Day 15 - cracked hub

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - Warm, heavily overcast turning to rain.
- Start: Danville, IN
- ATW: Avon, Indianapolis
- End: Greenwood, IN
- Day Miles: 38.2mi Total Trip Miles: 520mi Ride Time: 3hr, 43min

A little set back...
Three years ago we were living south of Indianapolis when we bought our bike. A year after we bought it we had only ridden 1,000 miles when we found our rear hub had cracked in four places. With a little wheeling and dealing the manufacturer replaced the broken hub and rebuilt the wheel for us. We started this ride knowing it could happen again because they replaced the hub with the same design.

Following that repair we rode another 1,000 miles before starting this trip. Since April 14th this year we've put on more than 500 miles. This morning while Dave was checking the spokes on the rear wheel he found that the hub had cracked again. After trying to call a bike shop close to where we were and getting no help from them, we looked up the number to the bike shop that we had acquired the bike from in 2006. The shop was close enough to our friends' so we decided to go ahead and ride the few hours back to their house to wait out the repair. Currently we are waiting for news from the bike shop.

Day 14

Monday, April 27, 2009 - Mostly sunny with gusty southwest winds.
- Start:Greenwood, IN
- ATW: Moorseville, Plainfield, Avon
- End:Danville, IN
- Day Miles:48 Total Trip Miles: Ride Time: 5hr 45min Starting again. Westward HO!

To avoid the city traffic we braved the wind from the south that bounced us around the country roads to Mooresville, IN. Once there we were lost for a while because our map had a lesser highway labeled wrong. Set straight by a mailman (who better would know local roads) we then headed north out of town enjoying a tail wind before turning back west. Eventually we found ourselves in Danville, IN, stocked up on grub at a grocery store, then headed out the north side of town to find a place to crash.

We came across a father and son who were outside working on a truck. We asked about a place to set up and they directed us to an open lot at the end of the road. With rough weather predicted for the night we decided to ride on a bit to find a wind break. We were directed to the neighbor up the road who had a some land with trees. The owners agreed to let us sleep out back but as we were looking at the prospective area they offered us the use of a camper that they had on site so that we wouldn't have to deal with the coming storm.

Still amazed at the fortunate turn of events we settled down to a soup supper to which I added a bag of frozen corn that I had been using as an ice pack on my sore knee. Once stuffed we enjoyed a warm night inside the camper on a dry bed.


Too hot, too cold, too windy, too wet... too bad.

We're frequently asked "Why are you doing this trip?" Our answer changes depending on whom we're talking with and that's because we don't actually know why we're doing this ride. We have a few reasons to carry on like we are but in the end there is only one true answer.

We chose the northwestern United States because we've never been there. We chose to ride them because we already owned the bike. We chose to do a loop out to the west coast and then back because we didn't want to ship the bike and fly ourselves around. We picked the time of year with all it's spring time tormenting weather because Dave's job ended and we weren't having responses to other jobs that we'd applied for. We chose to camp and bum patches of grass to save money. We chose to do this ride instead of walk the Appalachian Trail because we wanted to stay out where we could meet lots of people who could inspire us as we looked for a job to pursue.

But the true reason why we chose to do this ride is after 2 years of dreaming and making excuses for why not we'd finally run out of excuses. It was time to pursue a dream. It was time to shed our comfort zone and walk out into the world to experience what was out there. We had built up a world around us where we were masters of everything yet we had stopped growing and learning. Like a baby bird ready to fly but not being kicked out by its parents, we sat around getting fat and lazy. Then one day it all changed and we worked hard to reclaim our lives. Then we began this ride.

We chose to do this ride to, as Dave put it: "To see what there is to see, to hear what there is to hear, and to inspire whom we could inspire.

The weather will not be perfect our whole ride. We may have a few "gorgeous" days according to the weatherman, but every day that we're riding no matter if it is too hot or too cold, too windy or too wet, we are still living and that's what this ride was done for. To live.

And what happens when we're done with this adventure... well we'll just start another. We're not going to "settle down" and wait around to die. We're walking through every day of life and loving it and when this adventure on earth is over, one more will be waiting.


Flash Back: The Beans before the ride

Almost ready for another adventure:

Are we sure about this?

More saddle bag shots...

