July 28th: Watseka, IL to Monticello, IN
July 28th Statistics – Watseka, IL to Monticello, IN:
- Today’s Biking Distance – 76.7 miles
- Today’s Average Speed – 14.5 mph
- Today’s Time In Saddle – 5.3 hours
- Today Ascent – 576 feet
- Total Trip Biking Days – 36
- Total Trip Biking Distance – 2,796.3 miles
- Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 77.3 miles
- Total Trip Ascent – 78,084 feet
Rather than retracing our ride back to the main route (our hotel in Watseka was 6 miles off route), we individually choose country roads for the first 15 miles to Iroquois, IL to rejoin the main route. It was a beautiful day for riding. On the route I picked, I happened upon a ranch of Clydesdale horses. Unfortunately, the lack of sunlight and distance of the dozen or so Clydesdales did not allow of a photo.
Leaving Illinois was a sorrow. Our biking in Illinois was clearly the most in any state on rural and little traveled roads which provided a unique private experience. Additionally, the roads overall were the best for biking of any state on our tour. The miles and miles and miles of farms and ranches were particularly beautiful when the sun came out.
It was with nostalgia that I biked into Indiana, my home state for the first 23 years of my life. Mile after mile of biking the country roads brought back memories of rural Madison County. The small towns I passed through reminded me of places like Lapel, Elwood, and Middletown near my home in Anderson. Biking through Buffalo, IN was surprising as I didn’t remember that Indiana had a city named Buffalo. At the end of the day (with an 11 mile off route bike ride due to the lack of lodging on the main route) we reached the Best Western in Monticello (one of the nicest hotels on our tour so far). I remember visiting Monticello as a child on vacations and to visit relatives (which relatives I don’t remember). We passed many vacations homes on lakes and rivers in the area in Lake Freeman and the Tippecanoe River where my family used to vacation.