May 15 
 Springfield, IL to Tuscola, IL
 
  
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Day 20 of Lee’s bike ride across America is in the books. Today was our shortest segment of all 31 days—a 77.6 mile ride from Springfield,IL to Tuscola, IL. The weather forecast for today had been the same as Saturday for our rest day in Springfield: chilly, windy, and light rain. I had hoped something of those three would be different today; but alas, it was not to be. Right out of the hotel it was windy and rainy, and the temperature started around 50 degrees, and worked its way down to 45 by the time we rolled into the exclusive Holiday Inn Express of Tuscola.

 

The ride was basically flat, as we traversed great swaths of Illinois cornfields on back roads. I took my first spill on this trip, as my inattentiveness led me too close to the shoulder, and as I corrected the crosswind and slick pavement dropped me like a rock on my left side. I instinctively used my body to shield the bike, as we’ve already had two riders have to rapidly procure new bikes because they cracked their similar Trek carbon frames. Mine seems to have survived unscathed, fortunately. My only injuries were a case of road rash on my left elbow and a torn rain jacket to show for my efforts.

 

We were all glad the day went quickly because the weather was so crappy. Tomorrow we are scheduled to ride 121 miles to Lebanon, Indiana, and the weather is forecast to be partly cloudy, no rain, but with stout crosswinds again. Temperature at the start is forecast to be an eye-opening 36 degrees (last week this time we were frying in Kansas---what’s up with that?). We’ll put our 8th state in the rear view mirror, with only 7 to go. Also, we go into the eastern time zone—yippee!

 

Stats for the day---avg. speed 16.1 mph, feet climbing—808 (biggest hill was an interstate overpass), calories 5,104.

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As we loaded to leave the Springfield Drury Inn, we all dressed to cope with what promised the first truely rainy day of the tour so far. The day turned out to have strong northerly crosswinds, intermittent light rain, and temps in the high 40's.
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Anthony Campbell was floundering changing his tube until Judy Clawson came along to help---loss of mancard for Anthony!
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Today's scenery pretty much summed up in one photo--muddy Illinois cornfields.
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The flag says it all...strong northerly crosswinds all day long.
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