Pilgrims in an Unholy Land

My husband Steve has been muttering the phrase “We are pilgrims in an unholy land” for the past few days. He’s psyching himself up for us to travel to Lawrence, Kansas this weekend.

We’re heading there to compete in a bicycle race called Tour of Lawrence. Kansas may be flat is some places, but not in Lawrence. The course is supposed to be crazy hard and, for our races, we’re only expected to complete three 3.68-mile loops.  Twelve miles is a warm up in most places we ride. We have to do a warm up to get ready for this one.

Just going there is enough to get Steve all worked up. He grew up here in Columbia, MO and was taught to hate Kansas, and more specifically Lawrence, from a young age.Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 12.51.28 PM

How bad is it? Normally a gentle soul, his face screws up into old-man-sour when he even thinks about Kansas. One of the first things he taught our now teenage children to say was “Kansas sucks!” He once tried to convince me to hand a Kansas Turnpike worker a cup of pee when we stopped to pay the toll.

He really doesn’t like Kansas.

So why are we going if the place is awful, the course is hard, and it’s nearly July? Sometimes you just have to reach outside your comfort zone and accept a challenge. This one stretches him on so many levels.

This morning he let slip one of the plans he has for this trip, and I think it answers the question better than anything. Part of the course rolls along Fambrough Dr.  Don Fambrough was once the University of Kansas Jayhawks football coach, which makes him public enemy number one to Steve. As all cyclist do, Steve will have to spit during the course of the race. He said he’s saving all his for Fambrough Dr.



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