TRIP 2005

Update #18 - May 20th
Pocahontas, IA - 5400 miles (8640 KM)

Yesterday morning, my pastor friend, Rev. Ted, offered to take a digital photo of me and the new recumbent before I left his house in Zearing. I got it today when I checked my email. Here is the photo.

photo of new recumbent done my Rev. 
Ted Welch

You can see all of my camping gear on top of the rear rack. The blue bags from left to right carry my sleeping pad, extra clothes, and tent. The white bag has my towel and washcloth in it and the large brown bag is my sleeping bag.

The orange thing in back is the slow-moving vehicle sign that I picked up in Wyoming back in 2003 on my way back from the West Coast. I've got a cross drawn on it and the words "Pedal Prayers". Underneath the blue bags is the ground-cloth that I use below my tent. I found this alongside the highway in Kansas earlier this year. The small purple bag carries my combination chain and lock. Fastened to the handlebar is my radio along with my mirror and headlight.

The black bags are panniers that I made out of backpacks that I picked up at a Wal-Mart in Granite City, IL. I took the mounts off the old panniers and put them on after I cut off the straps. By doing what I did, I saved about $90.

The recumbent loaded up weighs around 110 pounds (50 kgs). The pannier in the picture is my combination food and office bag. It also carries my bike repair tools and spare inner tubes. The pannier on the other side of the recumbent carries my clothes, first aid gear, and toiletries. I've got five water bottles of various sizes on the bike with one below the seat next to my tire hand-pump.

I'm really amazed at how good the ride is. I'm getting many more miles each day on it compared to what I did on the old recumbent. This morning with the help of a mild tailwind coming from the NE I made 48 miles in a little under 3.5 hours. Since receiving the new recumbent at the end of April in Savanna, Illinois, I've traveled almost 1000 miles on it.

I'm bundled up in the photo because the temperature around 8:00 a.m. was in the 50s. The photo doesn't show the fact that I've been losing weight. Right now, my weight is in the high 170s. I haven't been this light since 1999. I want to get down into the 160s. I don't want to think about having my weight get up into the high 220s like it was back in 1991 between bike tours.

This is just a short break. From here, I'll be riding to Storm Lake where I'll be stopping for the day. From Storm Lake, I'll be heading to Brookings, South Dakota. It should take me at least three days to ride to the S. Dakota state line. After stopping in Brookings, South Dakota, I'll be riding north to the Canadian Border and then turning east for the ride through Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. After Michigan, I've got some planned stops in Ohio.

I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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