May 16 
 Tuscola, IL  to Lebanon, IN
 
  
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Day 21 of Lee’s cross-country bike ride is now complete. Today we rode 121.7 miles from Tuscola, IL to Lebanon, IN (about 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis.) We pulled out of our hotel this morning to bright sunshine, but cool temperatures (mid-40s) and a steady, 15-20 mph wind directly out of the north. The country roads in these mid-western farming states tend to run directly north-south or east-west, with few curves and no diagonal routes. If you want to go a little northeast, like we did today, first you go due north, then due east. So when we were going east, we had a crosswind that made bike handling tricky, and when we were going north, you really had to work hard to go at all. We had several multi-mile northerly segments early this morning when I felt I was doing great to go 13 mph.

 

We only had two food stops today: at miles 44 and 83. With all the wind today, it was a looong day in the saddle, as I didn’t finish until about 5:30 after starting at 7:30 (we did lose an hour, however, in going from central to Eastern Time.) I was really glad to pull into the acclaimed Comfort Inn of Lebanon and then make a beeline to the nearby McDonalds for dinner (too tired to walk or ride anywhere else.) Indiana seems slightly hillier than Illinois, but the hills are nothing to get excited about—just very gentle rollers that give a little variety to the terrain. We also passed through more wooded areas today than in Illinois, and the trees were appreciated as they help block the wind.

 

We did indeed knock off another state by crossing into Indiana. The group I was with stopped for the obligatory photos; as a matter of fact, we got a twofer on photos since when we arrived in Illinois via ferry on Friday there was no sign welcoming us to the Land of Lincoln (Old Abe must be really big around these parts—Indiana’s sign proclaims themselves “Lincoln’s boyhood home”.)

 

Tomorrow we have a slightly shorter ride of 107 miles to Richmond, IN, and the northerly winds are predicted to be a little lighter. We’ll take any help we can get!

 

Today’s stats---2,789 feet of climbing, avg. speed 15.6 mph, calories 8,057, and total miles 2,337 of 3,457. One more night in Indiana, three in Ohio, four in New York, one in New Hampshire, and then the Beach!

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A pretty ornate farmhouse about 20 miles northeast of Tuscola, IL.
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Steve Bailey and Simon Nicholl "enjoying" the headwinds early this morning in rural Illinois.
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Typical Illinois countryside---fertile fields ready for growing some corn.
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This is the type of sign we should have seen on Friday when we entered the state, had Illinois seen fit to spend the money. Instead, we had to get our "Welcome to Illinois" shots by turning around as we were LEAVING the state!
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We left Illinois and the central time zone when we crossed into Indiana near Danville, IL. Looks like everyone wants to make a "Lincoln connection."
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Colorful field of ragweed in western Indiana.
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Interesting cycling sculpture adorning the wall of a building in Hillsboro, IN.
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Saw a lot of spring planting going on in western Indiana today.
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