Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 34, another day, another century (Coal City, ILL)

BEST: Swim at the end of the ride at the Coal City lake resort.

WORST: Last nights sleep was horrible between the Friday night celebrating at the campground by the RV'ers, the hot and cold weather, and the really sick train engineer who really blasted us at 3:00.

MOST UNEXPECTED: Realizing that our really nice campsite in Coal City is about a quarter mile from the closest bathroom. This will be real interesting in the morning.

After a really crappy night's sleep, we left early (5:15) and embarked on a 106 mile ride. The conditions were good, slight headwind and really minor slopes, but I was feeling the effects of the lack of sleep.

I am finding a rhythm in my riding. The first 20 + miles to the first check in spot fly by without much thought, the 20-30 mile area require some thought but generally are quite doable. However the 30-55 mile area requires mental effort as usually the scenery is repetitious, and you don't seem to be moving forward. After 55 you are on the downward side of the ride, and the last 20 miles go by quickly. Today, I was real tired after 30 miles, not in my legs, but I was ready to take a nap. This is generally not a good idea when you are on a bike.

We did ride through a wind farm today and the props were turning. Again a slight headwind/sidewind/tailwind occasionally depending on the direction of the roads.

Your math lesson today: if they had diagonal streets rather than east-west and north-south streets we would have saved about 20% of the distance. For instance if you went one mile east, and one mile south, the distance for the diagonal would be 1.414 (square root of 2) So instead of traveling 2 miles I would have traveled 1.4 miles or a savings of 30%. This is the kind of mind games I play when going through miles of corn and soybeans.

The scenery today was same old same old, but I did take pictures of distinctive barns in this area with wood sideboards, vertical wood on the front, and a top with openings 90 degrees to the front. (pictures below).

When we got to the campground, the truck was not here. We headed to the beach on the lake and jumped in wearing our bike shorts (the women also wore their tops) and jumping off the diving board. We got back to set up our tents, and then discovered the showers/bathroom were on the other side of the state. I actually rode my bike with my backpack to the bathroom to take a shower. Of course once I rode back I was sweaty.

It is currently sticky (technical name for humidity) and warm (around 88.56 degrees) and I am not looking forward to laying in my tent and sweating. We have now ridden 200 miles in the last two days, and the next two days will add 190 miles. Today's ride was the third longest in mileage of the trip, and the day after tomorrow will be the second longest.

I haven't mentioned my gluteus maximus in some time, so be aware that everything is doing fine. Thanks to people who have commented on this blog. Although I don't have the time to respond to the comments, I very much appreciate hearing from you. I continue to miss my family and that is probably the hardest part of this journey. During the riding I am focused on not falling over, but when the ride is done I miss my family and my bed (in that order). The group of riders is very supportive and we get along like family including the squabbles that go along with that unit. Time to walk over to the bathroom in the other state.


  1. I think you would have in fact saved 30% since 1.4 is 70% of 2... I hope that doesn't make you more saddened by the 90 degree angles.

    We miss you too! Can't wait to be on our way to see you :)

  2. Your mom would have loved painting those barns. Great shots. We are so close to jumping on the airplane to get us to you. Getting to read your daily blog makes the time go so much faster! Love, Beth