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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


May 05, 1993

FLATS AND RAIN

I had a pretty good night camping at the KOA campgrounds in Caney, Kansas. The weather was a little cool this morning. By noon, I had made it through Coffeyville. I could have stopped because the sky was a little grey and it looked like it was going to rain but I kept on going. Between Edna and Chetopa, it actually started to sprinkle.

A couple of miles out of Edna it actually started to rain and this car came out of no-where behind me with its horn blaring. I quickly got off the main part of the road but there wasn't actually a paved shoulder to get off on. I hit the stones on the end of the road so hard that I almost fell over but I did blow out the rear tube. My attackers had been a couple of local teens having fun in their own way. They just passed me laughing and gesturing.

I tried to get the tire up with my pump in the rain but my hand pump wasn't working right. The only thing that I could do is to put the wheel back onto the bike with the flat tube and try to either get a ride or walk to the nearest town. It was tough going bumping along to the next town of Chetopa. When I finally got there, there was no air pump at a gas staton available. I just headed out again.

A couple of miles out of Chetopa the front tire decided to go flat also. I was really getting drenched but everybody that I tried to get a ride with just passed me by. After about twelve more miles of bumping the bike along and getting passed-off by about thirty people, a guy finally stopped and picked me up to take me the rest of the way into Baxter Springs. I was really greatful for the ride.

I was able to get the tubes patched and inflated at a gas station but I was concerned that I had damaged the rear tire tread. Since it was Wednesday night, I went to the Baptist Church to see if they had an evening prayer service. I was able to talk with the pastor before the service. He was concerned that I would get sick since I was soaking wet. The pastor arranged for me to get a room at the local motel and also a meal at the local Pizza Inn. He also told me that if I would come back to the church tomorrow morning he would see about getting me a new tire and tube at the local bike shop.




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