TRIP 2016

Update #09 - May 06th
Sabula, Iowa
Trip 48 : 1,678.15 miles (2,685.04 km)
Year Total : 2,431.02 miles (3,889.65 km)

April 24, 2016 : Hardin, IL to Carrollton, - 21.77 miles (34.83 km)
Trip Total: 1,400.97 miles (2,241.55 km)
Year Total: 2,153.85 miles (3,446.16 km)

I had an okay night at the Super 8. The only negative thing was that I found a very large hairy centipede clinging to the inside of the shower curtain. It took a bit to kill it and flush it down the bathtub drain. It was really good to have a strong internet signal. I stayed up sort of late to do a full update on the website.

My bioclock woke me up around 4:45 AM. I had to do stats work on my website. I went to see if there was something to eat around 6:45 AM. There was supposed to be waffles but the guy at the desk didn't put the mix into the machine. I settled for some cereal, fruit, and yoghurt.

My ride back to Hardin came around 8:00 AM. Back at the church, I packed up what I had brought with me. There wasn't much of an openness towards me. Nobody shook my hand. Same thing when I went into the sanctuary. The lay leader introduced me at the beginning of the service and I was able to say a few words. There was an indication that I would be able to speak more after the service during the fellowship time. The service was okay but there was a lot of standing. My right leg started to act up. During the sermon time, the lay leader went on and on about climate change because today was recognized as Earth Day in churches even though Earth Day was Friday. The lay leader spoke in such a monotone tone that he almost put me to sleep.

After the service, there wasn't much of an interest towards me. I went to the Fellowship hall to get some food first because I didn't know when I was to speak. The men congregated around one large round table and the women congregated around two large round tables. The lay leader didn't give me any indication when I was supposed to start my sharing time. The conversation around the table was about road trips in Colorado and the old fashioned ways of killing chickens. After about 40 minutes of basically being ignored, I had enough and I had somebody help me get Alice outside.

It was almost 11 AM when I headed out of Hardin going North on IL 100 to Kampsville. It was about a nine mile ride to Kampsville. Along the way, the gnats were pretty bad. There was enough of a tailwind that the gnats drafted me and stayed around me.

When I got to Kempsville, I didn't feel like either continuing Northward on IL 100 along the Illinois River or turning Westward on IL 96 and ride along the Mississippi River to Louisiana, MO, Instead, I opted to take the free ferry across the Illinois River and get on IL 108 for the ride to Carrollton. The ferry was another swivel point ferry. I'm glad that I did this because I learned that the bridge across the Mississippi River at Louisiana was possibly closed. There is talk about making a new bridge there because the old bridge is over 100 years old.

The ride to Eldred on IL 108 went okay except that I had to now deal with a brisk crosswind. At Eldred, there was a steep .6 mile steep climb out of the River valley. I'm now on top of a flat plateau.

A couple of miles out of Carrollton, I got stopped by a lady. She was curious on what I was doing. When I told her that I was a minister, she broke down in tears and asked for prayers for her 26 year old son. He's been dealing with a heroin addiction since the age of 18. The son fathered two children with two different girls and the lady is now raising her 8 yr old grandson. Before the lady left, she slipped me a small GH.

The rest of the ride into Carrollton went okay. After a short break at a gas station, I started to ride through town to check out the churches. There wasn't any indication at the First Baptist Church that they were going to have an evening service. At the Presbyterian Church, there were some people assembling for a missions committee meeting. I talked with the minister (chief presiding elder). He gave me approval to spend the night in the church. The minister started out as a Methodist minister and he is going through the process of becoming a Presbyterian minister. His next step is to become a local lay pastor. Before this minister arrived, this church was down to a dozen people and was on the verge of being dissolved. On a given Sunday, there are now about 48 people in attendance.

April 25, 2016 : Carrollton, IL to Jacksonville, IL - 37.29 miles (59.66 km)
Trip Total: 1,438.26 miles (2,301.22 km)
Year Total: 2,191.14 miles (3,505.82 km)

I had an okay night at the church. Before the minister left to go to his farm out in the country, he came downstairs to talk with me and to slip me a GH. After he left, I went next door to the Krogers to get a few things.

