TRIP 2015

Update #14 - July 22nd
Adrian, Michigan
5,295.00 miles (8,472.00 KM) - Year Total

July 09 : Yorkville, IL to Coal City, IL to Manteno, IL : 75.41 miles (120.66 km)
Trip Total: 4,896.69 miles (7,834.70 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. I felt rested. I took my time leaving the motel. I left the motel a little after 8 am. The ride south to Morris went okay. There was a little shoulder to ride along. I got into Morris around 11 am. I stopped to get some supplies and also lunch.

After lunch, I headed South to Coal City. I wasn't sure how much tornado damage I was going to see. On the Western edge of Coal City, I saw some houses with blue tarps on their roofs. I did see the evidence of trees broken at their tops and it looked like there was one neighborhood that had damage. The farther into town, I didn't see any damage. The downtown area was fully intact. It took a while to find the Methodist Church, which was at the Northern edge of town. I didn't get much of a good reception when I got there. A lady came out of the church to talk with me. She wasn't really that friendly. She didn't even give me the chance to talk and tell her that I had spent the past 2.5 weeks and to cycle almost 1,000 miles to get there. She slyly told me that they only had volunteers come in during the weekend on an on-call basis. Before she went back into the church, she called me a "kiddo". I wasn't even given the chance to see if the minister was even there.

I rode back into the downtown area and stopped at the McDs for something to drink. I went to the police station to see if somebody knew a local minister that I could connect with to maybe find me a place to spend the night. I was surprised at finding my cell phone working. There wasn't anybody in the offices of the churches that I got the phone numbers for. I stopped at the Catholic Church. The priest wasn't in.

The only thing that I could do was to just head out. It was about 3:30 pm when I got back on the road. The nearest town was Wilmington. I got into Wilmington around 5 pm. It took a while finding the police station but the building was closed. The police had moved to another location. There was a sign with the phone number on the wall but my cell phone wouldn't work.

The only thing to do was to head out again. The next big town was Manteno about 24 miles away. I got into Manteno around 7:15 pm. I found the police station. It took a while for an officer to come by and talk with me. The officer took me into the back parking lot to talk with a sergeant. He offered to call up a friend of his who was an elder of one of the local churches. Before the sergeant had to go out on a call, he slipped me a GH. The guy who came by to talk with me was a former police officer with the department. He offered to get me a room at one of the motels near the interstate. After checking me in, we went over to a neaby Wendys for some supper.

I'm 19 miles away from the IN state line.

July 10 : Manteno, IL to Grand Beach. MI : 91.74 miles (146.78 km)
Trip Total: 4,988.53 miles (7,981.49 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. I felt rested. There was an okay breakfast.

I left the motel a little before 8 am. Instead of making my way first to the IN state line and then start my turn Northeast towards to Michigan, I rode East as far as IN 1 and then I turned North. I got into South Chicago Heights a little before noon. I stopped for some lunch.

After lunch, I headed East on Sauk Valley Trace to Dyer, IN. This was a bit of a backtrack of the route that I took on May 27. It was about an 8 mile ride to Dyer, IN. In Dyer, I took the very first Northern road. I started a zig-zagging North and East route to Gary. IN. I was thinking about trying to ride around Gary but there wasn't an easy route.

In Gary, I did a good deed. There was this eldery blind black lady who had strayed off the sidewalk while crossing a railroad track. She was getting further and further away from the road. I stopped and helped her get across the railroad and down the sidewalk a bit where another elderly black lady was waiting for her.

In the downtown area, I turned East on US 12. I made it through the rest of Gary okay. I stopped for an early supper break at a McDs. There really wasn't any place for me to try and camp out through the Dunes area.

Going through the small town of Pines, I spotted a group of teens who were up to no good. They were crouching on the ground in dark clothes and they had some kind of gun (BB, paint, water pistol). They were playing attack on the cars going west. I rode down the road a bit and called 911. It was almost 8:30 pm when I started the ride through Michigan City. I didn't see any reason to stop. The MI state line was less than 10 miles away. I got out my helmet light and prepared to do some night riding.

The ride to the MI state line went okay. I went down the road a little over a mile and then I found a place to camp out in some woods. I had to reset my watch ahead an hour because MI is in the Eastern time zone.

