Posted by: rustymccain | July 14, 2011

Illinois’d

Today we were rebels. We have been following the route that is distributed by Adventure Cycling. Their maps are invaluable for cyclists crossing the country. They have several different routes one can choose. The routes are chosen for their bike-friendliness….traffic rate, road surface, camping availability and scenic views are all considered, I am sure, among other things. You don’t always get them all, but the maps are fantastic and have been one of our best investments.

Today, however, we varied from the established route so we can meet up with all our buds and family tomorrow for a big Shindig in Beaver Dam, KY. We are taking a little more direct route to that. We rolled out of Murphysboro, IL this morning and headed for Morganfield, KY, some 83 miles away.

A direct route meant that we cycled on a road that had a little more traffic. This was not a good thing. The other “not so good thing” was that the winds were again ENE. We were heading, you guessed it, ENE. The bad thing about point to point ride is that is you have a headwind, you have it all the way, not just ½ of your ride.

First View of Kentucky

The good news part is that the route today was flat. For the Jello-leg twins, this was a very good thing. And the unbelievably hot temperatures of the early week were replaced by more summer-like weather. So, all in all, it was a good day. We did have a broken spoke on Ray’s rear wheel. Once again, I became the perfect bike stand while he trued out his wheel. If I had tried what he did, the wheel would have been completely destroyed after about 30 minutes of work. For Ray, in about 5 minutes, he had the wheel running as true as if it had just come out of the shop.

Other than that, the ride was pretty uneventful. We did determine that there are about 50 ways to sit on a bicycle. We know that because we have tried every one in an effort to get comfortable. I don’t think that is possible with the mileage we are riding.

The biggest thing we noticed today was that people were a lot more curious about our ride. I think that since they are not on the regular AC route, we were a little bit more of an oddity to them. However, everyone we talked to was so very encouraging, it is really a boost for us to talk to folks about our adventure.

Second View of Kentucky

We didn’t get to take many pictures, though both Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky are covered with lush, green farmland. We did cross the Ohio River, but when we did, the bike lane was about 3 inches wide. With our weight-loss program, our girth has increased a bit and we were a bit wider than that, so that was a pretty scary cross with no time for pics. And apparently, Kentucky was not all that happy to see us. There was no “Welcome to Kentucky” sign, there was no place for a photo-op, nor was there anyone standing there yelling, “Go Ray and Rusty!”

However, we are so excited about seeing friends and family tomorrow, we kept cruising along and made it to Morganfield. We have now completed 2711 miles of our trip that we think will measure about 2811 miles. Therefore, we are 1100 miles from our goal. Actually, that is not really the case. I have a T-Shirt that I brought on this trip that has imprinted on the back… “The journey is the destination”. I think that better fits for what we are doing. Life is good. Can’t wait til tomorrow!!

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Responses

  1. Go Rusty and Ray! Have a great time seeing family and friends tomorrow and use it for the boost to keep turning the pedals over! You guys are awesome!!

  2. Guys, you are now in my old neck of the woods…close anyway. I’ve been over the Shawneetown bridge many times and Lisa’s family is from Union Co. I’ve looked over the maps and suspect I’ve ridden over most of the roads you traveled today and will travel tomorrow.

    I sure wish I could’ve worked it out to get up there and ride a few miles with y’all.

    Keep safe and ride strong…you’re almost done!

  3. I think you both are doing great. Yes, it is the journey. But enjoy the destination when it comes. Ice baths every day and I hope someone is Have a good ride every day.

    • That was supposed to be, I hope someone is bringing you a massage stick. Nice proofread, huh? 🙂

  4. I’m reading West of Here, by Jonathan Evison. It’s about some folks whose whole life is an adventure. I have been calling our trip an adventure but I am wondering if what we all are doing is in the same category as Evison describes it. “Only in adventure were the senses fully engaged, the life force fully harnessed, the intellect fully immersed. Only then could one feel the magnetic forces of chaos pulling them toward the true nature of all things. And only when these forces dragged you by the collar to the very precipice of terrible understanding, and forced you to look down into the abyss, only then did the fighting begin in earnest, only then were you truly alive.”
    OK. So what abyss are you looking into. Clearly you are truly alive in this adventure.
    We are still one day behind you sharing your adventure.

    Phil, and Dave and Pete.

  5. GO RAY AND RUSTY !

    • Ray and Rusty, may help you to know that last years Tour De France winner is also nursing a very sore butt as Stage 13 ended. Now they are heading for the Alps. You need a traveling chef and doctor to keep you all in great shape. Maybe next year you can dig up some sponsors. Just kidding. I admire your independence and pioneer spirit. Hopefully the weather will cool down for the remaining miles. Please stay safe and healthy, Rita


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