TRIP 2013

Update #12 - May 23rd
Sabula, Iowa
Mission Trip 34: 2,737.94 miles (4,380.70 KM)
4,087.67 miles (6,540.27 KM) - Year Total

May 11 : North Bend, Ohio to Seymour, Indiana - 74.34 miles (118.94 KM)

I had a decent night camping out in the big tent. It did get a little cool because the front was going through. I woke up around 4 AM but after staying up a little bit I was able to fall back asleep till around 6 AM. Before going inside to shave and have breakfast, I carried everything down the hill to the driveway and packed Alice up. I had eggs, toast, and turkey bacon for breakfast. Amy gave me a large jar of peanut butter. Jacob got up and I gave him his birthday spanking (12 years old). Casey and Maddi were still in bed.

I got on the road around 8:15 AM. The sky was overcast and it looked like it was going to rain again. I had about a 7 mile (11.2 KM) ride to the Indiana State Line. There was a long climb out of the Ohio River Valley. There was another coast down (7% 2 mile) and then a climb up to Versailles, Indiana. After a break in Versailles, I decided to push on to North Vernon. The terraign became more level. I got into New Vernon around 5 PM. I decided to keep on riding to Seymour. I got caught in a brief rain shower about 5 miles (8 KM) out of Seymour. I got into Seymour area around 7:30 PM. I decided to break down and get a motel room near I-64. I got a room in the upper $30s.

May 12 : Seymour, Indiana to Bryantville, Indiana - 54.98 miles (87.97 KM)

I had a decent at the motel. It felt good to be in a bed where the mattress wasn't slipping down and I got a shower. I slept maybe 6 hours. There mustn't much of a breakfast (toast and orange juice). I left the motel around 8:30 AM. I stopped to get some milk. It was about a 2.5 (4 KM) mile ride into the downtown area. I rode around the churches.

I stopped at the First Presbyterian Church. I got there about 20 minutes before the 10 AM service started. The people were sort of friendly. There was just one lady who came to me to welcome me before the service. I sat up front. The service was led by the youth and it was around Mother's Day. Towards the end of the service before the pastor led the prayers, the pastor pointed me out and asked me what I was doing. After I shared what I was doing, there was a round of applause for me. After the service, quite a few people stopped to talk to me. Some of the people slipped me money in green handshakes. I got $90 inside the church and a lady outside slipped me $40 more. Another lady packed up the left over baked goods and strawberries to take along with me.

Because I had already taken 4 days off during the week, I didn't feel like taking the rest of today off. I decided to go on to at least Bedford. I stopped for a late lunch in Brownwood. There were quite a few hills to get over on the way to Bedford.

I got into Bedford around 6:30 PM. Most of the churches that I came across had evening services that I started at 6 PM. The town was pretty big so I opted to go ahead and head out of town. On the west end of town I came across a small Christian church with a few cars in front of it. I found a Bible study going on. It didn't end till around 8 PM. The guy who I thought was the pastor brushed me off before he got into a car and sped off. I heard something about a care center before I left. I stopped at a gas station to get something to eat. I rode in the dark for a couple of miles and found some place to camp out in outside the unincorporated town of Bryantville.

May 13 : Bryantville, Indiana to Somner, Illinois - 90.22 miles (144.35 KM)

I had a decent camping out but it was quite cool. It must have been just in the upper 30s when I headed out. I had to get out my second coat and gloves. There were a lot more hills to climb over on the way to Washington. I stopped for a late lunch. There was a new US 50 bypass around Washington so I didn't ride through Washington. I decided to push on to Vincennes. The ride to Vincennes seemed a lot longer because the cyclometer was acting up. I seemed to be riding more miles than there was. My new cyclometer was acting up for some reason.

Vincennes was a large city. There were a couple of motels. One was expensive looking while at the other one the guests who were hanging outside didn't make it look safe. I decided to go into the downtown area and find a bridge across the Wabash River. I found the bridge okay. I stopped to take the traditional pictures but the gnats were pretty bad. I saw a lot of evidence of flooding along the river. I followed mostly county roads to Lawrenceville. I stopped at a motel in Lawrenceville but it was closed. I stopped for a late supper on the western edge of Lawrenceville.

