Ty's Ride for the Cure

Los Angeles-Boston





Day 31 - Quincy, IL to Springfield, IL

106.6. miles official miles

6:36 bike time

4,000 feet of climbing

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Last night I was kept awake by the six illegal aliens sleeping or not sleeping across the hallway and loitering in the hallway.  Since the call to the manager did no good, I finally had to tell them immigration would be on the way if they didn’t quiet.  That did the trick.  I know.  All the liberals will complain as to where we would get cheap construction labor without the Mexicans.  Well I don’t need illegal labor for my bike ride.  A long day with over 100 miles of riding was not starting out very well.      

But, today was a very good day for me.  The day started out cold and cloudy with the temperature about 53 degrees as we left Quincy.  I was all decked out in arm warmers, leg warmers and jacket.  It’s hard to dress for the entire day when you are biking, but it is much easier to strip stuff off as you go.  Sometimes I feel a little like Fanny Fox for all of you Wilbur Mills fans.  About 8:45 the skies started to clear and Mr. Sun started shining.  That is when the day started for me.  I was a grumpy bear before that.  I only bike in the cold when my wife makes me.  She also makes me pretend that I like it.

Illinois actually seems to use tar and gravel for their roadways which is different than the State of Missouri.  Missouri uses potholes for filler and incidental material for roadway.  Shoulders are a part of a steer’s anatomy.  Missouri has decided to set up a poor highway system to keep people from leaving the state.  It’s kind of like an iron curtain around Missouri.  I’d like to show the show me’s a thing or two.  In addition to the roads being paved, we also are out of the hills, at least for a while.  The headwinds were out in force today, but hey two out of three isn’t bad and we are in a good hotel.  Not only that, but tomorrow is the last day of biking before a rest day on Wednesday.  Winds are predicted out of the west for Wednesday of course.  And no, I’m not kidding.  It’s finally gotten to the point where I like the wind in my face.  It gives me a good feeling, getting what I expect.  It is like getting a consistently mediocre burger at McDonalds.  You don’t like it, but it’s what you EXPECT.  So now I am happy.  I expect headwinds.

Today, I rode most of the way with Rick and Jeff the two riders on staff.  Rick has done this ride 8 times.  He also remembers every turnoff and some shortcuts.  He works for Crossroads and is a fellow Texan.  He was excited today because he can stay up late and watch the Mavericks tomorrow night, since the next day is a rest day.  He is lean and fast.  Jeff is from Montana and if you can’t get along with Jeff, you can’t get along with anyone.  He could bike up a roller coaster.  There isn’t a hill he can’t climb.   Also, Jeff was smart enough to leave California 20 years ago.  That says a lot about him.  Biking with them the last 50 miles made my day go much smoother and got me to the hotel a lot quicker.  It also restored some of my confidence.  Today we did a century and biked over 106 miles.  It is easy over a long trip to doubt your abilities at some point.  And I had been riding solo for the last 3 days mainly due to the hills where it is hard to utilize a partner.  For the record, they did make me pull a mile at a time, just like they did and I did keep the pace.  Tomorrow, I’ll probably have to dog it a bit.   

After the ride, we were met by a group of alumni from the 2004 ride.  They are going to ride with us tomorrow.  When we arrived at the hotel they had plenty of carbohydrates awaiting, mostly in the liquid form of beer.  I heard beer is also a good source of protein and vitamins if you drink enough.  They were all very nice people.  It amazes me that people will drive hours and bring free beer just to experience the tour again.

Something just occurred to us today.  We are biking over 1.5 times the distance of the Tour de France and biking for over twice the time.  What are we thinking?  The reality of actually making it to Boston has finally set in.  Two guys in a convenience store asked me where we were coming from.  When I told him LA, he just looked at me.  Then he asked where we were going and I told him Boston.  It is finally setting in that we have biked 2200 miles and after tomorrow will be 2/3 of the way to Boston.  And I get to start the countdown to Erie and a visit with the family.

Thanks for all of the encouragement over the past few days. 

Signing off…….. 

A neat little church in Illinois. Photo by Jim Hall.
Michael, with Elmer in front. Photo by Jim Hall.
Loading grain at the Illinois. Photo by Jim Hall.
The Illinois River. Photo by Jim Hall.
The Illinois River bridge. I wouldn't stop on the bridge.
Reception for us by the 2004 riders. Lots of liquid carbs.
Barry & Bill in the corn.
Bill thinking about crossing the river. He remembers too well the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Barry in his element. Thinking tractors.