July 11 : Grand Beach. MI to South Haven, MI : 61.49 miles (98.38 km)
Trip Total: 5,049.92 miles (8,079.87 km)

I had an okay night camping out. It didn't get cold. It was a little after 8 am when I got back on the road. The ride was a little slow because of hills and bad road surface. I got into Bridgemon a little before 11 am. While I was riding passed a gas station, this guy stopped me to talk. Before he left, he slipped me a GH. I took an early lunch break at a McDs.

After lunch, I met up with a couple on touring bikes. I found out that they were from Germany and were starting out on a World tour. They were riding to Chicago and then trekking Westward to California. I gave them some pointers on their possible route and where they could safely cross the Mississippi River.

From Bridgemon to South Haven, the ride was a little better. About 3 miles out of South Haven, I started to see signs for the fire/police department. I got to the fire/police department around 7 pm. I talked with a couple of police officers. The police didn't have a chaplain but the fire department had a local minister who served as one. He offered to come by and talk with me. Around 7:30 pm, the chaplain showed up on a bicycle. He told me that there would have been a room at his church where I could have stayed in but it was being used for prep for vbs. Before his wife showed up to take him home, he slipped me a GH. It was starting to sprinkle.

About a mile down the road, I had spotted a picnic shelter at a Baptist Church. There was a house next door and I had seen some vehicles there. When I got to the church, there was nobody around except for some barking dogs inside the house. I didn't think that I would wait there. There was a Lutheran church next door. I rode over there in hopes that maybe there would be some contact info. There wasn't. I didn't want to trek any farther today. There was a wooded area in the back of the church grounds. I found a place to camp out in.

July 12 : South Haven, MI to South Haven, MI : 1.12 miles (1.79 km)
Trip Total: 5,051.04 miles (8,081.66 km)

I had an okay night camping out. It didn't get cold. I woke up around 6 am and quickly got everything packed up. I had Alice by the church door around 7 am. There was an electrical outlet so I charged up the laptop some. The pastor showed up around 7:30 am. We had a good talk before the 8:30 am service. Towards the beginning of the service, the pastor introduced me as a special guest and allowed me to say a few words. There was too much going on during the 11 am service that I wasn't introduced. There was a light meal afterwards.

I was going to spend the night in the church library but the pastor invited me over to his house. He and his wife lived a little over a mile away. I was surprised at finding a GH in my helmet.

July 13 : South Haven, MI to Zeeland, MI : 41.12 miles (65.79 km)
Trip Total: 5,092.16 miles (8,147.46 km)

I had somewhat of an off night. Something that I had eaten during the day didn't agree with me. I woke up in the middle of the night with a bad case of diarrhea. I was able to fall back asleep till around 6 am. I was the first one up so I quickly got everything of mine downstairs, used the bathroom first, and then got Alice packed up. While I got Alice packed up, I heard the distant rumble of thunder.

The rain started around 7 am. I was able to stay on the covered back porch till the rain lessoned up. It was probably around 9:30 am when I left the pastor's house. I didn't directly head out because it was still lightly drizzling. I went to a nearby department store to check out a few things.

It was almost 10:15 when I headed North out of town. The ride was really slow because the road surface was really had. About 8 miles down the road, I suffered another diarrhea attack. What saved me was finding a port-a-toilet at a closed organic vegetable stand. I rummaged around in my stuff and found some anti-diarrhea tablets.

By noon, I had only ridden 16 miles. The afternoon was a little better because the sun came out. I rode the Blue Star highway till a few miles out of Holland. I had to find a detour around the airport because the highway used a tunnel under the runway. It was a little tricky finding a route to Zeeland.

A couple of miles out of Zeeland, the rear tire went soft. I didn't find any problems with the tire but I did put in a new tube.

I got into downtown Zeeland a little after 5 pm. I stopped at the police department. None of the officers knew of a local mimister. A couple of blocks away from the police I had ridden passed the First Baptist Church. I found some ladies having a weight watchers meeting. One of the ladies had the phone number for one of the assistant pastors. I got permission to spend the night in one of the classrooms downstairs. The assistant pastor came by and took me to a nearby BK for some supper.

July 14 : Zeeland, MI to Grand Rapids, MI : 25.76 miles (41.22 km)
Trip Total: 4,657.54 miles (7,452.06 km)

I had an okay night at the church. The room was dark and quiet. I woke up around 5 am. I left the church around 7 am. I had a bit of a confusing time to find the ride road to Grand Rapids. Once on the right road, the ride went okay because there was a bit of a tailwind to push me along. The sky was pretty overcast. It looked like I was going to deal with some rain so I got my jacket out.