Here's a few more pictures of those lovely homemade saddle bags. 3 out of 4 have stayed dry in all the rain we've had. The fourth has a hole that allows you to see out the bottom to the ground, an error in the sewing process that is not likely to get fixed now. That bag has been designated the food bag.

So far we've survived dog attacks quite nicely, until Somersville that is. Just before stopping for the night two black dogs and a little beagle came racing toward us. I pulled out our "magic wand" and defended myself against the larger black dogs that attempted to bite my leg, but that pesky beagle got past my defenses. While the other dogs distracted me the beagle jumped up and bit into the rear left saddle bag and hung on. I took a swing and knocked it off. The bike lurched as the beagle latched on and Dave yelled: "What was that?"
"Pedal faster!" I shot back.
We patched the hole with Gorilla Tape and bike tire patch cement. So far so good.

Day 11, Day 12, & Day 13

Friday, April 24-26, 2009 - "Out of the Weather"
- Start: Greenwood, IN
- ATW: None
- End: Greenwood, IN
- Day Miles:0
- Just hung around with friends.
Watching our friend's daughter's swimming lesson.
Dave journaling in the "down times"
The Dynamic Duo learning how to take off a high PSI tire. Step one, break a few plastic tire irons learning how.
Our friends enjoying a trip on the bike one fine evening.

Pre Trip Flash Back: Water Bottle Holder

Originally the bolts on the back of Dave's seat that were designed to hold Heather's water bottle were drilled too low to be of any use. When we attached the metal holder Heather's knees hit the bottom.

We moved the bottle holder up by aligning the lower drill hole with the upper bolt hole and attaching the upper part of the bottle holder with a hose clamp. If only all fixes could only be that easy!

Day 10

Wednesday, April 23, 2009 - Cool & Mostly Sunny
- Start: Greenfield, IN
- ATW: Cumberland, Wanamaker, Southport
- End: Greenwood, IN
- Day Miles: 30.7 Total Trip Miles: 420 Ride Time: 3:36
More later when I'm not tired (c;

Day 9

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - Two words... "Head Winds"
- Start: Richmond, IN
- ATW: Rt 27 South to Waterfall Rd to Richmond bike trail to 40W to East Germantown, Cambridge City, Straugh, Lewisville, Dunreith, Ogden, Charlottesville, Cleveland
- End: Greenfield, IN
- Day Miles 58.2 Total Trip Miles: Ride Time: 7hr 31min

The day started out cool but sunny and remained mostly sunny all day long, however we were put to the test with the wind. We had been told that Rt 36 was newly paved and flat and were reluctant to leave it when we headed to Richmond. We were told to expect more hilly terrain riding on 40 but the hills were nothing compared to the ones we had conditioned ourselves on in Ohio. But the wind, taxed us to our limits. We still managed to ride 50 miles along 40 into 20 to 30MPH head winds. If it wasn't for the wind we'd have made it to Indy no problem.

Thanks again to the Calvary Baptist Church for the bananas! They fueled us on long enough to find a sheltered place from the weather. We came across a group by a bonfire and asked for a square of grass for the night. Not only did we meet a fellow bicyclist there but he offered us dinner, a bed, great stories and the promise of a little live music from the group. We were so exhausted that we couldn't even stay up to listen to their jam session but dinner and the bed out of the cold was fantastic. Thanks!

Pre Trip Flash Back: Rain Hats

We have these nice helmets to protect our brains.

However they have holes in them, (the helmets, not our heads)

You'll also notice the snazzy brims attached to the front. Heather hoisted a couple of baseball caps out of a dumpster, cut them up and attached them to the front to help block the sun off our faces. They've also worked great with the rain and wind.

Here's another dumpster rescue. Heather made these seat covers from a broken umbrella.

Dual purpose is one of the necessities of the trip. The seat covers are removeable; when not needed to protect the bike seats from the rain they work great on our helmets.

Day 8

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - Cold, Head Winds, HAIL!
- S: Versailles, OH
- ATW: Rt121->Greenville, Rt36->Palestine, Lynn, IN, Rt27->Richmond, IN
- E: Richmond, IN
- Day Miles: 42.3? Total Trip Miles:est-331?
- Odometer got wet and shorted out - started to work again when it dried out but we lost a few official miles.

