Coast to Coast 2022 Adventure Day 21: Eads, CO to Syracuse, KS

Alan Gilbert
4 min readJul 14, 2022

This post is part of a series detailing my 2022 coast to coast cycling adventure.

What a difference a day makes! Today was a combination of tailwinds and crosswinds. Crosswinds never felt so good!

Day 21 Highlights:

Song of the day: Far Away by Junip
Start: Eads, CO
End: Syracuse, KS
Distance: 100.7 miles
Elevation: 968 ft (lowest daily elevation climb for the trip)
Breakfast: Cobblestone Hotel breakfast
Lunch: Wooden Rose Cafe in Holly, CO
Dinner: Black Bison Pub in Syracuse, KS

Progress so far: 1,735.1 miles, 61,919 ft. climbed.

The journey so far, with today’s ride in blue

Here are all of the details on today’s ride:

Now that we are in to Kansas, the rides clearly feel like work days. Our worst fears have come to fruition — the winds are strong and the temperatures are hot. Record-setting hot. But today was so much better than yesterday. Most of our travel was eastbound, not southbound, which meant crosswinds rather than headwinds. I used to think they were more or less the same thing. Both are loud. Both tire you out. Both make riding less enjoyable. But here’s the difference. With a headwind, you look down and you are going 7–8 MPH and life sucks. With a cross wind you look down and you are going 15–17 MPH and life is good. Today was more of the latter.

Dave and I also continued our rotating drafting technique from yesterday, adjusting the switching distance to one mile. It gave us several benefits. First, it saved both of us energy and kept us fresher. In fact, we felt so good we did an extra 16 miles, to take advantage of the good conditions and shorten tomorrow’s ride. Second, it helped pass the time since eastern Colorado and Kansas are not exactly scenic. Third… teamwork!

Before leaving Colorado, we stopped for lunch at the Wooden Rose Cafe in Holly. It was a cute little cafe with great food, which was a pleasant surprise, given that it was the only restaurant there.

The Wooden Rose in Holly was a great last stop in Colorado
The Arkansas River flows southeast to the Mississippi. So do we.

We passed through some pretty heavy grasshopper areas. This poor fella hitched a ride on the SAG wagon.

Welcome to the sunflower state!
Much of our day was spent on US 400 / US 50, along a rail line. A train roaring past you is always cool.
Today was really hot, and it’s not getting better

Today’s angel was Shawn, the Gatorade guy. When Dave and I were about 30 miles from the end of our day, an SUV with a bike rack and two bikes pulled over and Shawn stepped out holding two ice-cold bottles of Gatorade and a bag of chips. We talked to him briefly when traffic was stopped for construction a few miles back and he wanted to know all about our trip and make sure we were safe and hydrated. Thank you Shawn! Honorable mention also goes to Bicycle Bob from Telluride, the night clerk at the hotel, who was really trying to find ways to help us but just ended up being a really interesting and entertaining guy. He had lots of stories of riding bikes that were ill-suited to what he was attempting, in weather that was ill-suited to riding.

Even with our extra miles we got in pretty early and had time to relax, do laundry, and get a great dinner. More wind and heat tomorrow.