I got into Grand Rapids around 10 am. I didn't have much of a problem with finding my friend's ministry center. Alice got worked on a bit in the bike shop. The disc rotors were replaced and the cones on the front wheel were checked out. I was able to find a new bolt to replace the one that came out of the rear rack.

There wasn't any room at my friend's house so I opted to spend the night in the ministry center. The best room to stay in was the computer classroom. My friend went out and borrowed a blowup mattress for me to sleep on. There was wifi in the center. Even with buying me a couple of meals during the day, my friend slipped me a GH.

July 16 : Grand Rapids, MI to Coats Grove, MI : 61.40 miles (98.24 km)
Trip Total: 5,179.32 miles (8,266.91 km)

I had a little better night than last night. I was able to sleep a lot better without any leg pain. The one good thing about the morning when I looked into the mirror I had a full smile. I had everything packed up and moved over to the bike shop where I loaded up Alice.

I got on the road a little after 7 am. I made my way into the downtown area and then I turned East on MI 21. There were a lot of hills to climb over just getting through the rest of Grand Rapids. About 5 miles out of Grand Rapids, the cyclometer started to act up. I found out that the wire coming into the unit was nearly broken into two. There isn't anything you could do there because there is no way to take the unit apart and splice the wires together. The only thing that you could do is get a whole new cyclometer.

By my guess, I made about 20 miles by noon. A couple of miles east of Lowell the rear tire went soft. I didn't find anything sticking up from the inside of the tire but I did find two small slits that went clear through. I glued on patches to cover them. It took a while getting new innertube inflated. I was up back on the road in about 40 minutes.

The ride to Ionia was really hilly. I got into downtown Ionia around 3:30 pm. I didn't find anybody at the main churches. I did find some people at a church startup. Their pastor was out on a sabbatical. I was given some water and some yogurt and fruit to eat. I was told that there was going to be a men's group meeting at the church but it was going to be at 6:30 pm. There wasn't really idea on whether somebody with that group would help me find a place to spend the night. I stopped at the police station and the sheriff department but I didn't get that much help.

There was a bike shop in the downtown area. I was able to get a new cyclometer for $15. The only thing was that it only registered tenths of a mile instead of the thousands of a mile that the old cyclometer did. I decided to just head out of town after some supper. I stopped at a BK. Instead of heading east on MI 21 on the way to Saginaw and Bay City, I thought that I would start heading South and Southeast towards Ohio now instead of trying to find a way around Detroit.

I headed South on MI 66. The free county fair was going on. The next town South on MI 66 was Woodbury. It was about a 15 mile ride to there. There wasn't much in Woodbury. There was a church but it looked like it hadn't been used in a long time. I stopped at a gas station to get something to eat and fill up the water bottles.

The sky was getting dark. It looked like it was going to rain. I tried really hard finding some place where I could stop. I finally found some woods to camp in a couple of miles out of Coats Grove. The ground under the trees was a little muddy and there wasn't any grass to camp out on. I got the tent up and everything inside before the mosquitoes got too bad.

July 17 : Coats Grove, MI to Charlotte, MI : 22.43 miles (35.89 km)
Trip Total: 5,201.75 miles (8,322.80 km)

I had a rough night. It rained pretty hard during the night and I had a puddle under the tent on top of the tent fly. There was also a small puddle inside the tent. One of the sides of the tent fly wasn't tight enough and it caused some of the mesh of the tent wall to come exposed. I woke up to a slightly damp sleeping bag. I didn't really feel like getting on the road but I made myself. I would have had a miserable day staying where I was and I didn't have enough water to make it through the day and night.

It was almost 9:45 am when I got back on the road. I had about an 8 mile ride to Rushville. I stopped at a gas station for a break. A couple of miles South of Rushville, I turned East on MI 79 to Charlotte. I had about a 13 mile ride to Charlotte.

I got into downtown Charlotte around 2:30 pm. The first church that I came to was the Congregational Church. The secretary was in. The pastor was out of town. She advised me to go to the Methodist church a couple of blocks away. The office staff were in. One of the ladies called the pastor and I got permission to stay in the jr high room downstairs. There was enough room that I could spread out all of the wet camping gear to dry them out.

I'm heading South to Albion tomorrow. I should be back in Ohio by next Tuesday.