Instead of staying in the fellowship hall part of the basement where it was cold and damp, I moved my things into another room so it wouldn't be seen and took what I needed for the night upstairs and camped out in the youth Sunday school room next to the sanctuary. In an overflow room of the sanctuary, I got some thick pew pads to sleep on. I didn't think that I was going to get any sleep because the windows had only bottom half curtains that were thin and there were bright light coming into the room from the lights in the parking lot of the grocery store next door. I went to bed early around 9 PM. I woke up one time during the night but I was able to fall back asleep till around 5:30 AM.

I left the church a little before 7 AM. Before leaving Carrollton, I stopped at a gas station for a light breakfast. The ride North on US 67 went okay. There was a tailwind to push me along. I got the first 20 miles in by 10:15 AM. At a gas station in Manchester, I stopped for an early lunch break.

US 67 was two-lane through the rest of Greene County and in Scott County it became a divided 4-lane highway in Morgan County. Us 67 was going to become restricted access when it connected with I-72 so I got on Old US 67 which took me through Murrayville where I connected with IL 267.

I got into Jerseyville around 1:30 PM. My first stop was at a laundromat where I got some much needed laundry done. The washer was kind of expensive at $2 a load. The dryer was $.25 for 7 minutes. I was able to save some money because I already had a box of laundry detergent on the recumbent. I had the clothes done in about an hour.

Fom the laundromat, I started to check out the churches. I didn't feel like trying to go any farther for the day because the temperature was in the low 80s. There wasn't anybody at the Episcopal Church and the Central United Methodist Church. The lady minister was in at the UCC Church but she wasn't that helpful. She referred me to the First Presbyterian Church. I did learn that there was some kind of shelter in the basement of the Methodist Church.

The pastor at the First Presbyterian Church was out sick but the secretary got me a glass of tea and she gave me a telephone book to use. I called 5 churches before I found somebody who was in and helpful at the Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, the pastor offered to get me a room at a motel on the East side of Jacksonville.

My goal for tomorrow is Beardstown 31 miles away.

April 26, 2016 : Jacksonville, IL to Beardstown, IL - 33.77 miles (54.03 km)
Trip Total: 1,472.03 miles (2,355.26 km)
Year Total: 2,224.91 miles (3,559.86 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. It did take a while to get the room warm. It took a while to get my website updated because the signal of the router went out a lot. I had to reconnect a lot. The morning would have been better if I didn't have to walk up a flight of steps to get out of the building. It took me five trips outside to get everything out. I'm glad that I opted to eat out of my food pannier for breakfast because there wasn't much available.

I left the motel around 7:25 AM. I backtracked through the downtown area to get on IL 78 going North to Virginia. There was a lot of rolling hills to the Cass County Line. The problem was that there were a lot of gnats to deal with. I couldn't stop along the way for any breaks because they all swarmed around my face. There was a headwind so I think that they might have drafted in my wake behind me. Once I got into Cass County, the terraign was a lot flatter and the gnats were less.

I got into Virginia around 11 AM. I stopped at a gas station for a short lunch break. The ride along IL 125 was mostly going downhill because I was riding back into the Illinois and Mississippi River Valley. The sky was getting darker. I was hoping that the rain would hold off till I got into Beardstown but it didn't. About four miles out of Beardstown I had to stop and get my jacket on. I noticed that it was lightning West of me. I stopped at a nursery that had a stand to get out of the rain for a while but I needed to find a restroom. About a couple of miles down the highway, I had to stop at a Walmart.

The rain lessoned up on the rest of the way into Beardstown. It was a long ride into the downtown area. The first church that I came across was the First United Methodist Church. The pastor was out but the secretary connected me with the minister who was in charge of the ministerial association. Before going to the motel that I had passed on the Eastern edge of town, I had to go to the Council on Aging to pick up the check.

If the weather is bad, I'll be just riding to Rushville. If the weather is okay, I'll be riding to Macomb.

April 27, 2016 : Beardstown, IL to Rushville, IL - 15.27 miles (24.43 km)
Trip Total: 1,487.30 miles (2,379.68 km)
Year Total: 2,240.18 miles (3,584.29 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. It would have been better if the wifi would have worked. Here was another case of a motel that had an unrestricted access modem but had a gateway page. The modem wasn't broadcasting the url to the access page and there wasn't a phone number that I could call. It took a while but I was able to get the room warm so all of my wet clothes got dried.

I fell asleep around 5 PM. When I woke up, it was a little after midnight. I was able to fall back asleep till around 5 AM. I was looking at heading out around 7:30 AM but it started to rain kind of hard. I waited for about 20 minutes before I headed out. It was cool in the 50s.

