This poem is for all the people who see me leaving on a bicycle and say, “Be Careful.”
I thought of this poem coming home from my first solo bicycle tour to Wichita. The second day back I’d been riding with a tailwind all day and didn’t realize that you can get hot in a tailwind because there’s no breeze that you can feel. Often people don’t even know they have a tailwind until they turn around. I was planning to get to one of the state parks and camp, but I got so overheated that I was starting to feel nauseous and cold. That’s the warning signs, so I found the nearest place to camp, Lyon County Lake by Redding, KS, and just walked into the lake with all my clothes on and just sat there for about an hour. The next morning I left early and rode all the way home to Kansas City, 124 miles. It’s my second longest day in the saddle so far.
It was that morning, during that long ride, when I still had that strong tailwind, that I thought of this poem.