TRIP 2008

Update #08 - March 29th
Savanna, Illinois
1269 miles (2,031 KM)

This is the third update from the road. The ride has been going okay. The only thing off has been the weather. It's been fluctuating from the upper 60s to the lower 40s with everyday. A little over a week ago, I had to deal with heavy rains one day while I was riding between Carlyle and Highland, Illinois and cold headwinds the next day between Highland and Alton, Illinois.

Two days ago, I had an unexpected day off the road because of precipitation of another kind. Nw Illinois had a late March snow storm. It snowed pretty well all of last Thursday and the accumulation was about a half an inch. The next day, the temperature got into the fifties so the snow pretty well melted away. I'm a little concerned that there still might be some snow in Northern Iowa so I'm glad that I'm taking some days off the road here in Savanna.

I've met some nice people between Mt Sterling and Savanna. March 22nd and 23rd, I was the guest of the United Methodist Church in Hamilton, Illinois. I camped out in one of the Sunday school classrooms that had a long couch that I stretched my sleeping bag on. March 23rd was actually the first Sunday that I've been able to take completely off the road. It was that I finally had a day off since from March 05th from Columbus, Georgia I had ridden 1.017 miles (1,627 KM). I was really made welcome at the Methodist Church. Between the breakfast and the service, I kept the youth occupied by teaching them two games, which were "Electricity" and the Eskimo game called "Muk-Muk". After the service, I helped hide the Easter eggs and candy in the sanctuary since it was too cold for the youth to go outside for the Easter Egg Hunt.

Monday, March 24th, I was the guest of the United Methodist Church in Monmouth, Illinois. Tuesday, March 25th, I opted to get a motel room near the Quad Cities Airport in Moline, Illinois. I got a very good rate. I could have been connected with a church in the East Moline area but I opted to get a real bed for the night.

Wednesday, March 26th, was a three-quarters bike, one-quarter vehicle ride between Moline and Savanna. My main goal for the day was to stop at my friend's bike shop,
ARNOLD'S BIKES AND EMBROIDERY in Thomson. Gary Arnold was bike shop owner who helped me get my last recumbent (the Easy Racer/Sun EZ-Speedster-SX ) back in late April, 2005 when he had his shop in Savanna, Illinois. Gary was also the mechanic who had rebuilt my rear wheel with stronger spokes in February. I was supposed to stop at his new shop in Thomson since Gary had told me that he had come up with a shorter left crank. My left leg is about a quarter of an inch shorter than my right leg and sitting funny on the seat to reach the pedal on the full left stroke was causing some strain on my hips and lower back. Even though I went from a 170mm crank to a 165mm crank, that 5 mm difference will make a big difference in my stroke.

Gary did some work on my disc brakes since both the front and rear rotors were slightly bent. The second big surprise that Gary had for me was a pair of brand new tires. Both my front and rear tires had some glass cuts in the tread and I wasn't sure that I would get much farther on them. I had gotten them before I left the Galveston, Texas last year right after Christmas and they had 2,155 miles (3,448 KM) in them. The next surprise was that Gary installed a space bar above my bottom bracket so my headlight could be closer to the road. Since Gary thought that headlights work better in pairs, Gary gave me a new Cateye Opticube 5-LED headlight to match the one that the Methodist pastor in Monmouth gave me. The last surprise that Gary gave me was a safety vest that has flashing lights in it. I'm going drape the vest over my rear gear so I can be more visible if I ever get caught having to travel after dusk again.

Instead of my riding from the bike shop to Savanna, Gary offered to take me into Savanna. It was good that he did since the pastor I will be staying with for a few days, Rev Wayne Carvell, lives at the top of a hill about 400 feet above the Mississippi River and there is a very steep driveway that would have been extremely hard for me to either ride or walk the recumbent up.

With the snow a couple of days ago and the cool weather, I opted to take a few days off the road. I'm looking at getting back on the road Tuesday, April 1st since there are calling for rain showers Monday, March 31st. This hasn't been a complete do-nothing time off the road. I've had some unexpected ministry opportunities. Part of my ministry is to design websites for other churches and ministries. Besides my own website, I've designed four other websites for churches and ministries around the world. The last one was for the Anglican Church in Taralga, New South Wales, Australia. I can add two more websites to my list. I designed a website for the
CHURCH ON A HILL here in Savanna and also one for the ecumenical social service ministry GREAT RIVER OUTREACH also here in Savanna. Before leaving the area, I've been asked to design a website for the Presbyterian Church also in Savanna.

From Savanna, I will be crossing the Mississippi River into Iowa and then I will be starting my trip west. There might be some changes in my route between central Iowa and Eastern Colorado. I'm feeling strongly that I shouldn't ride through Kansas in April since there might be a good chance for thunderstorms and possible tornadoes. I'm looking at following the same route that I took across Eastern Colorado and Nebraska that I took in 2006 but in reverse direction. This will have me taking U.S. 30 pretty well across Central Nebraska. I'm also looking at riding straight across Oregon to Portland instead of riding up to SE Washington State before riding across Oregon.

Well, this is all I think I need to write now. The next update should be posted between April 05th and April 12th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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