It was just before dusk when I headed out to Bridgeport. I got my lights out. I was hoping to possibly go beyond 100 miles (160 KM) but I had to find someplace to camp out outside of Somner because I was being bothered by a couple of young guys in a truck. I found a place to camp out in some woods on the edge of Red Hills State Park.

May 14 : Somner, Illinois to Flora, Illinois - 44.99 miles (71.98 KM)

I had a decent camping out. It was quite warm through the night. It was around 7:30 AM when I got on the road. It was a short ride into Somner. I stopped at a gas station for some breakfast but to also charge up my Ipod. It was around 8:20 AM, when I headed out. As soon as I got on US 50, I got slammed into a brisk crosswind/ headwind. The wind from the SW must have gotten up to over 20 mph (32 kmph). The cyclometer was registering two miles (3.2 KM) for every actual one mile (1.6 KM) traveled. I stopped to take quite a few breaks along the way. I got into Flora around 4 PM. I was going to keep on going to Salem but the winds had gotten the best of me. I decided to see if I could connect with a pastor. I caught the pastor at the First Christian church as he was leaving. He offered to get me a room at a local motel through the ministerial association. I had to go to the police to get the voucher. There was also a voucher to get a $5 meal from a gas station.

The room was okay but I had a hard time getting into the room. The maintenance guy had to reprogram the electronic door locking system. I spent a couple of hours on the motel room phone talking with my phone company to see why I haven't been able to use my phone all day. It turns out that there was some problem with the cell towers in this part of the state.

There is supposed to be more strong winds so I'm just going to ride to Salem tomorrow.

May 15 : Flora, Illinois to Salem, Illinois - 30.12 miles (48.19 KM)

I had a decent night at the motel. I found out what was wrong with the cyclometer. I had forgotten about the extra magnet so the cyclometer was reading double. I went to bed around 10:30 PM and I woke up a little before 5 AM. I left the motel around 7:40 AM. Before leaving Flora, I stopped at a gas station to get some milk.

Once I got back on US 50 heading West, I had to deal with some cross/ headwind but it wasn't as strong as yesterday. The wind was still around 15 MH. The ride was still slow and I only cycled around 7 mph (11.2 kmph). I stopped several times during the ride. Once I got about seven miles (11 KM) away from Salem, the ride leveled out and I had some protection from the wind.

I got into downtown Salem a little after 1 PM. I stopped at the Grace United Methodist Church. I talked with the pastor. He offered to get me a room at the Super 8 West of the interstate.

My cell phone finally started to work okay. I was able to connect with my friends in Granite City. My friend is temporarily taking care of a church 40 miles (64 KM) away. There is too much going on this weekend with them so I'm going to have to pass on stopping over. There is flooding along the Mississippi River near Grafton, IL. I'm not sure whether I could get through Grafton or ride Northward along the Mississippi River so I'll probably end this leg in Lebanon, Illinois and then head North sort of inland to the Quad Cities (Moline, Illinois) area.

May 16 : Salem, Illinois to Carlinville, Illinois - 105.10 miles (168.16 KM)

I had a decent night at the motel. I got the site updated. I went to bed around 10:30 PM and I woke up a little before 5 AM. There was a decent hot breakfast with fresh waffles. It took a while to get all of my gear from the second floor to the outside. I left the motel around 7:40 AM.

The ride to Odin went okay. The sky was clouding up for a storm. On my way west, I thought that I was I was going to outrace the storm but I got caught in a pretty intense shower. The rain came down really hard in my face. I had to get off the bike, walk it, and keep my face turned downward. The intense rain lasted for about 10 minutes. It seemed longer and I got really soaked.

I was still able to get into Carlyle by noon. Carlyle looked familiar to me because I had stopped here in 2011 on my way south to Shreveport, LA. I stopped for something hot to eat at a McD's north of town. From Carlyle going westward, the ride was a little better because there was a bit of a tailwind to push me along. I stopped for a break in Breese and I was able to take my jacket off.

