Posted by: Mark Wollemann: On the move | August 5, 2016

Days 49-50: A new state, another flat, and soon another new state

A couple of quick updates from Indiana. The people have been kind and sweet. I’ve never had so many people wave to me from their cars and trucks. Whether coming toward me (the one- or two-finger way from the steering wheel) or once past me with a quick wave from inside the car — or out the car window or sunroof. I feel very welcome here so it’s a shame our stay isn’t longer. But the journey continues and Indiana is but a bump in the road from Oregon to Delaware. A bump we’ll roll over sometime tomorrow (Saturday). Here’s how the past two days have unfolded:s

Day 49
Destination: Rensselaer, Ind.
Thursday’s mileage: 58. Total: 2,713

More heat. More headwinds. More progress. We cleared the Illinois-Indiana border. The road was so insignificant, however — and old farm road — that there was no “welcome to Indiana” sign. So Melody made one and we took a little picture at a convenience store near the border in the town of Brook. Good enough.

Indiana pic in convenience store-23

No sign at the border? No problem for Melody, who just made one to commemorate our crossing into our seventh state.

Then it was on to Rensselaer, just over Hwy. 65. If you’ve driven south — to Nashville or Florida — from almost anywhere in the Upper Midwest, you’ve rolled through Indiana on I-65. I was happy to hole up in Rensselaer because I was expecting a tailwind on Friday morning. I just wanted a good night’s sleep.

Day 50
Destination: Huntington, Ind.
Friday’s mileage: 102. Total: 2,815

Just as I had hoped, the day broke cloudy with a strong westerly wind. I was so excited to get on the bike that I forgot to take many snacks for the road. No problem.

About 40 miles into the ride, I stopped and snacked on some sports drink and peanuts. Another 25 miles down the road, Melody met me for lunch in Denver, Ind., where we endured a smoking-friendly bar that also included a visit from a pest/bug-control guy who sprayed in the place — bathrooms, kitchen?, seating area — while we waited for our food. Oh, well. As I said, we endured.

another flat

This is a bit of a “yard sale” bike tube change. I don’t profess to be organized, but I do get the job done.

Soon, however, I was back on the road and heading for Huntington. I wasn’t sure exactly how are away I was, but I was hoping for a century ride today. My plan was almost foiled by my eighth — that’s right EIGHTH — flat tire. I hit something hard on the road at mile 99. I called Melody to let her know I’d be delayed by a few minutes. She volunteered to come pick me up, but there’s no way I was going to let that happen at mile 99. So I made a quick repair — as I’ve said previously, I’m getting better and better at these tube changes — and was soon back on my way.

Might need to make a bike shop stop to replenish my CO2 supply, but we’ll be heading into Ohio tomorrow sometime. The East Coast keeps getting closer and closer!

***
As always, keep checking out Melody’s musings and extra photos and videos at our website, 55andalive.com.

Also, if you want to hear me yammering about the ride, keep checking the archives of the KFJC Sports Middle guys. We’ve had some nice chats this summer. A few more to go before I’m done.

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Responses

  1. It is so hard to believe you’ve had EIGHT flats! WOW! What are the odds?? How many tubes did you pack? 

  2. I adore your and Melody’s homemade “welcome to Indiana” sign! And I’m glad the folks on the road were friendly — though that lunch stop in Denver sounds a bit rough. (Seriously. Who sprays pesticide during the lunch rush?!) But you endured, and it’s now one more curious/hilarious memory from the road. Onward!


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