Friday, July 19, 2013

Recap: day 6 to 10 Holmen, WI to Southington, CT

Day 6:  Murdo to Holmen, WI

I didn't realize that Dom and Family were on their way to Holmen to celebrate his FIL's 80th Birthday party and it was right on my path.  At some point I was going to divert south around Chicago but I continued on I-90 so I could meet up with him again.  It was more miles than I would normally have ridden in this hot weather but I was on a mission to see some friendly faces.  This is my first solo ride of any consequence and it is a test of fortitude and self reliance .  It may be just the first of a few trips of longer duration in my future

I started early from Murdo and due to some miscommunication or I heard wrong, I headed to the wrong Main Street.   I set my GPS for Main Street La Crosse and no one was there.   It turns out that I should have been on Main Street in Holmen.   An hour later I was back on track and Dom was waiting by the side of the road to "lead me in"

It was another day of no lunch or dinner and I arrived famished.  Luckily Mr RD offered me some substenance to carry me over until morning.   It was very nice to meet Dom's family again and also for the generosity of their friends Sue & Fred to let me stay the night in their home, even though I arrived a stranger.

I left the next morning headed towards Beloit, WI for my lunch date, but not before snapping a few photos

Day 7:  Holmen, WI to Plymouth, IN

When I left Holmen around 8:30am I still had around 1,100 kms to reach my destination of State College, PA where I had two riders waiting for me.  They had both arrived on Tuesday and my target ETA was Thursday.   I had been dilly dallying and sightseeing and now I had to put on my afterburners.  So much for my unplanned, no where to be, vacation.   Due to a family emergency I had to step up my pace.

I rode the approx 175 miles to Beliot and had a relaxing lunch date but then around 3:30pm I had to think about heading back on the road.   Unfortunately my GPS routed me through the Chicago rush hour and I lost over 2 hours before I could get out of that mess

It doesn`t look bad here but soon it was a virtual stand still and I just had to find an exit and wait it out, which I did in an air conditioned fast food restaurant for nearly an hour.  It was over 35 C  humid and hot

I emerged around 7pm and there was no way I could ride the complete distance the next day so I thought I would ride into the evening to make the next day less strenuous

The sun was starting to set and by the time I reached Hwy 30, the Lincoln Highway it had turned dark and I was forced to follow the tail lights of all the truck traffic.   After a while I decided that this wasn`t such a good idea and thought to myself that I should stop somewhere for the night, but there was nothing.  I was in he middle of nowhere with only signs for restaurants, nothing in the way of motel accommodations.  Everyone had been warning me about deer so I thought I would feel safer behind a truck.  I tried to follow at a reasonable distance so I could just keep their lights in sight but other than that it was pitch black

Day 8:   Plymouth, IN  to Bellefonte, PA

Today was going to be a long one so I wanted to get an early start.  I was told that the continental breakfast started at 6am so I wanted to get underway by 6:30am and set my alarm accordingly.   Wouldn`t you know that my alarm went off as I should have and I was just packing up my stuff waiting for 6am  and then when I went dowstairs the hotel clock read 7am.   It seems that I had lost another hour but didn`t realize it so now I am off to a late start

Not many photos as I was just rolling down the Interstate but I arrive at our campground a bit later than expected as it was very hot and I had to stop for more beverage breaks.   I didn`t have lunch today either because I couldn`t spare the time

I was all hot and sweaty so what else to do but to wash it off in the pool.   After we ordered in Pizza delivery and talked the night away

Day 9:   was relaxation and maintenance day, in Bellefonte, PA

This morning we had breakfast with Steve Williams, author of Scooter in then Sticks and his friend Paul and then I was off to have my oil changed at Kissell Motorsports in State College, PA.   Other than that we spent the rest of the day relaxing by the pool and ordered in our dinner again.   When you are hot and sticky the last thing you want to do is to put on your riding gear and go somewhere for dinner.   Others have already posted about our breakfast encounter  Here and Here2 and Here3  