I got into Lebanon around 4:00 PM. I rode around town to check out the churches. I didn't find anybody around them. I stopped at the police station and I talked with an officer. He didn't know any of the pastors. He did tell me that the department did have a chaplain but he was out of town.

Since I wasn't going to go to Granite City as I had planned, I turned Northward on NY 4. The winds had shifted directions and now it was a tailwind. I quickly racked in the miles. I got to the outskirts of Staunton a little before dusk. I rode into town on a paved bike trail. I rode around town but I didn't see anybody at the churches. I stopped at the police station. The lady dispatcher tried to get hold of a lady who had something with the ministerial association but she was only able to leave a message. I waited maybe 20 minutes to see if she would call back but the lady didn't.

I was so close to beating the 100 mile (160 KM) mark I opted to keep on going. I stopped at a Casey's gas station to try and charge up my headlight battery. I fastened the new headlanp to my helmet. The ride Northward went okay. Traffic was light. I passed the 100 mile (160 KM) mark a little before 11 PM. I decided to try and get in a few more miles before trying to find someplace to camp out. I found a place to camp out on the edge of a newly planted corn field. This was the second time this year that I had passed the Century Mark.

May 17 : Carlinville, Illinois to Ashland, Illinois - 69.07 miles (110.61 KM)

I had an okay night but I wished that I would have found a more level place for my tent. I kept on slipping off the sleeping pad. I got back on the road around 7:30 AM. It was less than a mile ride into Carlinville. Stopped at a gas station for some breakfast. The ride north went okay. There was a bit of a tailwind that pushed me along. I got nearly 30 miles (48 KM) in by noon time. Stopped for something to eat in Auburn.

I got into Southern edge of Springfield around 2 PM. I stopped at Steak and Shake to use gift card. Got a strawberry milkshake half price. It was a slow ride through Springfield. I didn't ride through center of town so I missed the capitol and the Lincoln Historic area. Along the way, I found a driver's license of a guy from Wisconsin and some of his credit cards scattered on the edge of the road. I knew what it was like to suffer through identity theft so I called the police. I waited at a street corner for an officer to come by and pick them up.

I turned northward on IL 97 and I hit rush hour traffic going out of the city. It was a slow ride because there were some hills and no shoulder . Once I got to the intersection of IL 97 and IL 125, the traffic became lighter and the road improved. I headed West on IL 125 and I started to get a paved shoulder to ride along. I got into Pleasant Plains around 6 PM. I wasn't able to make any connections with a minister so I opted to keep on riding to Ashland.

I got into Ashland around 7:10 PM. I rode through town to check out the churches and I decided to stop at St Augustine Church. Rev. Brey offered to me the use of the fellowship hall for the night. There was a chance for more rain tonight. The fellowship hall had been designated as a standy Red Cross shelter for the flooding along the Illinois River but it had never been used. Rev Brey told me that he had done some cycle touring around Illinois.

May 18 : Ashland, Illinois to Macomb, Illinois - 66.92 miles (107.07 KM)

I didn't stay up long. After having supper, I got the spreadsheets updated and did yesterday's journal done but I couldn't stay awake long enough to finish today's journal entry. I cordoned off the area of the room that I was sleeping in with the portable wall sections. I fell asleep before 10 PM. I woke up during the middle of the night with a sore lower lip. I had to find my lip medication.

I left the church around 7:30 AM. Before leaving Ashland, I stopped to get some milk. The ride went okay to Virginia and I took a break. The gnats were pretty bad between Virginia and Beardstown. I got into Beardstown around 11:30 AM. I stopped at a Hardees for an early lunch. They were passing hot cinamon buns for dessert. I walked across the bridge over the Illinois River. The river was up really high.

There was a long hill to climb up out of the river valley. The gnats were really bad. I had to walk up the hill. Whenever I stopped for a break, the gnats really swarmed around my face even though I had some bug spray on. I might have swallowed some of the gnats. The gnats were still bad to Rushville. It was almost like there was a slipstream and the gnats were following me in it. Once I got into Rushville, the gnats stopped.

