Saturday, May 20, 2006


Don't expect too much thought tonight -- we were on the road for over 10 hours, and we lost an hour to the time-zone change.

Today we rode from Rensselaer to Fort Wayne -- basically covering the entire width of Indiana, although not in a direct path. The weather was beautiful -- sunny, mild winds (compared to Route 66), and very few cars. Thus far, I am very impressed with the Adventure Cycling route.

I think that Rosemary likes the new support duties for the New York trip a little better than on Route 66. On Route 66, she was supporting 25 riders and had to wait for several hours, at multiple stops, throughout the day waiting for people to come through her stop. And, even though the stops were only 30 miles apart, she often had to go back and pick people up. David and I are a lot less demanding. Basically, we just ride self-supported -- with an understanding that we will call Rosemary if we have an emergency. We almost had one this morning, but we finally found a place to buy supplies at mile 70. Two water bottles are not enough for 70 miles when you are planning on 140+ miles for the day...

Also, since David will only stay in nice hotels, Ro also gets better accommodations. Tonight, for example, we are staying in the Fort Wayne Hilton. I find it somewhat perplexing as to why David will only stay in good hotels. If you saw his apartment, you would understand my confusion.

Dogs. Dogs again. More Dogs. What's with the dogs? Indiana is all about dogs. I've ridden 4500 miles so far this year, in a dozen states, but I was chased by more dogs today than the previous five months. Almost all of them were harmless, although one almost took out David's front wheel.

Hoosier hospitality is no myth. People here are really friendly. Drivers give wide berth, wave, smile, etc. I've never experienced that before. Someone should tell Maynard Hershon -- he's looking for a bike friendly place to move to.


A few shots from the Indiana farm land. I could live here.

Photo Journal

Ride Summary

146 miles from Rensselaer, IN to Fort Wayne, IN

Miles the Year: 4615

Friday, May 19, 2006

Lincoln Highway

Before I left for the Route 66 tour, I talked with a lot of people about the history of the road. Most people had some idea about was Route 66 was, although more than a few mistakenly believed that it ran from coast-to-coast. When I told them about the Lincoln Highway, America's first coast-to-coast highway, none of them had ever heard of it.

The Lincoln highway was conceived in 1912 by a man named Carl Fisher -- the same guy that built the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and developed Miami Beach. He originally named it the Coast-to-Coast Rock Highway, but later named it Lincoln Highway in 1913 to woo Congress.

Like Route 66, the Lincoln Highway had a history of being amended and rerouted. Today, you can find much of the old Lincoln Highway by following US Route 30 -- although near the coasts the route followed other roads, including modern-day US 1, US 40, US 530 and US 50.

Given the historical and cultural similarities between Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway, it was appropriate to start the journey home to New York on a section of the old Lincoln Highway. Our official start was the intersection of 94th Avenue and US 30. From there, we improvised a route to Rensselaer, IN to intersect with the Adventure Cycling route that we will be using for the bulk of the trip. We will probably intersect Lincoln highway a few more times before we reach the shore.


Miscellaneous stuff including the start point, the Indiana border in the town of Dyer, a stupid lawyer trick (David joining a conference call at 20 mph), and the heavy truck traffic near a huge landfill that we spotted (and detoured to investigate). I could not get a picture that demonstrates the massive scale of the landfill mound -- there were no objects nearby to provide the proper sense of scale. I'm guessing that the thing is about a 1/2 square mile in area and about as high as a 30 story building. It is very possible that the highest elevation in Indiana is a landfill.

Photo Journal

Ride Summary

70 miles to Rensselaer, IN

Miles this year: 4469

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Chicago at Last

Today we finally reached the Chicago waterfront -- and not a day too soon. I really need the planned four days off before riding out to New York. My quads have started to get that beat-with-a-baseball-bat feeling again at night. I've also developed some neuralopathy in my hands -- especially in the ring fingers and pinkies. Two nights ago, I could not apply enough force to the nail clippers to make them work. An interesting sensation. In addition to the days off this week, I'll be making some equipment changes to try to address that problem. Of course, I also stopped taking my Lipitor -- because I always look for excuses to do that.

The last time I blogged, I left you with a story of impending hypothermia. Luckily, the rain mostly stayed away so things were not too bad. I guess I'll never know if the emergency blanket under the tights would have warded off the freeze. I intend to get some proper rain pants and foot protection before continuing the trip.

Today's ride was pretty easy -- a 33 miles cruise up to the Chicago lake front, followed by a 20 mile residential ramble to the motel in Niles. Being that it was very early on a Sunday morning, the streets were almost completely empty. While waiting at a traffic light in downtown Chicago, a Chicago Police car rolled up with the window down. I said "hello", and the two cops said "hello" back. What I really wanted to do was to ask, "can you please direct me to the Cook County Assessor's Office"? But then I figured that they probably hear that sort of nonsense all of the time.

Riding old Route 66 was great fun. I will need some time to process the entirety of the experience before I draw any conclusions about it or can properly articulate how it may have affected my perspective on life. I'll have another couple of weeks to think about it while I continue the ride to New York. When I figure it out, I'll bore you with it.

For the next few days, I'll be focusing on some mechanical and personal maintenance -- including some short daily rides to keep my legs loose, overhauling my Rivendell, and tuning up my Opera which I had shipped out to Chicago. I plan to ride the Opera for as much of the route as I can -- there will be a lot of climbing, and the Opera weighs about 15 pounds less than the Rivendell. I do, however, have to be careful not to put too many miles on it too soon. The variations in fit, even if slight, will probably cause some biomechanical problems if I switch back over too fast. My knees are already pretty bitchy. I don't need to give them more reason to go off on a rant.

I also need to finalize some route options. I will start touring again on Friday morning. Until then, I will probably take a few days off from blogging. You all need a rest too...


Just a few of the Chicago Lake front. Riding around the lake front, I kept expecting to see Anthony Edwards moping around the lake in a grey sweatsuit...
Photo Journal

Ride Summary

Friday: 120 miles from Litchfield to Bloomington, IL
Saturday: 103 miles from Bloomington to Romeoville, IL
Sunday: 53 miles from Romeoville to Chicago to Niles, IL

Miles this year: 4399