was my best day, and I felt that I was truly “slipping into the groove.”
I rode more miles than ever. But then today came the hills. This day became
the worst single mileage day of the whole trip; about 40 miles. The hills
kill when your bike doesn’t glide. The first 10 miles actually proved rather
flat then everything changed. Big steep hills. You’re able to rack
up high speeds downhill; but now you're moving as fast as a car, and there
is another little disadvantage to this fifty dollar garage sale bike… Even
with the newly installed brake pads, stopping power is bad.
Fortunately it never became an issue.
How the hell did guys finish this whole thing in five days? I climbed a hill
today Greg LeMond would have had to walk. Newer bikes have a "granny gear"
With my 110 pound bike (50 kilos) I
would have killed for one of those today.
I spent a fair bit of time on Stagecoach road out heading
East to Chicago. With a name like that, you'd expect the road would be
easy enough for a horse pulling something. Nope. It was still hard. Most of
was on paved country backroad. There was still enough car
traffic that I had to be alert. I would not get to listen to my
Russian language lessons on MP3 today.
At night, the first time I stayed up after dark:
I turned on my headlight to write some notes and figure my stops for rest of
the trip. I had to get as close to Chicago as possible to camp, so that I
could push through to another good night spot. Every night has a new stop.
This keeps the trip adventurous.
I shut off
the light and rolled over to a crisp clear sky. It is mostly prairies and corn
fields here. There doesn't seem to be very much city light pollution, so
that when you look up, you can see the heavens. This was a bonus. How long has it been since you looked
up at the night sky and saw smears of light? They were everywhere. And you
could see a very distinct large band of stars!
I’ve been in some of the most
desolate areas of the world: the Australian Outback, the Dessert Southwest.
I even remember that in my hometown as a child, we could see so much more.
The view tonight was as mind boggling as it was amazing. Go to your
backyard and look up. Do you see bands of light?
You're missing something.
into the middle of our Grain
Belt somewhere, and look up.
-and bring your binoculars.
END DAY 5: Savanna to Schlapville
Route: GIT Clockwise
Stayed At: Near Elizabeth Scales Mound Road intersection on the GIT
Total Miles 42.4
Total Time 6:44:19
Average Speed 7.4
Maximum Speed 44.5