July 18 : Charlotte, MI to Albion, MI : 40.12 miles (64.19 km)
Trip Total: 5,241.87 miles (8,386.99 km)

I had an okay night at the church. I got on the road around 7:30 am. It was a little tricky finding the right road that was going South. I got into the Springport area a little after noon. I almost didn't make it into town before the rains started. I took an extended break at a picnic shelter in the downtown area. After about a half hour, I was able to get back on the road. The clouds went away and on came the sun and the heat.

I got into Albion around 3:30 pm. I found the police station but it took a while getting to talk to an officer. The officer that I talked to didn't have any information about any of the local ministers in town. There was one main large church, The First United Methodist. This was a college town and the college used to be a Methodist seminary. There weren't any contact numbers.

I rode around town for several hours trying to locate some of the other churches. None of the churches that I found had any contact information. I had to stop and work on my below seat rack because the frame on the right side broke. I fixed it with zip ties and black electrical tape.

The sky was getting dark again. Instead of finding a place inside, I started to find a place where I could probably camp out for the night. I didn't want to go too far out of town. About a mile and a half of the downtown area, I found some woods beyond the town cemetary. I went far into the woods near its edge and found a place to camp out. I really took the time to set the tent up so that it was ready for rain. I got all of my gear inside the tent before the skies opened up with rain.

July 19 Albion, MI to Albion, MI : 2.01 miles (3.22 km)
Trip Total: 5,243.88 miles (8,390.21 km)

I had an okay night camping out even though it was a thunder storm instead of a regular rain shower. Taking the time to use the tent stakes kept the inside of the tent dry. It was nice not having to pack up anything wet.

It was around 8:00 am. when I rode back into Albion. I rode over to the First United Methodist Church. There are two sanctuaries in the church building. The college owns the larger one upstairs and the church has the lower one downstairs. I got to talk with the pastor before the service. He told me that it would be okay for me to stay in the other building where the offices and classrooms are. During the beginning of the service, I got introduced and was able to say a few words.

After the church service, the lady who did the powerpoint offered to take me out for some dinner and also offered the use of her washer and dryer at her home.

July 20 : Albion, MI to Adrian, MI : 43.27 miles (69.23 km)
Trip Total: 5,287.15 miles (8,459.44 km)

I had a decent night in the church. I spent most of the night in the church lounge because it had blinds in the windows and there were remote control air conditioner units. I went to sleep on one of the sofas in the youth room. There were no street lights so the room was a little dark. I felt comfortable enough to sleep.

I woke up around 6 am. I got cleaned up and had Alice packed up around 7 am. Sally came by to let me out of the church and I rode a couple of blocks to a coffee shop where Sally got me a bagel and cream cheese and some milk for breakfast. Sally gave me a map of an alternate route to Parma so I would avoid the road construction on the East side of Albion.

I got on the road around 8 am. The alternate road to Parma was really bad. There were a lot of pot holes and cracks in the pavement. On the way to Parma, I was only able to make 6 mph. Any more speed, I could possibly break a spoke. Once I got into Parma, I got on Michigan Ave going East to Jackson. The ride to Jackson was much better. In the downtown area of Jackson, I got on Bus US 127. I made about 23 miles by noon.

Once on US 127, the ride was a little better because there was a paved shoulder. I took as many breaks at gas stations as I could to take breaks and get something cold to drink. Around 3:30 pm, I got to the intersection of US 231 and US 127. I had seen a sign that said that the temperature was in the low 80s. I was going to ride to Adrain but it was 20 miles away. The next big town to the South on US 127 was Hudson 13 miles away. I decided to change my route to Hudson.

This was a mistake. While going through the small town of Addison, I got hit from behind by a young teen lady. She told the deputy sheriff that she was momentarily distracted by glancing over to the left at the closed down hospital grounds that she and I were passing. I was riding far to the right of the shoulder but she got me with her car's right side mirror. The mirror got knocked off her car and it flew about 20 feet away from the car. I think that the mirror clipped the back of my seat. The blow made Alice swerve and I flipped over left on the pavement. I was tangled up in the handlebar and some bystanders had to extricate me from Alice and help me move Alice and a couple of panniers that had flown off the road to a parking lot about fifty feet behind me.

My left knee got scraped a little bit but no bleeding. There is going to be a bruise. My left arm below the elbow got a bad case of road rash. Luckily, no bones were broken.

The Addison fire department was close by so an ambulance came. The firemen gave me a quick lookover and they loosely wrapped up the road rash on my left arm. They didn't stay long.

