Salisbury Beach

Salisbury Beach
Thank You Katie, Mary, Caitlin and Brian

Saturday, May 14, 2011

13 & 14 May 2011 Fast America Days 20 & 21

Quincy, IL to Springfield, IL

Mileage:                     106.45 miles
Riding Time:              6:33     Riding Speed 16.1 mph
Total Time:                 7:00
Climbing:                    2382 ft.
Flats:                           0

Another easy day. Maybe it’s not really easy and I am just getting stronger. 100 miles no longer feels like a challenge, although the last 20 miles of the 130 mile days are challenging.

The motel we stayed in last night did not have much of a breakfast, so that was scheduled at Mike’s Diner 14 miles up the road. It made for a great break, and the food was great, but I got very antsy waiting for an hour for the food. The terrain has changed a lot, with gently rolling hills, lots of trees, and the sound of birds everywhere. Alerted by the honking, I did see some geese flying S for the summer(??). Everywhere I turned, there were historical references, starting with several historical markers indicating that I was traveling (in reverse direction) the Potawatomi Trail of Death.

[Wikipedia) The Potawatomi Trail of Death was the forced removal by United States forces from September 4 to November 4, 1838, of 859 members of the Potawatomi nation from Twin Lakes near Plymouth, Indiana, to the location of present-day Osawatomie, Kansas, a distance of 660 miles (1,060 km). Typhoid fever and the stress of the forced march led to the death of over 40 individuals, mostly children.

My foot didn’t bother me until the very end. I finally took a short break under a tree about 15 miles from the end, where I met a self contained cyclist going the other way; he had started in Minneapolis and was headed to Kansas. He covers about 50 miles a day, but has to worry about finding food (we’ve gone whole days without seeing a store) and campground each night.

We went right through downtown Springfield, passing the beautiful State Capitol and then the historic train station where Lincoln began his inaugural trip to Washington, wondering if he would ever come back (he didn’t). He made this trip against the advice of everyone, as there were numerous threats to his life at the time. (pictures in link below).

Here are photos from Days 13 – 20. Note the Cyclocross Course where the bridge was missing and the ferry across the Mississippi.

Several readers have asked about the other riders. Here are some of their blogs. All of them use pictures more effectively than I do (and you can scan them very quickly) but mine has more of a story line. It’s interesting to me to see how our experiences are recorded through different lenses:

Eric (aka Manny) from Brockton, MA:   

Simon from Manchester, England:           

Lee from Richmond, VA                         

Mike’s blog has had some good photos of me on the last couple of days. I am easily recognizable by my compression socks.

I’m writing this on our off day in Springfield (Day 21) and I don’t think that I will make a separate posting for today. Either we are lucky with the rain or today is a portent of things to come; as I look at the cold wet weather outside my window. Temperatures are predicted in the low 50’s for our VERY EASY ride of only 80 miles to Tuscola, IL tomorrow. We had a democratic vote, and all decided not to leave until 9:00 tomorrow. I hope that we don’t become spoiled by being able to sleep in two days in a row.

Most of our hotels have a laundry with one or two machines. They are probably unused most of the time, except when 25 cyclists want to use them at the same time. I have been able to keep up with laundry and mostly just use two cycling kits, until the last four days. All of my cycling clothes and most of my civilian clothes were filthy when we got here and I was prepared to trudge a mile up the road in the rain to the Laundromat; so imagine my surprise when I got up at 7:00 AM and found the one hotel washing machine free. All my clothes are now clean;  I hope that they did not shrink. I was able to do the Friday WSJ Crossword Puzzle while waiting. Note: I think that I have lost 5-6 pounds, but have not seen a scale in a long time.

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