The gnats were pretty light on the way to Macomb. The terraign was level and it was mostly farmland. There was a breeze.

A couple of miles out of Macomb, I had to stop to fix a flat rear tire. This was the first flat since Salisbury, MD. I didn't find anything in the tire. I was going to try out the CO2 cartridges but the cylinders didn't fit the unit. I used my handpump to get the tire inflated to 35 psi.

The ride into Macomb went okay. Macomb had a population of around twenty thousand and it was a university town. I found a free air hose at a gas station to complete the inflation of the tire. About a block away, I stopped at a motel to see if they had a decent rate. I got a room in the upper $30. The motel manager gave me a $5 discount because he didn't charge me any tax.

I did 461.40 miles (738.24 KM) last week from Seymour, Indiana. This was the most that I did during the week this year.

May 19 : Macomb, Illinois to Cameron, Illinois - 42.35 miles (67.76 KM)

I didn't stay up long. I updated the website and checked my email before going to bed. I woke up around 5:30 AM. I left the motel around 8:45 AM. I rode into the downtown area.

The first church that I came across was the First Presbyterian Church. The people here wasn't as friendly towards me as they were at the Presbyterian Church in Seymour, Indiana. Only a few people came by to talk to me before the service. There was a really good pipe organ. There was a lady minister. During the passing of the peace, she did come over to talk to me. The children's sermon was okay. They had filled up a plexiglass tube with quarters to get a pig from the Heifer Project. During the prayer time, the minister didn't ask for any special prayers. The service lasted about 55 minutes. From what I saw during the service, I thought that she would be a compassionate minister but she wasn't. When I had the time to talk to her after the service, she passed me off bruskly. She told me that she didn't have time to help me out because she had to go to a meeting and then get ready for her vacation. She told me that I had to go find a certain Catholic church but she couldn't give me the address or directions to it. This really got me to. As I was leaving the church, I spoke out Matthew 25.

It was too late to try and connect with another church. I wasn't expecting that I was going to connect with a compassionate minister in a town over 8000. I decided to go ahead and leave town. Once I got out of town, there was a pretty good tailwind to push me along. I stopped for a short break at a gas station in Good Hope. I talked with a guy. Before he left, he gave me a chicken sandwich that he got from a Hardees and a pack of gum.

Between Good Hope and Roseville, the rear tire went soft again. It took a while finding the pinhole leak. I tried using the compressed air pump. The cylinders didn't fit the pump but I was able to use the nozzle. It took two cylinders to get the tire inflated to be able to ride it. I found a free air pump at a gas station in Roseville. I found a pinhole leak in the other inner tube.

The sky was getting really dark. I got into Monmouth a little before 6 PM. I rode around the downtown area to see if I could find a church that had an evening service. Somebody yelled out to me that I should find a place to get out of the weather because there was hail between Monmouth and Burlington, Iowa. Another person told me that there were tornado warnings.

I stopped at the Maple City Baptist Church. They were having a Bible Study for men in the fellowship hall and the women and kids were in the sanctuary. The bible study was supposed to start around 6:30 PM. I met the pastor before the service. He didn't look like a pastor. He was in his 30s and he looked really rough. His hair was a low cut mohawk. When I asked him about a place to stay, he told me about this place out on the edge of town. It sounded like a shelter. I told him about my concerns about the shelter. He told me that he would have to ask some of the members of the church after the bible study. The bible study was actually about a video series called kingdom builders. I got to share with the pastor and the other men around our table. There were two other groups. During the study, I happened to see a lot of lightning flashes. The study lasted till around 8 PM and then the pastor and some of the church men went into the office to discuss my request and something else. The other people in the church were standoffish to me. While I was waiting these two little girls between six and eight did a oouple of cheers that were sexually provacative and sexually inappropriate for their age. I made a comment to one of the other guys in the room but he didn't think much of it. He did tell me that they were foster children. It was around 9:00 PM when the meeting in the office broke up. One of the guys who I guess was an elder told me that I needed to move on. he was upset that I had moved my bike into the basement. I did tell him that the pastor had given me permission. They wanted me to go on to the shelter. What a bunch of hypocrits. I discussed Matthew 25 with the guy but he didn't want to hear it. He became quite offensive. He told me that the church was only into discipleship and not doing social work. It became quite clear to me that this was their own little kingdom and the Messiah wasn't really in control of their church.

