Day 39: Wooster to Niles, OH

94 miles, 3678 feet climbed

Today was another long day. The winds were not particularly strong but they were mostly crosswinds. Unlike yesterday, the many climbs and descents were spread throughout the day. Near the end, we turned north toward our hotel on a very nice bike path for 8 miles or so. The last couple of miles, though, were on some very poorly patched local streets.

Continue reading “Day 39: Wooster to Niles, OH”

Day 37: Richmond, IN to Marysville, OH

105 miles, 1864 feet climbed

Another day with the threat of rain. It did come for me and a few others in the last mile, only because we stopped in downtown Marysville at Whit’s Frozen Custard. Only two SAGs today despite the length. The first was at 42 miles, perhaps to allow Gregg, who served as staff for the first part of our tour, to provide donuts and cookies memorializing our route closer to where he lives. I rode those 42 miles pretty much straight through. And the route was on quiet country roads, a treat.

Continue reading “Day 37: Richmond, IN to Marysville, OH”

Day 34: Champaign, IL to Crawfordsville, IN

81 miles, 1371 feet climbed

After a day off–one more to go in Erie, PA–we’re off again. We started going south from the hotel, then across Champaign and Urbana, passing through the University of Illinois campus. At Peyton’s fire station a group of his colleagues, more than I expect were on duty at the time, were by the side of the road waiting to greet and razz him. Then it was on to the countryside.

Continue reading “Day 34: Champaign, IL to Crawfordsville, IN”

Day 32: Springfield to Champaign, IL

88 miles, 719 feet climbed

Feeling a little better today, I rode. The winds were quartering headwinds, but not gale force. More highways, a few backroads, in other words, the same. If I sound a little burned out, well perhaps I am. One tanker truck driver blew his horn continuously for at least 10 seconds as he passed me. I don’t know if he was upset at me, hugging the side of the road with no shoulder, or the cars ahead of him who reasonably adjusted their speeds to safely pass. He displayed the same respect for Dana, about a quarter-mile ahead of me at that point.

Continue reading “Day 32: Springfield to Champaign, IL”

Day31: Quincy to Springfield, IL

I gave myself another day off today. What happened to my ride or die attitude that sometimes had me riding when my feet were slipping under standing water as I peadled or fighting 30 mph headwinds? It has died. Today’s rationale, I woke up congested with a mild cough, the route was 106 miles long, and rain, possibly thunderstorms, was predicted for part of the day. I chose not to risk making things worse. I rode in the van, wearing a mask to protect Fran, one of our SAG drivers and around the others at the two SAGs.

Continue reading “Day31: Quincy to Springfield, IL”

Day 30: Kirksville, MO to Quincy, IL

77 miles, 2359 feet climbed

Today we crossed the Mississippi River. No photos today because one of the two bridges spanning the river, which would normally handle our eastbound traffic was closed for construction. We rode on the other span, which put us off of our route. Further complicating things was a traffic accident in the middle of the span, starting to clear when I arrived. Just as I was pulling my camera from my jersey pocket, the police let us ride through, ahead of the backed up traffic heading our way. By the time we rejoined our route, we were several blocks from the river.

Continue reading “Day 30: Kirksville, MO to Quincy, IL”

Day 29: Chillicothe to Kirksville, MO

75 miles, 4721 feet climbed

Today was another day with fine weather, light winds that were never opposing us, and more–even more than yesterday–short hills followed by short descents, rinse and repeat. Legend has it that someone counted the individual climbs on either today’s or yesterday’s route and came to a count in excess of 100. It sure felt like it. The last climb ended about half a mile from tonight’s hotel.

Continue reading “Day 29: Chillicothe to Kirksville, MO”