If anything is left unsaid, then I will do a more detailed post later

Day 10:  brings us up to date,  Bellefonte, PA to  Southington, CT

Imagine riding nearly 500 kms in stifling nearly 100 F heat wearing full riding gear in challenging traffic.  You can read one account  HERE . (the last paragraph)

After a hearty meal

We headed down the highway.  Traffic is very aggressive with lots of Left Lane hoarders.  The trucks are the worst hogging the left lane and having truck races with the trucks in the right lane which holds up all the traffic

Notice that most of the traffic is in the left lane, and they just sit there when it should be for faster or passing traffic

Nothing special here but this is the bridge over the Hudson River and little did we know at the time that there are toll booths at the other end.   If we had known then we could have prepared our fee ahead of time rather than fumbling and holding up all the traffic behind us

tonight we made it to Southington, CT.   We should be in Portland ME tomorrow where Mike should have Lobsters waiting for us

My plan had been to cross this great land as fast as possible, sort of, but not to miss some of the notable sights along the way which were close to my intended route.  It was always the idea to meet as many bloggers as was reasonably possible .  The next few weeks will be at a much slower pace and stop for scenic photos in Maine then north into Atlantic Canada.  Then when my time is up, it will be another mad dash to get home and back to work


  1. Bob, that's one hell of a trip you're on! Take more photos please. Godspeed, El D

    1. El D:

      thank you. the pace slows down as we head up the Coast into Canada

  2. Bob,

    Find an outdoor store, open up the wallet, break out the cash or plastic, and pick your self up a Camelbak. Wear it like a small back back and fill it with ice and water every time you stop for fuel or food!
    Riding in 95º+ heat is no joke. You have to force your self to eat and stay hydrated! When you dehydrate to the point of feeling "funny" from the heat, it's too late to recover and continue riding: it's time to stop. Long distance days in the saddle with no water lots of heat is a bad combination!

    Just looking out for you!

    1. Erik:

      Haven't seen any outdoor stores yet but I am looking for an REI so I can get a replacement for my new, broken Alite Monarch chair

      We are in the middle of a record heat wave but we are stopping more to cool off in air conditioned places

      I'll look into the camelpak when I see them

  3. When you were on I90 going through Hampshire, IL you were only 10 minutes away. If you come back that way, give me a holler. I sent my cell number in your email.

    1. BB:

      I knew I was close when I was on Elgin-O'hare Road but I thought you may have been at work. Haven't planned my return yet so we shall see . . .

    2. I can usually get in a long lunch. Elgin O'Hare is quite a bit north for lunch though.

  4. Those left lane hoarders drive me nuts. Unfortunately the law is not enforced.

    1. BB:

      I think the truckers do this on purpose. They just sit in the left lane and hold up traffic for miles

    2. Big fine for the truckers to be in the far left lane going through Chicago. My boys are truckers and they stay out of it...they're stingy when it comes to giving money to the state.

  5. When I see the words' famished','don't have time to eat',' fortitude', 'no lunch or dinner', 'didn't have lunch or dinner today because I couldn't spare the time' , have to step up my pace' it fills me with fear. This is a very high risk strategy for anyone never mind someone your age.

    You could easily faint and the result would be disastrous. More than 25 years experience doing what you are doing in the high temp US tells me that a serious rethink is in order here. If you don't have time and thus can't pace yourself accordingly; cut your trip short.

    It's not worth risking your life. I had to learn this stuff the hard way; and at one point it put me in a very bad way and I was much younger.

    1. David:

      thank you for your suggestions. I am trying to stop more and drink more liquids. I converted my jacket to full mesh two days ago and it seems much cooler than before. I have also tried the wet t-shirt routine and it works

  6. Bob
    Listen to Eric, he's right. Go get yourself a camel bac. They are great in hot weather. You can sip on them as you are on the move. I use one here in the hot Australian climate in summer whenever its over 30°C. They are a lifesaver.

    1. Steve:

      I will look into this when I it get to a larger centre with an REI, Cabellas or MEC. I know Erik does a lot of long distance riding so I know he knows