Before I left town, I stopped at a McDs for a light breakfast and to get on the wifi to check my email. About a half mile from the McDs, I started the ride across the Illinois River bridge. There was enough of a shoulder that I could ride along but I walked about a half of it because I wanted to take some pictures. There was a spot North of the bridge where they were loading grain into a barge.

About a mile from the bridge, there was a long straight climb up a hill to get out of the valley. There wasn't any shoulder so I walked up the hill. Once at the top of the plateau, I had a slight tailwind to push me along.

I got into downtown Rushville around 11 AM. I stopped at the Free Methodist Church. The pastor wasn't in. The secretary connected me with the minister at the Disciples of Christ Church. I had to go to the Disciples of Christ Church and then ride back to the Free Methodist Church. I got a voucher for a room at one of the local motels. I did have to go to the sheriff's office to get a signature.

When I got to the motel, I had a hard time getting somebody to come to the office. There was a phone on the counter but it didn't work. I tried for about a half hour. I went across the street to a Hardees to get something to eat and to see if I could get a phone number. After trying for about an hour, I decided to see if there was anybody in one of the rooms. I found this guy who was the father of the person who was running the motel. He took the voucher and got me a key to a room.

April 28, 2016 : Rushville, IL to Roseville, IL - 47.23 miles (75.57 km)
Trip Total: 1,534.53 miles (2,455.25 km)
Year Total: 2,287.41 miles (3,659.86 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. From the outside, the motel didn't look too good but I was mildly surprised at how good the inside of the room was. There was electric baseboard heat so I was able to get the room warm and my clothes dried. I took a short nap in the early afternoon but I fell asleep right after the local news ended. I slept till around midnight. After a short awake interlude, I fell back asleep till around 5 AM. During the late evening hours, I did hear a storm raging outside and the rain hitting the roof of the motel.

I left the motel around 7:30 AM. It was only in the upper 40s. The high was supposed to be close to 60. There was a slight crosswind coming from the West. The ride in the morning went okay. I stopped at a gas station in the small town of Industry for a short break. About a half mile out of town, I stopped to take some pictures of a building that was shaped like a windmill. It used to be a gas station. By 11 AM, I had the first 20 miles in. I stopped at a Presbyterian Church about 5 miles out of Macomb for a short lunch break. Even with the two short breaks, I was able to get in 22 miles before noon.

About 3 miles out of Macomb, the highway joined up with US 136 and turned Westward. This made the ride a little slower into Macomb. I stopped at a Dollar Store to get a few supplies. Also, I stopped at a BK for a light lunch.

It was around 1:30 PM, when I got into the downtown area of Macomb. I stopped at the First Presbyterian Church. The minister had his day off today. The secretary gave me a phone number for some kind of shelter. There was a "Loaves and Fishes" food giveway going on at the church but I wasn't asked if I needed anything. I kind of figured that I wasn't going to connect with a compassionate minister because the city population was close to 20K and there was a college. I rode into the downtown area. I was surprised at seeing the First Baptist Church closed and up for sale. Good chance that they had moved to the outskirts of the city and built a bigger building. I stopped at the Disciples of Christ Church. That pastor was out having lunch with some other pastors and wouldn't be back until late afternoon. I didn't see any reason to try and find any of the other churches.

The weather seemed to have warm up some so I decided to get back on the road and head North to Roseville. US 67 was a divided 4-lane highway with a good wide shoulder for about 5 miles but then it became a two-lane highway but still had the wide paved shoulder.

I got into Roseville a little after 5 PM. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. There were two phone numbers on the sign. What I thought was the main phone number of the church was disconnected. I found out later that the pastor commuted from another town. I stopped at a Casey's for a short break. Near the Caseys was a village hall with city hall and the fire station. The town was small enough that it didn't have a police station.

I saw a sign for the United Methodist Church. The parsonage happened to be across the parking lot from the church. The pastor was pretty friendly. The pastor told me that there was a ministerial association but the association couldn't put anybody up in the small local motel. I was offered the use of one of the classrooms of the church. I picked the young kids classroom next to the nursery because there was an auxilliary heating unit and a connected bathroom. The pastor invited me in to have dinner with him and his wife. There was a short Bible study afterwards in the library of the church. The study was able one of my favorite sections of the New Testament : James 2:14-27. I got to share. After the Bible study, I was surprised at getting a love offering from the church.

I'm about 60 miles from the Quad cities and about 110 miles away from Savanna.

