Mike and Di ByCycle 2016 travel blog

Thanks Bobbie for the fun surprise and waiting for us on the...

Miles and miles of wind farms iin Illinois. They are so impressive...

We had a wonderful visit in Ottawa and today it was time to leave, it is always so hard. Thanks to everyone for the truly warm welcome and fun celebration of our trip!! Always wonderful to spend time with our great families and wonderful friends!! It was so tempting to stay another day and I wish we had made the decision to do so. But we really need to push on and get to Bar Harbor!!

We left under gray skies and it felt cooler than the 70 degrees on the thermometer. A slight chance of raiin but it was supposed to improve with the day. There was one last surprise in store for us on the road, Bobbie Lacke heard from her sister that we had just gone past her house so Bobbie jumped in the car and waited for us on the highway!! I can't tell you how much fun that is!! Thanks Bobbie for the surprise!

We didn't get much further down along when the rain started to drizzle on us. We stopped to cover up with our rain gear, cover our helmets and front bags. Good thing we did because the drizzle persisted for quite a while. It was warm and we were on quiet roads so there was not point in stopping. We did have someone pass us in a truck pulling kayaks, turn around and wait for us at the corner and tell us about the campsite he was in and suggested we might like to get out of the rain! People continue to want to help us out!! So kind!! But we thanked him and assured him we were very comfortable and needed to keep going.

I have to say today was probably the best road day ever. We are back on the guided maps of the Northern Tier route. We were able to just follow the route and not stop and debate over which road was likely to be less busy!! It was a great day even with the rain! No traffic, beautiful road surface and no hills!! The rain stopped and we made great time! We were very fortunate with the weather as the cloud cover kept the temps down but once the sun came out it gets hot really quickly!! And humid!

We must be improving our condition! Doing a 82 mile day to our destination was relatively simple! We got to our pre-determined town of Ashkum, Il. Our guided route told us we could camp at the city park, but we needed to contact the mayor first, so we left a voice mail and warned him of our pending arrival!

We were quite happy to be at the end of the day and the park looked very nice indeed with large shade trees and lots of picnic tables. But the restrooms were locked, no water and no one was able to be able to unlock them or return a phone call! This did not feel like it was going to be a very comfortable night!!

We had no choice but to get back on our bikes and ride an extra 10 miles further south of our route to find any sort of accomodation at all! It actually was a very quick 10 miles!! We always complained about how flat Illinois was, but today we were thankful for it! To make it even more pleasant, the temps seemed to have cooled a bit, there was plenty of shade now on the roads and it took us less than an hour!!

I don't consider myself to be a high maintenance sort of person, but there is nothing like a hot shower at the end of a 92 mile sticky, hot and humid Illinois day!! Call me crazy, but it was worth it to ride an extra 10 miles to get someplace that made it possible!

So we are back on the road! I feel like it is Act Two in this wonderful action adventure we have started! The visit home was the perfect intermission and now we are ready once again to get rolling and see what excitement waits for us out there!!

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