Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May 6....Terre Haute, Indiana to Greenfield, Indiana.

89.64 miles in 7:00...ascent 2185 ft.....descent 1552 ft....12.8 average speed.....max speed 27.6 mph total trip miles...1878.76.....23 riding days averaging 81.68 miles per day....trip ascent...37,813 ft.

I was blessed with a flat tire when I woke up at about 8am. I'm not saying that sarcastically. It is so much better to have a heads up about a flat tire, and being able to change it in the comfort of your motel room, rather than out "there" somewhere. I bought a new Kevlar lined tire and a thorn resistant tube when I was in Witchita, with this day in mind. My front tire was showing signs of wear when I got a flat (in a motel room) a week or so ago. It made it over the whole Katy Trail and through Illinois before it went flat again. It had a regular, cheapo tube in it, so it wasn't unexpected. Now I have two pretty new tires with good tubes to get me home. NO MORE FLATS PLEASE, even though I've been blessed with being able to change them both in a motel room.
That got me out the door at about 9:30, but that's still 8:30 according to my body, since I just changed time zones yesterday. US 40 was a divided four lane road almost all the way from Terre Haute to Indianapolis. That does not mean that it was nice road, however. The very small shoulder, and usually the area where a passenger side tire would drive, was pretty chewed up. Good news is that there were two lanes each way, so I just took an entire lane to my self most of the way. Drivers are VERY careful in this area, and they all got as far away from me as possible. There were some trucks, but nothing terrible, even though car traffic was frequent sometimes. I hooked up with a bicyclist named Brent, about my age, who was riding a recumbent bike, checking out different parts of US 40, in hopes of riding from St. Louis to Cumberland, MD someday. We rode together and chatted for ten miles or so, including a five mile stretch of road called IL 340, but in reality it was the original National Road, into a town called Brazil. At that point Brent ended his ride, but not before telling me he was a "warmshowers" host, and he lived near Dayton. So it's a possibility that I may stay with him if it works, maybe tomorrow night. 
US 40 was pretty rolling, sometimes with those long, Kansas type rolls that really make me gear way down, and grovel my way up the hill. Right about the time those rollers were starting to get old, I crested a hill and saw the skyline of Indianapolis. That was about the 50 mile mark, and those buildings were 22 miles away! The rollers almost immediately backed way off, as a started to descend into the White River valley. As the metro area began to show itself, and into the western suburb of Plainfield , the roads switched back and forth from beat up and shoulderless, to nicer and smoother, with no rhyme or reason. The skyline got closer and closer, even though it was always visible, until I rounded a bend and saw Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Indianapolis Colts play, and Victory Park, a minor league baseball park. A game was going on at the baseball park, the Indy Indians, a AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, were playing, Rochester, in front of a sparse crowd. But, it was a beautiful day for baseball, and for bike riding. It was a hot day, in the mid eighties, with a nice easy, breeze, a tailwind. I took a while to work my way through town, with red lights, traffic and all, but not as long as I expected. The road was really nice coming out of the east side of Indy, with great, wide, smooth shoulder, even though it was also a right turn lane, into an endless line of malls and strip malls. The east side is definitely newer, and maybe trendier,  than the west side of Indy. So when I arrived in Cumberland, an eastern suburb where I had googled a motel, I decided that I would like to keep on going. I saw a bike shop, Indy Cycle Specialists, and stopped in to get some advise. The girl working there, Doreen, ( in an Arizona cycling shirt because she lived in Phoenix for a while)  was very helpful, and looked up several motel options further out the road for me. I made it about 15 more miles before seeing a motel that was too much to pass up. I had planned to go farther, but I thought about the heat, I decided to be safe rather than sorry. Stopping may have been a mistake if the winds change tomorrow, but we will see. Supper was at a Hardee's, and my legs still felt pretty good, so I went to bed second guessing my decision to stop at 90 miles.

Heading into Indianapolis on US 40

Getting closer to Indy

Home of the Indianapolis Colts

I was on a fairly major road, but had little traffic!

Home of the Indianapolis Indians - AAA baseball team


Downtown Indianapolis

My bike shop stop in Indy



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