TRIP 2001

Update #23 - July 31st
Waukegan, Illinois - 5302 miles (8483 KM)

The ride from Hannibol, Missouri to Waukegan, Illinois went okay. The heat has usual was a bit of a problem but for a couple of days I had some enjoyable bicycle riding temperatures in the eighties. This only lasted for three days and then it was back in the nineties.

The terrain went from rolling hills to flatland next to the Illinois River north of Peoria. The ride over all went really well. I still can't believe that I hadn't had to replace the rear tire. Like the Energizer Bunny it wants to go on and on and on. Soon, I'll probably have to replace it. I've never had a tire last as long. I don't want to put too much of a jinx on myself but this year I've been nearly flat free. The Tuffy strips are really helping out.

I got to meet a lot of nice people from Hannibal, Missouri to Waukegan, Illinois. I was able to speak at three churches along the way in the small towns of Lacon (two churches - the Methodist and the Missouri Synod Lutheran) and Morris (Baptist). What was so funny about the Lutheran Church in Lacon was that the pastor mentioned me in his sermon during the end. He told the small congregation that I was the embodiment of the "Good Samaritan". This hasn't been the first time that I was mentioned in the sermon and it will probably not be the last.

My stops for the night varied from staying inside churches and several donated motel rooms. Motel rooms has their pluses and minuses. They're great for taking showers but not for sleeping because I have the tendency to watch a lot of news programs to keep up with things going on in the world.

Because of the heat, I've been getting on the road as early as 7 a.m. Because of this, I've been able to get as much as 35 miles ridden by noon. This has been great so that I can take a lot of needed breaks during the afternoon and possibly get done with my day's ride before 4 p.m.

Between Aurora and McHenry, Illinois, I rode along the Fox River and Prairie Bike Trails. These are mostly paved bicycle trails that run along either the Fox River or an old railroad right-of-way. I rode up the same trails two years ago and think that these are some of the best trails in the country.

Tomorrow, August 1st, I'll be starting out early into Chicago. From Waukegan, I will have about 35 miles to ride into downtown Chicago. I should be spending the night at the Habitat for Humanity Regional Center. Thursday, August 2nd, I'll will be crossing into Indiana for the second time this year. August 2nd will also be my fourth month anniversary on the road this year.

From Chicago, I'll be heading to Ft. Wayne, Indiana to visit with a friend. Then it will possibly back to Central Ohio for a few days off of R-and-R with friends. After my rest break in Central Ohio, I'll be heading south to Cincinatti and then on through Kentucky; to Memphis, Tennessee; and then down into Lousiana before turning eastward to Georgia. I expect to be out at least two more months.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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