Alice got a little damaged. The handlebar got twisted a little bit out of alignment and the mirror got damaged. The bolt got bent. I've got to do a little sewing repair on my panniers especially the ones on the left side.

The parents of the girl showed up about twenty minutes after the deputy sheriff showed up. This was about 10 minutes after the ambulance had left. From the time that I got hit to the time that the parents showed up about 90 minutes had gone passed. During the whole time, the girl didn't come up to me and apologize for hitting me. I got more help from bystanders who had stopped than what the girl did. She spent most of the time sitting in her car crying and talking to somebody on her cell phone. I had to call her out of her car to see if she could get a responsible parent to help me out. She got within ten feet of me and then she just stopped, started to cry some more, and went back to her car.

The mother transferred some groceries to their car and then the girl left. They had some kind of coffee house or pastry shop. The father offered to go and get his truck and come back for me. I thought I was going to be taken to Adrian because we found out that there was a bike shop and it was open until 6 pm. Instead, I was taken over to their house where there were some tools. We got the handlebar aligned properly. The mother had recently gotten a mirror like mine so we switched it out. The long bolt was bent and one of the spreaders had been broken in half so my mirror couldn't be fixed.

I was taken to Adrian where the father got me a meal at a Wendys and a room at the local Super 8. I also got a little financial donation that I'll probably use to get another pair of pants. I was also told that by the father that the girl will be given a long talk about driving safety and will probably lose her driving privileges for a while.

Looking back, something strange happened during the time I was waiting for the father to come back. I was sitting in the parking lot next to a pontoon boat that was for sale. While I was talking to a minister friend in New York, this huy in a car showed up. I didn't recognize him from the crowd that had helped me after the accident. He came out with a bottle of water. I thought that he was going to give me the bottle of water but he didn't. He came within 20 feet of me, stood there for a while, then he turned around, twisted the cap off the bottle water, started to drink from it, got in his car, and left.

I'm so glad that I wasn't hurt that badly and so was Alice. I had flashbacks of the accident in New Hampshire that made me have surgery on my left arm.

July 21 : Adrian, MI to Adrian, MI : 07.85 miles (13.03 km)
Trip Total: 5,295.00 miles (8,472.00 km)

I had a really rough night at the motel. It was nearly 2:00 am when I fell asleep. The pain in my left elbow and forearm was pretty intense. I just had a couple of aspirin on hand. I woke up around 5:30 am. My arm wasn't hurting much and I didn't have any pain from the left knee. There isn't much of a bruise there. For a change, I didn't have any leg cramps.

I left the motel a little after 9 am. On the way to the downtown area, I stopped at a Dollar General to get some more first aid supplies. Alice rode pretty good. I thought that I would have to go to a local bike shop to get Alice checked out but there doesn't seem to be any problem.

I found the sheriff department. I got the accident report. The girl who hit me was cited for reckless driving. The information was sketchy and it didn't have any insurance information. I did get the girl's name and phone number. The ladies in the department office were pretty friendly. They advised me that I should I should go to the hospital emergency room to get the arm checked out. I called up the girl but I was only able to leave a message.

The hospital wasn't that far away from the downtown area. The emergency room was pretty busy. The initial screening went pretty fast but I had to wait about a half hour before a bed was available. The people in the emergency room were friendly. The doctor who took care of me was a cyclist also. To be safe, I was taken to the xray department. When I got back to the emergency room, I had to be moved to another room. The x-rays came out okay. The road rash was dressed again and I was given some first aid supplies to take with me. I was given some antibiotics and a pain killer. Also, I was given prescriptions for an antibiotic and a pain killer. The nurse who helped sign me out asked me if I was hungry since it was after noon when I got out of the emergency room. She went and got me a sandwich, a can of soda, some yogurt, and an apple.

One of the other nurses got me the phone number of the head of the hospital chaplaincy department. I called up the chaplain. He was actually in Toledo, Ohio. He only comes to Adrian a couple of days a week. He gave the phone numbers of three of the local ministers who were on-call chaplains. I was able to get in contact with the pastor of the Reformed Baptist church. He offered to come by to talk to me. The pastor offered to get me a room at another motel in town. After we got Alice situated in my room, he took me to a pharmacy at the Meier store. I only got the antibiotic. I didn't want to take any narcotics. The antibiotic was on the free-list. I have to take the antibiotic for a week.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between July 29th and August 05th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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