TRIP 2001

Update #24- Aug 07th
Celina, Ohio - 5580 miles (8928 KM)

The ride from Waukegan, Illinois to Celina, Ohio went okay. The heat wasn't really bad this section. There were just a couple of days in the nineties. The terrain was mostly flat so the ride was a bit more enjoyable.

I had a pretty good night camping out in the office of the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Waukegan. I slept pretty good but I woke up around 5 a.m. so that I could get a good start for the ride into Chicago. I got on the road a little after 6 a.m. The temperature was in the seventies. For the most part, the ride between Waukegan and Glencoe (just north of Chicago) was along a really nice bikepath that was mostly paved but had a few sections of either gravel or crushed stone. I made pretty good time even though there were quite a few local cyclists out.

The bikepath ended in Glencoe so I had to ride along Sheridan Avenue, which pretty well followed the shore of Lake Michigan into the Northern part of Chicago. I crossed into Chicago a little after 11:30 a.m. and after about two more miles of riding in street traffic I was able to get onto the Lakeshore paved bikepath. The bikepath was really great was between the lakeshore and U.S. 41. It was really neat coming into the downtown area and seeing all of the tall skyscrapers. I stopped to take a few pictures.

It was almost 1 p.m. when I arrived in the downtown area. I was planning to stop for the day at the Habitat for Humanity regional center but I had a feeling that I needed to stay on the bikepath and keep on going through Chicago. I guess it wasn't meant for me to stop. The ride through the rest of the Chicago area went okay even though the temperature was in the low nineties. I had a bit of a breeze to cool me down from the lake. The bikepath ended about five miles from the Indiana State Line.

I crossed into Indiana around 5 p.m. after cycling 56 miles in Illinois from Waukegan. I made a fast ride through the Gary area. This looked like a place where I would not be safe. Along U.S. 6, there were a lot of closed down businesses and abandoned houses.

I kept on going and arrived in Valparaiso a little after dusk. I stopped at the police station to see if somebody there could help me connect with a minister but I didn't have any luck. In a neat twist, I got invited to stay with a local named Michael. I followed him while he road his bicycle through town to his apartment. There was just one bedroom so Michael gave it to me since he said that he was a night person and would probably watch tv all night.

I woke up around 6 a.m. Michael was crashed out on the sofa in the front room. It looked like he must have been drinking since there was an opened bottle of whiskey under the coffee table. Michael was pretty drunk and he did a dive over the coffee table as he was trying to go into the bathroom to get the bathtub working so that I could get cleaned up. It was sort of a hilarious hour or two before I got on the road.

The ride from Valparaiso to Plymouth went okay but I had to wait at a truck stop about 22 miles out for about two hours because rain was coming down hard. On the radio, I heard that the Chicago area had been socked with almost four inches of rain and there was some localized flooding. The police diving rescue squad had to rescue some trapped motorist in a couple of the flooded viaducts. This was the reason why I shouldn't have stayed in Chicago for the night. I might not have gotten out.

I stayed at the truckstop until about 1:30 p.m. when I decided to get on my rain suit and head out. The rain lasted for about an hour. I got into the Plymouth area around 4:30 p.m. About a mile from the downtown area, the rear tire went flat. This was my first flat in almost three and a half thousand miles. I found a piece of steelbelt wire in my tire. The other thing bad about the tire was that I found extreme wear spots in the tread. The original back tire had made it's end after 5,600 miles of travel. This must be a record for me. A police officer took me and the recumbent to the local bike shop. I needed a new tire but I didn't have enough money to pay for a brand new tire. They didn't have any used tires. The local Habitat affiliate went way beyond the call-of-duty because they bought me the tire. I spent the night with a Weslyan minister who lived about eight miles Northeast of Plymouth.

The next day I cycled between Plymouth and Ft. Wayne. For most of the way, I rode along the old Lincolnway (old U.S. 30) since the truck traffic along new U.S. 30 was pretty bad. About sixteen miles out, the front tire went soft from a piece of steelbelt tire. It was lucky for me that I had a spare sixteen inch tire. This was my last spare tire. I got into Ft. Wayne around 6:30 p.m. and I cycled through the downtown area to a friend's house where I was going to stay the weekend.

The rest break off the bike stretched from two days to three because I had some problem with my digestive tract. I'm a lot better now. Today, (Aug 7th), I headed out of Ft. Wayne around 8:30 p.m. and had about a thirty mile ride to the Ohio state Line.

I crossed into Ohio at 1:26 p.m. EST (the state line was the time zone change). I stopped in Wilshire, OH to call some friends of mine in Mt. Gilead to see if I could head on over. I had visited them in May. I found out that it wouldn't be a good time because one of the grandmothers in Cleveland was ill and most of the family was there in Cleveland. I switched my plans and started south to Dayton and then to Cincinatti. I stopped for the night in Celina and made connections with one of the local ministers who allowed me to stay in the church for the night. I should be in the Dayton area in a couple of days.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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