September 15, 2016
Having seen Shane yesterday, I was positive that things could only get better, boy was I wrong.
Last night we picked him up when the light ran out and he could see no longer, he had some of his tea but couldn’t finish it and exhaustedly crawled into bed, but woke up when we arrived and still wasn’t asleep when we were. So I was surprised when he got up early, before the sunrise and set off on his way at around 7:30am, planning to do a long day to make up some miles.
The town we stayed in wasn’t too pleasant, the first thing that came up when I connected to an open WiFi was some .45 ammo for $300, so we waited till we could do the laundry and set off quickly to see how he was getting on.
At his usual pace we’d catch him in about 30 minutes, so Rob and Matt aren’t really looking for him till around that point. It just so happened Shane got up from his bed he made at the side of the road to empty his bladder as we were hurtling past! Matt shouted that was him, and we slammed on to see what was going on.
He explained he had been sleeping there for the past hour, and was surprised no-one had checked if he was ok! Clearly things weren’t going well so he had some breakfast in bed and went for a nap. We tried waking him several times to no avail, a couple of hours and several card games later he arised.
We hoped the sleep and food would help him back on his way, but he still seemed a bit dazed when he was getting ready to set off again. This was confirmed when he set off the wrong way back towards California, thankfully Matt and his quick legs caught him and let him know after a few – not surprisingly – fruitless attempts at shouting didn’t work out.
When we caught up with him at the next stop, he seemed to be back to strength. He had been thinking about his food intake and requested to go back to basics that his body knew, so fresh vegtables and beans on toast it was. Anyone that consumes a lot of protein knows what that does to the digestive system, but everyone knows what beans do so we’ve got that to look forward to! The weather so far in Kansas has been pretty cold and dreary, with head winds, fog and even rain. Much like England when you put it like that.
At the last stop of the day we passed Shane and he told us to continue to the bottom of the hill, after we found somewhere to pull up we waited for him to catch up. He seemingly forgot to use his brakes and rode down the grass verge with both feet still attached, and lay there among the insects. He had ran out of energy even to unclip himself so this apparently seemed like the next best option. After we helped him into the van he said that he was f*cked 10 miles ago but had to go over 100! Crazy guy.
On a positive note, day 14 is halfway through the trip, and right on schedule Shane passed the halfway mark of America! This seems to have lifted spirits for everyone, but also means it’s the penultimate day of my trip. If I’ve gained one thing here (aside from some leg muscle!), it’s that seemingly no amount of preparation can ever prepare you for feats like this. Shane trained constantly in the year up to this ride and seeing him struggle has been tough. I’m confident and hopeful from here things should get easier as they get towards the border of Kansas.
I’m being swapped out for Chris (Rob’s cousin), and I think everyone is looking forward to us all being together tomorrow evening, or maybe just me being gone! This is probably my last post so thanks for listening and if you do one thing please help make all of the effort Shane has put into planning and doing this ride worthwhile by donating.