April 29, 2016 : Roseville, IL to Monmouth, IL - 14.27 miles (22.83 km)
Trip Total: 1,548.80 miles (2,478.08 km)
Year Total: 2,301.68 miles (3,682.69 km)

I had an okay night at the church. I didn't stay up long after the Bible Study. I had enough energy to do my journaling before I fell asleep. I slept through most of the night till around 4:45 AM. I couldn't fall back asleep.

I left the church around 6:30 AM. My first stop before leaving town was to the local Caseys to get some breakfast. Once I turned Northwards, I got hit by a strong headwind. Before getting back onto US 67, I had to stop to pull out my wool cap and gloves. I also had to dig in my panniers to pull out my thermal underwear. I was a little warmer.

The ride North was a bit slow to Monmouth. The tips of my ears were cold. I got into Monmouth around 9:45 AM. I was just too cold to try and go any farther. I saw a temp sign at a bank and it said that the temp was 47. This was 10 degrees colder than yesterday.

I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. The pastor was out for the day. I found out that he is an avid cyclist and in his collection of bikes was a tandem recumbent. The secretary contacted the pastor. There was an offer to get me a room at one of the local motels.

April 30, 2016 : Monmouth, IL to Monmouth, IL - 01.29 miles (02.06 km)
Trip Total: 1,550.09 miles (2,480.1 km)
Year Total: 2,302.97 miles (3,684.7 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the motel. Around 1:30 PM, I conked out for about a two hour nap. I went to sleep around 10 PM. I did wake up once to go to the restroom but I was able to fall asleep till around 5 AM. There wasn't much in the way of hot food for the breakfast.

I left the motel around 8 AM. I was going to attempt to ride North to Milan but I decided against it because the rain was going to become more steady and stronger in the afternoon. It was cold in the upper 40s and there was a steady wind from the north. The rain was coming down lightly.

I had the cell phone number of the pastor at the Methodist Church. There was supposed to be a men's breakfast at the church. I called up the pastor and he invited me to spend the night in the church. It turns out that we had met on one of my previous trips through the area. Going through my trip logs, I found out that I had stayed in the church Monday, March 24th, 2008.

Jon said something during the sharing section of the breakfast that got to me. He told us that he has been a minister for thirty years and he has no life skills (extra career) to fall back on. He's almost 60 years old. I'm glad that I taught myself html (website design) so I could use it as my "tent trade".

Around 5 PM, Jon and his wife took me out to a local restaurant for dinner. I was thinking about heading out again after church but Jon told me that I could stay over. This would be the first Sunday since April 3rd back in Meadville, MS that I had a full Sunday off without doing any riding.

May 02, 2016 : Monmouth, IL to Galesburg, IL - 19.73 miles (31.57 km)
Trip Total: 1,569.82 miles (2,511.71 km)
Year Total: 2,322.70 miles (3,716.32 km)

I had an okay night at the church. Before leaving the church last night, Jon told me where the thermostat was. It was good sleeping in a warm room. I went to bed kind of late around 10 PM. I woke up around 5:30 AM.

I left the church around 6:30 AM. I rode to the McDs to meet Jon and some of his other cycling club members for some breakfast. Jon bought me breakfast. Before I left, Jon slipped me a GH.

Because everybody told me that I shouldn't attempt to continue on US 67 Northwards, I headed East on US 34 and then got on IL 164. The temperature was still in the 40s and it was kind of damp. About 7 miles East of Monmouth, I was going to turn North towards Alexis but I decided to keep on going East to Galesburg. I thought that I would try and get in contact with one of the Warm Showers members.

At the Methodist Church, I was pretty surprised that there was an offer to get me a room at the local Holiday Inn Express. Before leaving the downtown area, I stopped to check out the railroad museum. It was closed on Mondays. On the way to the hotel, I stopped at a McDs for some lunch.

The temperature is supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow. It should be back into the 70s by the end of the week.

May 03, 2016 : Galesburg, IL to Moline, IL - 42.14 miles (67.42 km)
Trip Total: 1,611.96 miles (2,579.14 km)
Year Total: 2,364.84 miles (3,783.74 km)

I had a really good afternoon and night at the night. I got about 7.5 hours of sleep because I slept through the night. There was a pretty good hot breakfast.

I left the hotel around 7:30 AM. The temperature was cool in the 50s and the high was supposed to be in the low 70s. It was a little over a 2 mile backtrack where US 150 turned Northwards. Once out in the country, there was a slight crosswind coming from the West.

