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Part 10

Ste. Genevieve, MO to Richmond, IN

Thursday, 7/29/04, 8:43 PM Central Daylight Time
Conversation with Winnie

Iím in Bloomington Indiana at Graciaís house (friend of
Winnie and Daveís from PBI). Iíve had three days of
headwinds and Iím behind one day because of that and
mechanical problems.  It was hillier than I expected through
Illinois and Indiana and there was road construction in
Indiana. I covered only 60 miles today, 50 were hard miles
on a bad road in heavy traffic.  I had to get off the road
several times.  I think it was the worst roads and traffic
Iíve experienced the whole trip.

I didnít go any further than Bloomington because I needed
to visit a bike shop. I had a wheel problem today.  The back
tire which takes all the weight has been giving me problems
for some time- itís been out of true (a wheel is ďin
trueĒ when the spokes have been precisely tightened or
loosened so that the wheel spins perfectly in balance).  So
Iíve just been tinkering with it for many miles, but
itís been out of tension for a while now. The tire itself
that Winnie bought me in St Louis is the best tire Iíve
ever had- kevlar and strong.  But itís the metal frame of
the wheel that is the problem.  A bike shop in Bloomington
trued it (I got here to Bloomington about 2:30PM). I
probably need a new rear wheel; the rim has a bulge in it.
But I canít get one here, so Iíll try to see if Pat and
Karin can find me one in Cleveland.

Last night I stayed at a beautiful state park at Shakamaq
(sp?). I think I have time to make it home by Aug 7.
Eastern Illinois and Western Indiana have been beautiful,
great roads with a few exceptions.  In E IL some raods
according to my map were supposed to be paved, but they
instead I had 4 miles of round gravel.  That stuffís the
worst to bike on, itís hard to balance.  I took a minor
spill.  There was no traffic for miles.  That road probably
put the finishing touches on my wheel pushing it way out of
true.

Itís great seeing Gracia and Michael (Graciaís son, also
with PBI). They took me out to a Mexican restaurant- amazing
food, really good mole (spicy chocolate nut sauce that Dave
loves).  The real deal. Gracia knew everyone there by name,
we had a great time.  And then for frozen custard.  I also
got together with some of Michaelís Ďbent friends
(Ďbents are people who ride recumbents) and theyíre
going to help me with some routes.

Today a read tail hawk flew 50 ft over my head being chased
by crows.  It had a mouse in its beak.

Tomorrow I hope to reach the Indiana-Ohio border, thatíll
be Friday.  I should be at Pat and Karinís Monday evening
(near Akron OH).  Thatís the plan anyway, and we know how
my plans have been going.  Iíll stay Tuesday morning with
them and ride part of that day too.  Then Iíll have 4 ½
days to get from there home.  Iím still aiming to get home
Saturday.

Friday, 7/30/04, 11:00 AM Central Daylight Time
Conversation with Winnie

Today is the polar opposite of yesterday. Iím riding
through lush, green forests, no cars.  Itís less hilly,
and flattening out as I head Northeast.  I saw a family of
broad wing hawks in the woods today.  You know that high
pitched scream they make- you can hear it quite a way when
itís calm like today.  I think I even have a tailwind!  I
have to keep ahead of the storms, though.  Thereís a 40%
chance of thunderstorms this afternoon, so I have to ride as
far east as I can while the weatherís good.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, 7/31/04, 11:20 AM Central Daylight Time
Conversation with Winnie

I just HAD TO CALL and give a quick report.  My trip is now
complete! I never saw the tornado, but I was as close as I
think I ever want to be.  (Note from Winnie: I donít know
how many times Iíve told him not to go storm chasing on a
bicycle. I think heís cured, now, and doesnít recommend
it.)

Last night when I was eastbound on State Route 44, East of
Shelbyville, near Ray Crossing and Homer, I saw a rolling
green thunderhead about 3 miles away.  It looked bad and was
followed by a curtain of heavy rain.  Luckily, I wasnít in
its path.  When I got to the next town, I was talking to the
Sheriff about camping in the city park, and he confirmed
that a tornado had touched down from that cell when I was
about parallel with it. I didnít hear about any damages,
but as we were talking someone said over his scanner,
ďyeah, weíll need to report that to the National Weather
Service.Ē

I got permission to sleep in the park and decided to put my
tent under one of those pavilion shelters.  Good thing too.
The line with the tornado moved through quick and the lady
at the store said another one was coming through stretching
North-South throughout Indiana.  There were blasting
thunderstorms all night, downpours almost as bad as rainy
season in Indonesia (where Iíve never seen it rain so hard
in my life), and it boom-boom-boomed all night.

That was about 35 miles from the Indiana-Ohio border.  Today
there has been standing water everywhere, lakes in
peopleís yards. The storms are all ahead of me now and
Iím following the storms instead of them following me.  I
should have sun for the next three days, in fact, the
sunís coming out right now.  Indiana sure has been
exciting! (Note from Winnie: I was born there, so donít
underestimate the place, buck-o.)

Traveling has been great this morning. Iím calling from
Richmond.  Weíll be in the same time zone in 6 miles!
Iím on State Route 40, parallel to I-70.  Itís 4 lanes,
little traffic, and most of itís freshly paved.  I took a
picture of a womenís rights plaque.  The little towns have
been cute, cornfields all around, with morning glories
climbing up the cornstalks. Not much else to look at.

Yesterday I caught up with Maria Gill from the Corning
Leader.  Look for an article on the tour sometime between
Sunday and Tuesday, she wasnít sure when it would go in.