Jim Kruse: Memorable and mundane moments
June 23, 2021

By Jim Kruse

Up with the sun, gone with the wind, my friends always said I was crazy*
What’s that noise … who set their alarm so darn early…oh wait, that’s mine. 
Outta bed, pack my bag, drop it by the trailer. Deflate the mattress, roll up the sleeping bag, is the coffee ready? 
Time to sweep the floor-wait is that my towel drying on my bicycle handlebars? Dang, I hope they haven’t already loaded my bag.
Hey there’s Kim…that’s right she was bringing a hot breakfast casserole and muffins – bless her! Should I have a second cup of coffee?
All packed, time to circle up…Kim provides our devotion and prays for our safety.  She takes photos as we head out towards Hwy 50 West…
The whole group stays pretty close at the beginning of the ride…plenty of traffic and the road is only so-so with a rumble strip between the narrow shoulder and highway traffic…oh but look, we have a smooth newly paved road!!! still plenty of traffic, but this sure beats the Katy trail!
Before we know it we arrive at the first rest stop at a parking lot in front of a local cafe…yes we can use the restrooms (yep I did drink that second cup)…inside a Navy Vet chats with other distinguished coffee drinkers…speaking of coffee this brownie would sure go well with another cup – Susan graciously buys a cup for me and Randi…The waitress told her the gang was waiting for her when she arrived at 5:30…Susan asked if they helped her open and she replied- yeah, something like that!
3 of us take off together and after a while we leave the smooth pavement and  busy traffic for a nice country road…the air is clear and with the low humidity, we can see for miles and miles… this allows us to enjoy the sights, (Eight Balls, Alpacas, trains, etc…); and chat (visits with families, green flashes, other nonsense). The rolling hills and strong cross winds begin to take their toll and we start working and get lost in our own thoughts for a while then the course turns downwind and I fly to the next stop where Jim sets us up with cold cuts from last night’s dinner-yum! 
We set off again, seriously working the wind and hills this leg, separating, regrouping and separating again…lost in my thoughts…pray a Rosary, assess the state of the corn, shouldn’t it be taller by now? Hey there is Susan at the 3rd rest stop near the boundary of Whiteman Air Force Base…good thing security did not run her off!
We continue on towards Warrensburg and the pesky crosswind becomes a tailwind for a joyous dash to Northside Christian Church where we are happily greeted, fed (delicious salad bar), and provided with showers and plenty of space to rest, relax and prepare for tomorrow’s build day!
These are the memories that make me a wealthy soul!*
*(lyrics modified from Bob Seger’s Travelin’ Man)

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