Along the way, there were some rolling hills. Some of the climbs were a little steep but I was able to ride up them. Traffic was pretty light. I stopped for a short break at a gas station in Alpha. It was warm enough that I was able to take my jacket off. Even with that break, I was able to get 22 miles in by noon. I stopped at a closed vegetable stand for a short lunch break.

The afternoon ride went okay. I was going to stop in Coal Valley for the day but I decided to go on. Near the Quad Cities airport outside of Moline, I decided to stop at a motel that had rates that I could afford. I'm still about 60 miles away from Savanna.

May 04, 2016 : Moline, IL to Thompson, IL - 50.49 miles (80.78 km)
Trip Total: 1,662.45 miles (2,659.72 km)
Year Total: 2,415.33 miles (3,864.59 km)

I had an okay evening at the motel. I went to bed around 9 PM. I pretty well slept till around 5 AM. The temperature was only in the 40s so I got out my thermal underwear again.

I left the motel around 7:30 AM. It was a short ride to the bridge over the Rock River. After getting across the bridge, there was a long upgrade in the Bridgeway Addition area. Once on the top of the hill, there was a long downhill run into downtown Moline.

I got on the Great River Trail heading North along the MS River. The ride was a little slow because the wind was either coming from the West or fron the North. I stopped for breaks in Rapids City and Port Byron. Because of the wind, I only made around 18 miles by noon.

The afternoon ride went okay. Overall, the ride along the bike route went okay but I hit a section of dirt and stone road about 6 miles out of Fulton. After this section, the route was a little confusing because there were some gaps in the signage. I got on a levee for a couple of miles. A couple of miles out of Fulton, I met up with my second cycle-tourist for the year. The guy was an older gentleman. He had started from Galena, IL and was riding South to Natchez, MS. Before we parted company, I shared with him some impressions and suggestions for his route.

I got into Fulton around 5 PM. I rode through the downtown area to check out some of the churches. I didn't see any indication that one of them was going to have a mid-week service. I decided to go on to Thompson.

I got into Thompson around 6:20 PM. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. There was going to be a Bible Study. I was invited to take part and share. Afterwards, I got permission to spend the night in the church.

May 05, 2016 : Thompson, IL to Sabula, IA - 15.70 miles (25.12 km)
Trip Total: 1,678.15 miles (2,685.04 km)
Year Total: 2,431.02 miles (3,889.65 km)

I had a somewhat okay night at the church. I made an attempt to sleep on the small sofa in the pastor's office. It was really short being just a two-cushioned one. Around 2:30 AM, I woke up quite stiff and needing to go to the bathroom. Instead of getting back on the sofa, I stretched out on the carpeted floor. I didn't grab my sleeping bag. It was around 6 AM when I woke up.

I left the church a little after 7 AM. Before I left town, I stopped at a Caseys to get some milk. I made an attempt to follow the bike route between Thompson and Savanna but after about a mile I found my way Eastward to US 84. The ride to Savanna wento okay.

I got into Savanna around 9:20 AM. I stopped at the McDs to get something light for a snack and to get on the web. From the McDs, the ride into the downtown area went okay. I stopped at my bank to do some business. Hard to believe that I've had an account here in town for almost six years. From the bank, I rode over to the Presbyterian Church to see if the new minister was there to see what his needs were with regarding to the church website. The pastor wasn't in or neither was at the parsonage a couple of houses away from the church.

Getting across the MS River bridge to Iowa was a lttle tricky. There was a lot of road construction. Preliminary work was being done for the building of a newer bridge. Also, there was a third lane (a turning lane) being bulit just North of the bridge. Traffic was raeally backed up. There was a delay getting across the bridge because the bridge was shut down because of a wide load coming across it from Iowa. There was a tractor pulling a very large planter. Because there was a digging crane right near the Eastern entrance of the bridge, the tractor had a really hard time turning Southward through Savanna.

I'm glad that a new bridge is being built. The old bridge has a metal mesh deck and there is no way that I could ride across it. The new bridge is supposed to be a little wider with a concrete deck and possibly a shoulder wide enough to be used as a bike lane. The new bridge is being built just South of the old bridge.

Once I got off the bridge, I was able to ride the causeway over to Sabula. I'll be staying with some friends of mine through the rest of the week and will be getting back on the road Monday.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between May 13th and May 20th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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