Thursday, September 29, 2016

Today ended up being about the destination instead of the journey.  A recurring difficulty on this trip has been finding lodging on or near the bike route. This gets even tougher on weekends.  This morning, it took us nearly 90 minutes to find a hotel for Friday night and it ended up being about 20 miles from where I will stop the ride that day.  Consequently, though I wanted to be on the road by 9:30 for the 90 mile ride, it was closer to 11.  As a result, when I had two opportunities to take side roads that would have taken me by the river, I chose to remain on the highway to make better time. Two bits of good news about that:

I had a really nice tailwind that helped me make great time.

Though I stayed on the highway, I was able to find a couple of interesting things I would not have seen if I had taken the side roads.

This was a little memorial someone created at a wide place next to the highway.

A couple more shots of the same area

And then there was this.  I title it "Darn!"

I finally left the highway for the "Trail of Tears" State Forest.  There were significant Civilian Conservation Corps activities here in the 1930's.  You can learn more about it at

This was also where Cathy and I met for a picnic lunch. 

Sometimes timing is everything.  While we were eating completely undercover, it started to rain. Because she was here with the car I was able to add clothing because it looked like it was going to last a while.  I put on a different vest with sleeves and my knickers since it was also fairly cool.  I then finished my lunch.  By this time, not only had the rain stopped, the sun came out for the first time all day.  I took off the extra clothing and headed back out on the road. 
This is the Trail of Tears road as I left our lunch spot.
I was again grateful for the tailwind.  While my primary focus was getting to our hotel as quickly as possible, I could not help appreciating that it was really a nice day for cycling in Southern Illinois. 

We say goodbye to Illinois tomorrow.  Two states coming up--through Kentucky and into Tennesee.
Today's Data:


  1. Great average speed! Do you feel like you're stronger than when you started? Or lighter? Enjoying the blog. It's like I'm almost there. Except without all the pedaling. :)

    1. When you have a 15-20 mph tailwind most of the day it is easy to make good time. I haven't seen a scale since we stayed at Cathy's cousin Sharon's house but I had lost about 5 pounds then.

      We're already thinking about other trips like this. Maybe you can come along :)