Bicycling 4,174 Miles Across the United States

Archive for August 1, 2012

August 1st: Decatur, IN to Napoleon, OH

Mile 19: For 4 miles today I biked on Stateline Road which separates Indiana and Ohio (photo). As you may remember, I noted hundreds of windmills in Illinois. Interestingly, I didn’t see any windmills during my travels across Indiana (ending with the scene on the left side of the road above), but as you can see above on the right side of the road, windmills were erected over many square miles in Ohio at the Indiana state line. I wonder why?

August 1st Statistics – Decatur, IN to Napoleon, OH:

  • Today’s Biking Distance – 76.0 miles
  • Today’s Average Speed – 15.3 mph
  • Today’s Time In Saddle – 5.0 hours
  • Today Ascent – 354 feet
  • Total Trip Biking Days – 39
  • Total Trip Biking Distance – 3,001.3 miles
  • Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 77.0 miles
  • Total Trip Ascent – 80,424 feet

While the scenery in Indiana as I left the state this morning was similar to what I have seen over the last week, the scenery in Ohio changed quickly when I entered the state, not for the better.  Population density was much greater than Indiana and Illinois based upon numerous and unattractive homes I biked past.  I found little interesting enough to photograph during my first 40 miles in Ohio.  The scenery did seem to become more attractive as I paralleled the Maumee River past Defiance, OH.  I can say that the roads in Ohio were great.

The excitement today was a incident that I would describe as the closest near miss bike accident I have ever experienced.  As I was biking into Defiance, OH, a woman in an SUV traveling in the same lane and direction as I was (no other traffic), turned right, at a green light directly in front me.  I don’t know if she didn’t see me, thought I was turning right, or thought she was farther ahead of me.  Regardless, I had to slam on both brakes (I was traveling about 15 mph) and began to slide left and right as I fought to keep the bike upright.  I started to fall to my left side, but was saved from falling by hitting my shoulder against the rear of her SUV.  By that time I had been able to get my shoes unhooked from the pedals and kept myself upright.  She kept going (I suspect hearing my commentary as she drove away).  Fortunately, no damage to me, and more importantly, to my bike – only a temporary rise in my blood pressure and heart rate.  I was so upset I forgot to stop at the Dairy Queen in Defiance as I had planned.  I’ll have to have a double desert at dinner tonight.

P.S.  Talking about desert, since the tour started I have lost 2″ in waist size (and probably 10 lbs) and need to buy some new pants and belts at LLBean in Freeport, ME.

Mile 11: As I was biking at 7:30 am, I took this photo of myself with my iPhone.

Mile 18: Since I didn’t get a photo of the welcome to Indiana sign when I arrived, I decided to get it as I left. This sign was on Highway 30 near Monroeville, IN.

Mile 18: Welcome to Ohio.

Mile 55: I did not Photoshop this fountain on River Drive (Maumee River) in Defiance, OH. The blue water is what was flowing.

Mile 62: A stately home on River Drive near Defiance, OH.

Mile 65: Little did I know that Florida was in Ohio.

July 31st: Wabash to Decatur, IN

Mile 15: View of the Salamonie River just downstream from the Dam. While it appeared low, upstream of the Dam looked 15 to 20 feet low.

July 31st Statistics – Wabash to Decatur, IN:

  • Today’s Biking Distance – 66.6 miles
  • Today’s Average Speed – 17.3 mph
  • Today’s Time In Saddle – 3.9 hours
  • Today Ascent – 918 feet
  • Total Trip Biking Days – 38
  • Total Trip Biking Distance – 2,925.3 miles
  • Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 77.0 miles
  • Total Trip Ascent – 80,070 feet

The weather was terrible at 7 am when we met for breakfast, torrential downpour, lightning, and high winds.  You could see on weather radar that this system was quickly moving past Wabash.  Since we had a shorter distance today (63 miles), we decided to reconvene at 10 am.   Perfect timing – The sun was out and streets were already beginning to dry.  It turned out to be a great day to ride with the minor issue of high 80s temperatures.

The notable event of today was my missing two turns.  Fortunately, I only added about 4 miles to my distance since I was easily able to get back on track thanks to my Garmin 800.  The scenery was no different than over the last five days so I only took a couple of photos.  Our lodging in Decatur was over 13 miles off route – Indiana simply doesn’t have good lodging near the bike route.

While Decatur appeared to have every fast food chain represented on the streets I biked, Dale and Diane spent 2 hours trying to find a good place for dinner.  When we left for dinner and they said that they had identified a buffet restaurant, I was apprehensive – I had no reason to be.  Dinner at “Back 40 Junction” was great (with the exception that it was mobbed, justifiably).  None of the very large selection of buffet items (salads, breads, appetizers, fish, meat, sides, and deserts) tasted “institutional”.

Mile 32: View of Edward Roush Lake (part of the Wabash River), near Huntington, IN.

Mile 44: Doug and Robert taking a break in the shade for ice cream in Zanesville, IN.