Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Debby's Bike Trip: Lots of heat, corn, and Japanese Beetles

We have been posting regular updates from Rocky River customer Deb Milano, as she attempts to complete the second leg of a cross-country bike trip along the Northern Tier Bicycle Route.

Keep an eye out for Deb and her group on Thursday, July 28 -- they will be bicycling through Northeast Ohio that day (Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan plans to ride with them for a bit) and a luncheon in their honor will be held at Cleveland Yacht Club in Rocky River.

Here is Deb's email update from July 20, entitled "CORN... CORN.... and JAPANESE BEETLES"
Have spent the past two days riding in 100 degree heat. Yesterday we rode 80 miles into Kewanee, Illinois, and today rode 80 miles into Streator. It has been so hot, that I haven't wanted to stop to take many pictures; while riding you create a slight breeze, when you stop, you fry.

We are riding through what is known as the Greenhouse of America, aptly named due to hot, wet summers with long, humid days making it a perfect environment for crops. All we have seen is corn and soy beans for miles and miles. The only thing saving us these past two days has been a great tail-wind and fairly flat terrain. I have been able to cruise along in my big ring while Japanese Beatles bounce off my face and helmet. Oh! the wonders of cycling.

We are on the road at 6am, the first of us to arrive at the hotel, got in at noon. We rewarded ourselves with Root Beer Floats and then proceeded to crash in our rooms. We have an 86 miler tomorrow and 98 miles the next day. It is just STIFLING out there.
Here is her July 23 update:
OK, I know everyone is HOT.

So, I am trying not to complain about the fact that is was 100 degrees on the bank thermometer yesterday in Logansport, Indiana. Logansport, a town in north-central Indiana, is where we are spending a rest day (not leaving our air-conditioned rooms). The early morning bike cleaning and laundry took place and now we are literally CHILLING. Everyone is in need of rest, if for no other reason, getting up at 4:30 am, to be on the road at the first hint of light. To make matters worse, I woke up to the cursed rear flat tire Thursday morning. Gratefully, I accepted the assistance of the guide, Carol, to help me fix it.

Flat terrain and no services for miles and miles. We find ourselves stopping at the occasional house and asking for water and/or the use of their outdoor hoses. The Sag vehicle and the van are on the road with us, but the drivers have had their hands full trying to keep track of everyone and assisting riders when they have reached their limit. Bottom line, we all made it in safely yesterday- had chicken and pasta salad for dinner - went to bed and dreamt of what else? CORN.

Yes, we are still in corn country. Who eats all of this? Logansport and Huntington, Indiana, where we are headed tomorrow, both lie on the old Wabash and Erie Canal and served as transportation hubs, thus their beginnings back in the early 1830s. The canal was replaced by the railroad which continues to service the farm industry today. Originally, Indiana and Western Ohio land was home to the Miami Tribe who traded with the early settlers until their ranks were so thinned that their impact was no longer a factor.

As we spend our last day in Indiana tomorrow, we are expecting more of the same heat and a few more hills. My knee is still acting up; I have had 25 diagnosis from 25 cyclists. It feels like a tendon/ligament issue, icing it and taking Advil - just have to deal with it.

I am excited about riding into Home-state of OHIO and hoping I will see many of you on Thursday. Until then - Stay COOL!

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