It was almost 9 PM when I headed out. There were puddles of rain in the streets but the storm had seemed to pass. I headed out blindly going out of town. I just wanted to find someplace where I could camp out. I headed out in the direction that I hope was Eastward towards Galesburg. I traveled maybe 5 or 6 miles (8 or 10 KM) out and I found a place to camp out in some woods at an old farmstead next to a corn field that hadn't been plowed yet. I found a level place to camp out but I had to trample down some tall grass that was about two feet tall for my tent.

May 20 : Cameron, Illinois to Moline, Illinois - 51.76 miles (82.82 KM)

I didn't stay up long. It was a little warm so I put the door flaps a little bit at the top to let the air in. During the middle of the night, it started to rain. The rain lasted a while but there wasn't a storm. I woke up a little early to a damp sleeping bag. There was some water in the tent. I had to pack the sleeping bag up wet.

I got on the road around 7:30 AM. I happened to be a little more south than what I had expected to be. It didn't take too long to get on the right road into Galesburg. I didn't have to go into downtown Galesburg to get on US 150. I found a laundromat. It only cost me fifty cents to get the bags dried.

The wind really pushed me along. I got 31 miles (49.6 KM) in by noontime. The sky was getting a little dark. I got into Coal Valley around 3:45 PM. I stopped at the Presbyterian Church. I talked with the pastor, Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, he offered to help pay for a motel room near the airport. He took me to the Americas Best Value Inn and he payed half of the room. I'm about 4 miles (6 KM) from the Missisippi River.

There was a major tornado in the Moore, OK area. At least 25 people were killed. The storm damage was nearly 2 miles (3 KM) wide. There were several schools destroyed with kids in them. I rode through the Moore area in 2011. Last night, there were several tornadoes near Savanna, Illinois. I have friends in the Savanna area and I will be traveling through there tomorrow or the next day.

May 21 : Moline, Illinois to Fulton, Illinois - 48.88 miles (78.21 KM)

I had a decent night at the motel except for the wifi not working well. There was a problem with the bathroom because the shower curtain was ripped and needs to be replaced. I went to bed around 10 PM and it was around 5:30 AM when I woke up. As soon as I started watching the news, I got engrossed in the destruction from the tornado in Moore, OK. Either and EF4 or EF5 tornado hit Moore around 2:30 PM CST yesterday afternoon. The path of destruction was at least 20 miles (32 KM) long and the debris field was two miles (3 KM) wide. It was more than Joplin, Missouri. At least 26 people were killed. Quite a few of the deaths were young children because two schools were destroyed. Some of the children drowned in the basement in one of the schools.

I was hoping to get the website updated in 20 minutes but it took nearly two hours to get the seven pages updated because either the wifi modems or their signal disappeared. It was a pain getting one of the routers to connect. I finally finished getting the website updated around 9 AM.

While I was packing up Alice, I checked the things in the small pocket up the trunk bag. Stuffed near the bottom of the pocket below some things was an offering envelope from a church but there wasn't anything on the envelope to let me know which church that it came from. It filled full. When I opened it up, I found six $20 bills folded in half. There wasn't any writing on it so the donation was anomynous.

It was around 9:40 AM when I finally left the motel. It was a tricky ride getting through Moline to get to the bike path along the Mississippi River. I had to take a zig-zag route through Moline climbing out of the Rock River valley and then coasting down a windy road which got me a few streets east of the bike path. It was around 11 AM when I finally got on the bike path (Great River Bike Trail). It goes nearly 60 miles (100 KM) to Savanna.

The bike path was pretty good through Port Byran and Hampton. I got stopped a couple of times by day cyclist. I met an older guy who was riding a Cat trike. We talked for about 10 minutes. Between Hampton and East Clinton through Cordova, there were gaps in the trail and I had to ride on IL 82 which didn't have much of a shoulder. In Cordova, I found a great find at a gas station. They were selling boxes of Little Debbie baked goods and Sun Harvest Granola bars for $.79 each. The boxes were a little past the expiration date. I saved at least $6.

