Day 15 – Ride Across America, Great Bend to Abilene, KS

Did you know? – Last year, 84 % of Growing Through Grief students reported they improved their ability to concentrate in school.

You’re never alone. – 9th Grade GTG student


Wearing 4 layers of clothing, we started riding at 7 am with small tail wind and a temp of 42 degrees. We shed layers as we warmed up and the temperature climbed to mid 60s. As I’ve matured, I find myself starting out slowly and building speed and momentum as I ride. The first 68.5 miles to lunch passed quickly. After lunch we turned left to head north and now we were biking into the wind on rough surfaces for nearly 30 miles. That was exhausting. Eventually, after turning east, we entered Abilene from the northwest and rode down residential streets with beautiful homes including the Seeley Mansion from 1902. (Check out the ingredients of Wasa-Tusa, a family remedy, that Dr. Seeley made along with 100 similar products.) We finished the 127.6 mile route by 4 pm.

My right hamstring has been bothering me daily for three days with discomfort, especially with pushing hard, and some cramps at night. It has interfered with my speed and efficiency. Ice, stretching and using a foam roller will be helpful-when I find the time.

On our ride, we saw farmland, huge parcels often stretching beyond what I could see, on both sides of the road. Many of the fields had working oil wells. Oil was discovered in Kansas in the 1880s and natural gas about the same time. Both oil and natural gas from Kansas represents about 1% of US production of each commodity. ( see the oil train cars from the William company in the video) Williams company processes, stores and transports oil and natural gas. It has large underground storage facilities as the signs noted along our route. Also, as mentioned in previous blogs, many windmills are seen in the fields with more being constructed. In fact, Kansas is in the top 5 states for energy produced by wind.

Near Abilene we passed several large facilities for the Greyhound racing industry. We saw dog training- racing next to each other in separate cages, hundreds of dog houses, the Abilene Greyhound Park, Greyhound feed companies, veterinarian clinic and the National Greyhound Association of America building.

Of course, Dwight D Eisenhower and his brothers were raised in Abilene. His childhood home, the Presidential Museum and Presidential Library are all located in town.

Tomorrow, we ride to Topeka, KS, 107.4 miles away. On Tuesday, we will mark our mid-point in our Ride Across America.