Day 24 – Ride Across America for GTG, Lebanon to Richmond, IN

Grief Group has given me hope. Hope that someday it will all turn out for the better. This hope has motivated me to keep pushing, to stay alive. Grief group keeps me alive.                                                                                                                      – Todd, GTG Middle School Student

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Our ride today was cool, long, intermittently wet, interesting and a few times exciting. Again, we had a headwind from the east, 16 mph with gusts to 22 mph.  To help with the wind, several of us rotated through the position of first in line- and we drafted behind as he/she pulled.  We could maintain a pace of 13.5-14 mph by rotating the first person every mile.  As we advanced down the road, the fields slowly gave way to multiple small towns – see names on the video.  By lunch, the precipitation caught up with us and it drizzled for much of the afternoon.  Fortunately, the rain held off until 5 pm, a full 30 minutes after we finished.  Yesterday, our average pace was 17.8 mph and today only 14.1 mph due to the headwinds.

Scare! We were in a pace line on a rural road and I had just taken the lead.  The road became very bumpy with uneven asphalt and stone.  Suddenly, a shout!  Then, my name was yelled by a few people.  I thought someone had a flat.  NO!  for the first time ever, my front bottle had come out of its cage ( metal holder ) and fell to the ground.  Immediately, without time to react, Mitch saw the bottle as he ran over it as it lay parallel to his path.  Fortunately, he was not hurt!  The bottle was half full and the top was open, so water sprayed out and the bottle collapsed without pitching Mitch off his bike.  That is a drawback of a pace line, little or no time to react to something that suddenly appears in front of you.

As we traveled east, the small towns showed more pride – in their well maintained buildings, in their town’s history – with murals, posted placards along the streets announcing famous people born and raised in the community, signs informing us of a home or building on the National Historic Registry.  And some of the proud, older buildings on main streets, shuttered but still standing – a reminder of an earlier time – before big box stores and the internet.

Richmond, IN, a few miles from the border with Ohio appears to be a booming city with a strong history and good economy.  As with other large towns, we don’t see the main street or  get of tour of historical highlights – we stay on safer, less traveled roads to reach our hotel.

Our tour through the heartland of the country allows us to view many farms, fields, ranches and feed lots.  Especially on small farms, the cattle will stare at us and turn their heads in a staccato-like movement as they watch our progress along the road.  Most cattle will stare, some will come toward us and only a few will turn away.  A beautiful farm scene today: a calf stood between two cows laying down with heads up watching us and ruminating over lunch.  About horses, some will trot away when they see us, some will stand and stare and some will come toward the fence.  Again, they are fascinated with us – I imagine wondering what we bicyclists are.  Today, a colt saw us and with energy and a spring in his gait, started to trot along the fence parallel with the road.  As he trotted, he looked back as if to say, “are you going to play with me, run with me along the fence?”  Obviously, we couldn’t keep up with him and he got to the end of his corral long before we reached a similar point on the road.  In other settings, goslings from pairs of Canadian geese can be seen in the ponds.  Lambs were outside the barns, seeking their mother’s milk. And now, with more trees and swamps, sources for food and for nesting, we hear the multitude of bird calls typical of spring.  A time of renewal and hope on the farms and in nature.

Please see the video from today’s ride.   I will upload it on a separate post. Due to the headwinds and drizzle and difficulty getting the camera out from a back jersey pocket with full fingered gloves, I took fewer pictures than I wanted.



4 thoughts on “Day 24 – Ride Across America for GTG, Lebanon to Richmond, IN”

  1. Jeff, we love reading your daily posts. Impressive teamwork and amazingly hard work you are doing. Thanks so much.


    1. Steve, Thank you so much for your comments. It is an honor to know that you and others at Park Nicollet find the blog informative and worth reading. I hope we will see more money coming in to GTG we have a long way to go to reach our goal.
      Perhaps I will see you at our Habitat for Humanity Build in Sept. Take good care


  2. Love the description of the animals – helps create great visuals in my head. Good job with another long day. Keep biking and writing – it is a fun journey!!


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