|Barns For Jason: You didn't think I wouldn't get a barn pic, did ya?|
Anyway, my seat bag had.......oh crap! I slammed on the brakes and jumped off my Fargo. I had left the seat bag open at the oasis when I had fetched out my windbreaker. Fortunately, nothing had fallen out! Crisis averted, but that wouldn't be the first one in this last leg of my DK200 ride.
After a few big climbs, the route went through a ranch one more time before it came down to the turnpike. This was a really rough patch for me and I was seriously in a bad way. I started to yawn at first, deeply, which is my sign that I am low on fuel. I started to eat, despite the time, whenever I could, but I started wanting to fall asleep, which meant I was in full-on bonk mode by that time. Not good! I kept chewing and having a drink when I could to get back, hopefully, on my feet again, but this was slowing me down, which was bad.
|Many passed me as I kept having the urge to urinate.|
Between the three quick stops, my bonk, and the time lost at the oasis due to the water shortage, I was seeing a serious shortage of time. I knew I had to cover about 33 miles in three hours. At this rate, I was cutting it very close. Well, there was nothing else I could do but pedal, so that's what I did.
I tried to take my mind off my increasingly dire situation throughout this by coming up with a song about Joel Dyke, the co-founder of the Dirty Kanza 200 that died last December 28th in a tragic accident. I called it "Turn That Sh!t Into A Big Grin", and I actually had a tune and everything figured out as I was riding. I think I may have actually been singing it softly to myself as I tried to keep up my speed. Anyway, it sure helped me get through that bit of a tight spot. Still, I wasn't as fast as I would have liked, but with my body rebelling and all, what could I do?
|Is that a Flint Hills Duster, or a Flint Hills Demon? Either way, it looked mostly there!|
|One last time to frolic with the cows before the Sun went down.|
Now it was on to the final miles to Cottonwood Falls in the dark. I was completely alone, and only one faintly glowing tail light could be seen far ahead, until that disappeared as well. It was odd, but after I lost Ari, no one would talk to me for very long other than saying hello. No one wanted to ride with me, and now there was no one. Look- I ain't complaining, because I typically almost always end up alone on these ultra-distance gravel events, so I am used to that, but it might be nice sometime to have a riding partner for more than 45 miles, is all I was thinking then. At any rate, It wasn't like I couldn't get there, but I have heard that when you have a partner, or a small group of riders in these events, it works better. Maybe that might have helped.
|About five miles from Cottonwood Falls.|
Well, I rolled into Cottonwood Falls well after 10:00pm, and a few stragglers from the volunteer corps pointed me along the way. Suddenly I heard MG say, "It really is him!" He said he would see me downtown. I pulled into the timing area just as MG ran up to greet me. I heard a beep, and MG looked up at the scoring monitor, and he said dejectedly, "Awww! Two minutes past the closing!". I looked up and the monitor said "10:17" and some change in seconds. "What? I'm waaaay late, it's way past ten, Matt!", I said. Then I found out that they had extended the cutoff there by fifteen minutes.
Great. Just great............