A Cyclist's View MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   A swiftsummer breeze had carried away most of the heat. Hundreds of fellowcyclists poured out of the gym like ants before a rain. We were thrilledto continue our trip across Kansas with such nice weather.

Oncemy brother, grandpa, cousin and I had our bikes prepared and our helmetson, we took off, pedaling at a steady pace, one behind the other. Thesun glistened off the office building windows as we passed.

Soonthe community started to come alive. Business men headed to theiroffices and farmers swerved their pickups around us. A few honked, somewaved and others just drove by as if we weren't even there.

Ourroute soon led to the countryside, and the scene turned from the town towide-open wheat fields. The golden-brown heads of grain were bent,signaling the harvest was about to begin. Each gust of wind sent wavesthrough the field. The acres of wheat were separated by narrow waterwaysto prevent erosion. In one, a farmer was driving his open-cab tractor,pulling a square baler. Slowly, it raked up the lush grass.

As we continued, we began to see pastures filled with cattle. The youngcalves watched us ride by as they huddled near their mothers. Gradually,the grasslands become more hilly, and we entered the Flint Hills. Smallrocks jutted out of the short, green grass throughout theprairie.

The road ahead changed, too, as we went. The muscles inmy legs started to ache as I downshifted to make it up hills. Eachincline seemed a greater challenge than the last, but the hard work paidoff when I sped down the backside of the grade. The wind pushed my shirtagainst me as I hit 30 miles per hour. The landscape was a blur from thecorner of my eye as I focused on the road. I was at the bottom in afraction of the time it took me to get up the incline.

At the topof the next hill, I saw a water tower in the distance. A sudden burst ofenergy shot through my body. I knew our stopping point for the day wasonly a few miles away. At each crest the tower became a little biggerand other buildings came into view. Soon, we came rolling into anothertown, similar to the previous one, yet unique. Every part of Kansaspossesses a different beauty.

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