The paved bike path started up again right north of US 30. If you follow US 30 (the Lincoln Highway) straight East you will end in Atlantic City, New Jersey It was about a 1.5 mile (2.4 KM) ride into Fulton. It was around 5:30 PM when I got into Fulton. I didn't feel like going any farther and the clouds were getting darker. The weather report that I heard in the morning said that there was a 40% chance for storms tonight.

I rode into town and I stopped at the Second Reformed Church. There was some activity in the church. The pastor was still in the office. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, he offered to get me a room at a small motel in the country about two miles from town. when I got to the motel, I thought that this might have been a roach trap because I smelled something like raw sewage near the office. I was really surprised when I got into the room because it was a lot better than what I had expected. The only real negative was that there was no wifi to connect with.

I'm about 25 miles (40 KM) away from Savanna, IL and about 30 miles (48 KM) away from Sabula, IA. It is supposed to be a little cooler tomorrow and also a 50% chance of getting caught in the rain.

May 22 : Fulton, Illinois to Sabula, Iowa - 26.89 miles (43.02 KM)

I had a decent night at the motel. I was expecting a bad room but it was pretty good. The furniture was a lot better than what I had expected. There wasn't an air conditioning unit and the heat was hot water. There wasn't any wifi and I couldn't find any local channels on the tv. Over 500 channels to choose from but I couldn't find the regular stations and the television had been set up for Spanish. I couldn't change it to English.

I was hoping to get the local weather before I headed out. It had rained some during the night and there was still a light drizzle. The sky was quite overcast and it looked like it could rain again.

I left the motel around 7:30 AM and I rode back into Fulton. Along the way, I stopped at this roadside place that was selling antiques. Somebody had made some interesting metal scultures of insects and other things using wire and other junk metal. They were quite whimsical.

Before getting back on the bike path to Savanna, I stopped for something to eat at a gas station. The ride North to Thompson went okay. I got into Thompson around 10:30 AM. I stopped at my friend's bike shop. I was surprised to see it open. My friend didn't have much time to talk to me. I was thinking about getting a new front tire there but I'm going to see if the tire will last a few days more and I'll replace it when I get to Decorah, Iowa.

Instead of taking the bike path/ route into Savanna, I opted to stay on IL 84. I got back on the bike path about two miles (3.2 KM) South of Savanna. Right after I crossed the railroad bridge and then the railroad tracks in Savanna, the front tire went soft. I stopped at the railroad exhibit to change the tubes. This was the first time that I had to replace the front tube this year. I couldn't find any hole in the old inner tube. I was having a hard time getting my bike pump to work. The guy who was doing some maintenance work at the train car offered to take me and the wheel up the street to a gas station to use the air hose there. His wife came out to watch over my bike.

After getting Alice back upright on her two wheels, I rode over to the Dollar Store to get a few things and then I went over to the Taco Bell for some lunch. After lunch, I stopped by the thrift store that is run by the Christian outreach program. It had doubled in size and it was good to see some old friends.

When I got to the bridge over the Mississippi River, I walked over it. The floor of the bridge was mesh. Traffic was corteous. Once I got off the bridge, I rode the two mile causeway to Sabula. I got to my friend's house around 2:45 PM. I had about an hour's wait before somebody showed up to let me in. I'm staying through Monday, May 27 and will get back on the road, May 28. There is supposed to be storms during the weekend and I want to be off the road away from the extra traffic during Memorial Day.

From Sabula, I will be cycling up the Iowa side of the Mississippi River through Bellevue to Dubuque. At Dubuque, I will be recrossing the Mississippi River to Prairie du Chen, Wisconsin. After a night's stay over in Prairie du Chen, I will be recrossing the Mississippi River a third time to Lansing, Iowa, which is in the extreme Northeast Corner of Iowa. From Lansing, I will be heading a little Westward to Decorah, Iowa. I still haven't come up with a plan after Decorah. The next trip update should be posted sometime around June 06th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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