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Colby, KS to Truxson, MO 600 miles

Kansas. Why do they call it 'fly over country'? It has everything! Like for instance, it has the 2nd friendliest yarn shop in the universe. I suppose someone is selling yarn in Alpha Centauri, and is more friendly. It also has the Greyhound Hall of Fame. But best of all, (drumroll please,) it has the largest Czech egg! Like a Fabrege' egg, you know. You always wanted to know where it was, didn't you? Also, Kansas has the Oz museum. What is special about the Oz museum, it that is has the most billboards of any museum. "Only 432 miles left to the Oz museum..."
Kansas boasts Dwight D. Eisenhower as theirs, as well as Bob Dole and Arlen Specter.
I think I'll take in the Eisenhower museum.
Well, the best laid plans... and then a flat tire. A flat on a car is a simple thing. Pit crews change a tire in seven seconds. A passenger car tire can be changed in a half hour or so. Most shops do it for free. But a bike? Get the tow truck and break out the wallet!
Cruising through Abilene and checking out the Eisenhower museum, the back went squishy, and I knew. Youch.
Being a member of the American Motorcyclist Association, I am eligible for free roadside towing. Nice. Vince picked me up and brought me back to Salina (to the west, dangit!) to a Harley/Honda shop. When they removed the wheel, the bearing was a mess!
Now here is the miracle. Do you believe in miracles?
They had the part!
Think about that. A bike shop in Salinas, Kansas had a bearing for a thirteen year old Honda. That is a miracle! That and the thing didn't freeze up on the freeway, scattering parts (and perhaps me) all over the lanes. And it answered a few nagging questions of late, such as:
Why does the bike feel mushy in turns? Problem solved!
Why is my fuel mileage so bad lately? Ditto. The engine was laboring against the bad bearing.
So God bless James, the AMA, Salinas Harley/Honda, and Vince. Vince the tow truck driver and I had a nice talk. I learned a lot about farming. Do you know that they GPS their equipment to plow and plant straight as a string, for as far as you can see? Cool. How about this? They harvest with a combine, and it reads the material harvested, computes it, and tells the farmer if a certain area lacks nutrients.Then when they fertilize, they program it into the computer, and it adjusts the feed accordingly. Isn't that amazing and wonderful? No wonder we can feed more people with less land.
Vince drops us off at the shop and five and a half hours after the flat, I'm back on the road, at six thirty p.m. An hour and a half later, it is dark. And it rains. Steadily. Until I stop at midnight. Riding in the rain at night is really riding by braille, especially when passing trucks, and with glare from oncoming cars. You pretty much stay between the lines and hope no objects (like retreads) appear, as you won't see them. So eastern Kansas and Missouri are a dark fog of moisture. Well, they will look better on the return trip.

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