Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day 31 -August 4 - Slogging across north-central Indiana's cornfields

Day 31 - August 4 - Merrillville, IN to Warsaw, In - 85.7 miles (137.9 kms) - total so far; 2531.0 miles (4073.2 kms)

Distance: 85.7  miles (137.9 kms)
Total time: 6hrs35 mins (including lunch stop, a quick tour of the Valparaiso University campus and not too much else) 
Average Moving Speed: 14.2mph ( 22.9 kph)
Maximum Speed: 20.8mph (33.5 kph) 
Calories burned: 3943
Elevation gained: 1152 ft ( 343 meters)

Weather:  Sunny and  beautiful  with northeast winds after some early clouds.  Temperatures stayed in the mid-upper 70s (22-25C) and were comfortable.  The wind was mostly a headwind for me.  It was never very strong but a bit bothersome at times

Powered by: (not enough)   Breakfast - two bowls of Raisin Bran, yogurt, a cinnamon roll, and lots of orange juice.  Lunch at a burrito-taco stand of two bean and cheese burritos; a large protein bar, 2 liters of water and 1 liter of Gatorade. 

While southern Indiana is quite hilly and pretty, the area I travelled through today is lacking on both counts.  The idea was to get to the other side of Indiana as fast as possible but an annoying headwind undermined these plans somewhat.  I stayed on the divided four lane highway route 30 for a long time before leaving it for the older and much quieter Lincoln highway built in 1928.  For a Sunday, the main road had a lot of truck traffic as well as heavy summer weekend travel.  Its advantage is that the shoulder is wide and separated from the main carriageway by a rumble strip.  I got off the highway to do a quick bike tour of the Valparaiso University campus which was completely deserted on a Sunday morning.  It has a lot of dramatic modern buildings including a church with a huge stained glassed front.

Church of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University

Only parts of it are still present - connects lots of small towns

Lincoln Highway - not much traffic

County courthouse in Plymouth, IN

Main Street, Bourbon, IN on an August Sunday

County courthouse, Warsaw, IN

The towns along the old Lincoln highway have been bypassed by the main route - which was probably built in the 1960s or 1970s.  It is only a short distance away and thankfully, the main route has taken about 99% of the traffic off the older, narrow two-lane road making it perfect for bicycling.  I lost an hour when I crossed into the Eastern time zone at one of the county boundaries; the Indiana counties in the Chicago catchment area observe Central time.   

Tomorrow I'll head for Ohio and the wind is supposed to be light or non-existent.  I've enjoyed perfect biking weather for days and have been blessed with good riding weather since the first week when it was very hot.  However, the forecast is for strong thunderstorms tomorrow and Tuesday so my luck may be about to run out.

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