Last night’s repast was McDonalds and a raid in the gas station convenience store. I disgust myself.
I did get done laundry done at the Econolodge. Once again the breakfast bar featured stale Cheerios. I was not amused.
I waited until almost 8 o’clock because it was raining. Thus I lost an hour of riding in comfortable weather.
It turns out I stopped about 4 miles east of Richmond Indiana. As I rode into town I realized that being in town was nothing to get excited about. Richmond looks pretty worn out.
In town I picked up the Cardinal Greenway rail trail. It was s smooth ride but for the tree debris from a storm that passed through last night while I was unconscious.
I passed numerous small trees that had been toppled. Fortunately they didn’t block the entire width of the trail. Then my luck ran out.
I had to take all the stuff off my bag and portage over the tree. It only took a few minutes but I was sorry I didn’t pack my chain saw.
A few miles later I came to another tree across the trail. A cyclist coming from the other direction and I pulled the tree off the trail. Hulk smash.
At a crossroads I heard the clippety clop of horses hoofs. A black Amish buggy made a right turn in front of me. As it passed I could see a little boy in the back.
On I rolled only to encounter a DC bound bike tourist on s Rans Nimbus recumbent. We chatted for ten or fifteen minutes. He said he was going to send his camping gear home, because it was slowing him on the hills and he wasn’t using it.
He said I would get plenty of use out of my camping gear once I turned onto the Northern Tier route that goes all the way to Seattle. I warned him about the hills he’d be facing in eastern Ohio and recommended deviating from the route I took. He warned me of a trail closure in Muncie Indiana about 20 miles away.
He doesn’t have a cell phone with him. It took him a half hour to figure out a way around the closure. (I just walked my bike through the closure which was about 100 yards of trail construction.) I use my cellphone constantly on my tours. It saves me all kinds of time, but it also means I don’t interact with local people that much.
The trail took me straight into Muncie there I stopped to eat lunch at a Mexican place. It was next store to a bike store where I stopped to pump up my tires and buy more chamois cream.
My only physical complaint for the last several days has been chafing and nerve pain down there. I am using lots of chamois cream for the former but the latter seems only to respond to getting off the saddle now and then.
The riding had been very easy. The only difficulty being the seemingly constant headwinds, hit muggy afternoons, and thunderstorms.
The trail continued north from Muncie without obstructions. In Gaston I shifted to country roads for 16 miles. It was a nice change of pace but the road surface was bumpy and, without protection from trailside trees, windier.
And there were farms. Beaucoup acreage planted with corn and soybeans.
I had been toying with the idea of riding another 30 miles to camp near Peru (pronounced pay roo) but my sensitive butt and dark storm clouds did not concur. As it was I got caught in the rain. Luckily the tree canopy over the trail was so dense that I barely got wet. Thunder and the report of a lightning strike nearby sent me looking for shelter. Three miles later I tied up The Mule at a Red Roof Inn. It looked drab on the outside but the room is quite nice. The Asian family that runs the place are very personable. They even offered to help carry The Mule up to my second-floor room. (I took care of it myself.)
So with tummy full of pizza I end my 11th day of pedaling west. Although it sounds like a lot, today’s 81.5 miles was not all that hard.
Tour total: 777.5