BEST: As a result we actually shaved a couple of miles off the route.
MOST UNEXPECTED: I realized I have only read one book on this entire ride.
Slept great last night, although a little too well as I did a KT (overslept). I hustled to pack and was not late, but got in trouble for biking over to the restroom across the grass without my helmet. I did make it to the restroom in time!
The ride was 86 miles of flat terrain, and we rode with great alacrity until we hit mile 17. At this point we ran into road construction and had to wait until a detour could be worked out. In the pictures below you can see the three of us who stopped first, the entire gang waiting, and the creative use of a gatorade bottle as a pillow. The reroute was pretty painless, and we entered Indiana State around mile 50. I say around because there was no welcome to Indiana sign. There was also no definition of hoosier sign because I believe nobody knows what the etymology of the word is. (pretty impressive that I got to use the word etymology in a sentence, twice). The roads went to Hades when we entered the new state, and my kidneys are somewhere back about 40 miles. We did see a cool lake, Cedar lake, with nice housing around it.
After the lake, we entered an area which was obviously farmed, but now supports newer large houses on ranchettes, and a few McMansions. My favorite barn picture was taken here showing what happens with gentrification of the farmlands. These rather impressive houses house Chicago commuters who do not mind missing half their lifetimes commuting.
We did a series of lefts and rights again much to my pythagorus displeasure. You may now ask "how do you know where to turn". Well my young grasshopper, we are given cue sheets which show the mileage to a given turn and a direction, plus added notes. Every once in a while a painted area with chalk paint is applied, but generally it is up to the rider to figure it out. Today there were a variety of interpretations by riders with the consequences of bonus miles for several.
We are staying at the Valpariso University in Valpariso of all places, and when we arrived we immediately went across the street to DQ (Dairy Queen for those new to the blog). A chocolate malt and hot dog later, we moved our bags to our Air Conditioned rooms and awaiting dinner in the cafeteria. Temperatures today were moderate in the 80's with moderate humidity according to the easterners in our group. As a westerner, I started sweating when I went to the bathroom this morning. Last night before going to sleep I went to the bathroom and took a cold shower, and by the time I got back to my tent I was already starting to sweat. My fan worked great until the temperatures dropped during the night.
A group of riders rode off to the theater today to see Batman, but I am taking the opportunity to actually read a book and finish this blog.
Tomorrow we will all write a letter to the Governor of Indiana suggesting he spend more money on the roads in this State. Then we get to spend 109 miles getting beaten up on what appears to be asphalt but more likely is a network of holes held together by an oil and rock mixture. I am told the roads are going to get worse as we go further east. I can't wait.