- Rode into the wind most of the all day, rained off and on. We followed Rt36 out of Ohio pedaling downhills to make progress because we were trying to make our way to Indianapolis to visit with friends. Dave thought we could make it in two days if we got a good jump today. Nature thought otherwise.

As we crossed the Indiana border we were welcomed by a hail storm. There's nothing quite like being pelted in the face by B.B. sized hail. Try it, you'll like it! When we reached Lynn, IN, we knew we weren't going to make it much further down the road. Snow was predicted so we made the decision to try and find a motel. After being repeatedly reassured that nothing was in the area we turned south to Richmond, IN.

Day 7

Monday, April 20, 2009 - Bitter Cold, Windy, Nasty Rain!
- S: Hardin, OH
- "ATW" - Oran, Newport
- E: Versailles, OH
- Day Miles: 20.2 Total Trip Miles: 289 Did 20.2 miles by 2:28 PM,
Arrving in Versailles at 10:30AM after 15 miles of hard riding, we stopped at The Sweet Shop, the town's bakery/diner and city center, to get out of the wind and rain. We wanted to warm up with a hot chocolate and ended up devouring the remainder of their "day old" pastries while we were waiting for our burgers & fries.

After the meal we couldn't delay any longer but as we were getting ready to ride off on our bike a lady jumped out of her car and ran over to us. "Okay, I'm curious, where've you been and where you going?" After a brief run down on the info she invited us to her place to get warm, shower, do laundry, eat, and most importantly take a nap. We agreed after she reassured us she wasn't crazy. What a blessing, the offer not the fact that she wasn't crazy because we would have taken her up on the offer even if she had been. We'd heard about this kind of thing but didn't raelize it would happen to us.

Intending to just stop for a few hours to revive we decided to peddal the last five miles to her house and ended up riding in the worst weather to date. In the end we opted to stay the night. Never did get the nap and we talked until 10:30PM. At some point in the laundry process we lost a sock but found it the next morning packing our gear back up. It never did get washed.

"Packing the bike. Photo credit: C. Snyder"

"Finally found that sock! Photo credit: C. Snyder"

Day 6

Sunday, April 19, 2009 "fun fun - cold & windy"
- S: Summersville, OH
- ATW: York Center, West Mansfield, New Jerusalem, Cambell Hill (1594 ft), Bellefontaine, DeGraff, Port Jefferson, Sidney,
- E: Hardin, OH, Ride time:7:26
- "Day Miles" - 63.8 "Total Trip Miles - "267.8 est" Planned to stay at a church in Hardin, but could not find the church. Stopped at a farm to ask directions and they let us stay in the equipment barn.


The Cats miss their "Parents"

While Dave and Heather are on their trip, they have left their cats with us (Heather's Parents) and the cats miss them. The cats will sit and stare at their picture for seconds.

From Heather: "Most likely the cats are wondering where their servants have run off to!"


Day 5

Saturday, April 18, 2009 - Weather Note
S - Lexington, OH"
ATW - "Kings Corner, Shauck, Mt Gilead, Cardington, Waldo, Prospect, Richwood"
E - Summersville, OH
Day Miles - "61.9" Total Trip Miles - "204" Ride Time: 6:30 hours
Stopped at GNR Tavern in Waldo. Waldo is famous for their bolony sandwich. 1st dog attack


Pre Trip Flash Back...

Here's a few pictures from before our trip start. Learning how to pack our gear and eliminating the unnecessary.
Then we figure out that we need to carry more water and we make new ways to load it on the bike. We made this out of left over material from the saddle bags.

Day 4

Friday, April 17, 2009 SUN SUN SUN
Rest day!
Now that we've finished dinking around with posting pictures to the blog, riding to the local bike shop to get our wheel "trued" and finally buying a few replacement spokes we're ready to kick back in the sun while our laundry is in the washer. Get out and enjoy life... we certainly are!
Day Miles - 6
Trip Miles - 136

A few snap shots from Day 3

In the middle of nowhere on Day 3 we ran into a couple of fellow bent riders "hopscotching" their way along the Underground Railroad Tour. For info on these great folks check out their websites:
Photo Credit: GDevore

We have arrived in Lexington, OH and are visiting relatives with an internet connection. Here's a few pictures of our arrival.

Photo Credit: F. Boll
Heather's young cousin got into the fun of it.