mid to late 20s. I wished them luck and off we went our separate ways.

I am about halfway through map 8, but will work up some mileage totals into next few days. I hope to make it to Eureka, Kan., tomorrow.

View David Freeze’s ride in a larger map