We stopped at a cafe in York, Nebraska. Savaş realized that my skidplate was touching the exhaust pipe so I took out some tools. It was nothing major, but when you do any kind of repair in a cafe’s parking lot, you are bound to get some attention, even in a place like York. That’s how we met Mr Hartfield, a tall swimming instructor planning to do a trans-american bicycle tour… He must have felt some connection to what we were doing because he took out ten dollars and called it our ‘coffee-money’. Normally we would kindly refuse it, but I immediately accepted his offer even though we just had our ‘grande latte’s before he came to the scene… I think I know why I did that. There is a part of me that wants to accept and be accepted by strangers. No matter what the situation is, my first reaction is to get in some sort of a relation. We did not get any more coffee. $5 is half a tank of gas… That’s about 90 miles on a DL1000. I hereby dedicate the road between York and Omaha to Mr Docker Hartfield. Thank you for your intimacy and support!

After a 400 mile ride, we arrived at Madison. There were too many dead deer on the sides of the road. We saw a good deal of cars dented on the front. I have to say that the last hours were a bit tense. We rode two tanks straight to make it before dark, stopping only at a local bar-grill a few miles away from the freeway. Two semi-drunk gentlemen decided to feed us some barbecue ribs as a gesture of hospitality from Iowa. One of them said they were called “riblets” and demonstrated how we were supposed to spit the bones as we were eating. The other one told us tales of unfortunate bikers colliding with deer on the road. Luckily, one of them survived because he split the deer in half and continued his way… I’m sure he smelled quite bad after the incident.

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Savaş’ sister Esra lives with her 11 year old son Efe, in a very nice neighborhood at the university campus. She is into poetry and photography. She has an interesting blog combining the two. We’ve been here for two days and she’s done everything to make us feel at home. It feels too cozy and warm. Efe and I played X-box until midnight yesterday… Esra cooked some delicious Mantı for dinner tonight. I’m going to have difficulty leaving. Tomorrow will be the first day I will be riding solo on this trip. Savaş will stay here for some time until the weather feels warm enough to continue westward. Our last campspot was a bit cold at night and he wasn’t fully prepared for this sort of weather since his original plan was to go south. He isn’t feeling too good at the moment. I feel weird leaving him at this state but I guess he picked the best location to be sick. Esra will take really good care of him. He has been a great travel companion. His optimism and calm approach is something I hope to develop myself throughout this trip. I’ve learned much from him and hope to do more riding together in the future. There will be times I look on my mirror, expecting to see his friendly silhouette, but he’ll be somewhere else riding south. May the ‘quantum’ be with him!

Savas playing the ney

Savas playing the ney

I am planning to ride to Chicago tomorrow. It’s getting cold and lonely up here… Here comes the real thing!