Day 42 - Ash Grove to Pittsburg, KS

June 30, 2002
7 min. read

This post is part of the Trans-Am series.

We woke up at 5:30 and were ready to set out riding by 6:15. Scott was the only one of the group up yet and he was standing there to hand me a card. We got a chuckle that each of us had cards. He just completed an England to Singapore tour in 2001-2002, is currently on a Trans-Am for 2002, and plans a long tour through South America in 2002-2003. His website is I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, but he said that some of his first tour are up there.

As we were leaving the park, dad went back to get another shirt for the downhills. It was fairly cool that early in the morning. We soon arrived in Everton, which has a small city park that parents missed last night. I don’t know if restrooms were available or not, and it was more fun where we stayed. The extra few miles in the morning weren’t too bad, but got tougher after leaving Everton. There were no services till Golden City. The 20 miles were hard at first, then eased to flatter and rolling hills.

As we headed into town, I noticed Cookie’s Cafe. We were trying to decide if we wanted to get something at the grocery store or sit down for lunch. A couple came out of Cookie’s Cafe and told us that they had driven from Pittsburgh (about 45 miles) just for breakfast and to get a pie to take home. I decided that a meal sounded go and we headed into the cafe.

Walking in, you pass so many pies. They are all homemade and looked very good. We both had the same lunch: beef brisket, cole slaw, potatoes, broccoli, and wheat bread. All the food was very good and the brisket was very tender.

We were trying to figure out where the name came from for this town: “Golden City”. My best guess was the name came from the golden wheat fields. As it turns out, the city is named after Mr. Golden. Not sure who he was, but there you go if you were wondering.

I had a piece of pecan. It was great. Dad had rhubarb pie, which was as good as he had eaten in a long time. It was my first taste of it and I guess it was ok. :) I signed the cyclist book, noticing that Megan and Bill Pete went through about a week ago and also noticed an entry from the Holland couple. Also saw a fun entry with drawings from the family group I have seen in many logs.

As we were leaving, the Westbound group from Ash Grove came in. We headed over to the grocery on the way out, but it didn’t open till 12:30 on Sunday. The time was only 11:30. Looks like we would have eaten at Cookie’s Cafe even if we had decided to just hit the grocery store. Just then mother came into town and we recommended the brisket and pie.

I took a photo of all the bicycle tourists at the post office, going through the well known ritual of mailing whatever they could home to save weight. I’ve done that many times myself.

Heading West gave us a bad crossing headwind to ride against. The northern ride into Golden City was great in the southern wind, even when climbing hills. We both stopped in the shade for a bit. When we started again, Dad began pulling a little ahead. I stopped to take pictures of a few things at the Prairie Reserve and some birds along the way. There was a really interesting bird with a crazy long tail. I wish I had better zoom on this camera.

After 10 or more miles, I came across the van. Dad was there. I looked at him quizzically, as I expected him to be further.

“She tempted me with watermelon.”

I also stopped to eat some. Mom had tried the beef brisket sandwich and bought a pie tin full of different flavors of pie from Cookie’s.

We headed out again towards Pittsburg. Short while further, we noticed mother pulled over ahead and some cyclists around. We pulled over and said hello. They were locals from Pittsburg and we had an escort into town.

We all drafted into town and stopped at the Kansas sign to get a picture with dad and I in front of it. We headed into town and started over to Tailwind Cycling. This is the bike shop owned by one of the riders. We stopped to talk to her sister on the way and I noticed an ice cream truck. I sprinted off and said, “I’ll be back.”

When I got back, dad asked where their ice cream was hiding. I replied that I hadn’t seen them sprinting. Later dad told me that the three riders got a kick out of the whole ordeal and had a good chuckle when I first sprinted off.

Soon we arrived at Tailwind Cycling, where we purchased some 406 mm tubes and a screw for dad’s pedal that had recently fell out. In one side of the shop, there was a moon vehicle built by local high school students. Each wheel had individually articulated shocks, based on a typical rear mountain bike shock. The machine was heavy, but pretty decent for high school students.

Jim, one of the riders, escorted us over to the Aquatic park and gave us a short tour of town on the way. The park admission was reasonable, but the crowd was not. We asked how much just for showers, and the girl working the door said to go on in. We locked up the bikes outside and the showers felt good. After everyone was cleaned up, we headed into town in van.

The best bang for the tired cyclist buck was Western Sizzlin. We all had the buffet and I thought of tossing rolls to my parents, after I noticed the same roll pans used at Lambert’s Cafe.

Next stop was Wal-Mart. I bought some things I needed and some things I wanted. I found a 4.9 oz spinning reel to go with my tiny little pole. I’ll have to see if I want to take the pole with me when I continue on without the van. However, it is a real nice setup for the money and I’m sure I’ll get some good use out of it while doing smaller tours in Indiana and while backpacking. I just started thinking of having to pay out of state fees for fishing, which is probably fairly expensive even for one day licenses. Hmm.. Dad picked up some interesting folding lawn chairs.

We headed back to park, where the Pittsburg Community Band was having a concert. It was mostly big band and 40’s music, but I enjoyed a few songs before heading over to setup camp. A large group of Hispanic men were playing a spirited game of soccer and I wished I knew more Spanish to follow along with the calls and yells.

The park had a small section with ticket rides for the youngins. I talked with the lady running the ride area. I said that every city park I had camped at had a railroad track right next to it. This one didn’t, so they put in a little train. She said that she could run it by at 2 AM, if that was what we were used too. I told her that the little bell wouldn’t be the same, but she assured us that the little train had a serious whistle. We all had a chuckle.

The night was fair and we fell asleep under a picnic shelter with the occasional pre-July 4th firecracker going off.

Today’s Numbers: 7 hours and 33 minutes, 72.7 miles, and 2,570 feet of climbing.

Pittsburg, KS

Sleeping Bag Site: 37 deg 25.063 min N, 94 deg 43.068 min W, elev 1027 ft.

Trip Miles: 1663.1 miles

Part 47 of 48 in the Trans-Am series.

Series Start | Day 41 - Marshfield to Ash Grove | Why Ride a Bicycle across the Country?

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