day 43

i cleaned up camp and started the day early. it was going to be a long day and i knew it. i had to cover quite a few miles and also be adjusted to the different time zone. the earliest i’ve started any day of my trip. i was out of the camp by 5:30. i went to the gas station to get some coffee and then reached for my sunglasses. crap. they were in the shower(i have to clean them quite regularly). i hurriedly rode back, since i took a shower the night before. boom. right where i left them. whew.

before i start writing about the day i would like to remind everyone that i am not only doing this ride for my own personal goal, but also to raise money for the livestrong foundation, that will be donated to cancer research. my family has had a strong history with cancer and there’s a good chance that someone you know has had their life affected as well. we can help support cancer research and donate money to this cause so that it may become more treatable or hopefully in our lifetime completely curable. my donation site is

i an see that i am currently averaging 1400-1500 visitors per day and thought i am writing this for everyone to read, please donate if you can.


i got my second start before sunrise and pushed on. i couldn’t let anything slow me down. i wanted the miles done as soon as i could and the only way to make that happen was to start early and push hard.

before i knew it, i was in salem. salem is a place that looks like everyone all the sudden died and left it to rot. seriously. it was a little nostalgic though, giant motel signs in weird shapes, stuff like that. i got  a puncture between salem and cross city…it scared me. i heard a loud metal clanging like something big broke and then my tire started spraying air loudly. i yelled out “nooooo elsie parker!”(i guess i keep thinking about life of pi) and stopped immediately. i was sure my rim snapped and i was stranded. i looked around and didn’t see anything broken. strange. i laid elsie down and took the rear wheel off. couldn’t find a hole for a few minutes, then found it. it had a small amount of rust residue around it, making it an old rusty screw or nail that went through. it was a rough tear in the tire, so i’m guessing a screw. i pulled the tire off to see the screw went through the tire, both sides of the tube and penetrated the rim. as if my rear rim didn’t have enough damage already. i glued the tire hole shut, replaced the tube with one of my patched ones, put some air in it and popped it back on. a second later a motorcyclist pulled over to make sure i was fine. back on the road.

i got to cross city and saw a market and figured it would be a great time to stock up on a few things. i got coffee, a few bananas, an orange juice and some epoxy. i’m going to stop into a bike shop tomorrow to see if they’ll swap my rim for me and just warranty it like i planned on doing in chicago when i get back. if they won’t do it, i’ll put on epoxy and hope it holds. it was raining when i came out. i sat out in front of the store and ate a banana and drank the juice when an elderly man came up and started talking to me. after about twenty minutes, he said he didn’t think the other guy was coming back to help him with his flat tire. i offered to help. he didn’t have the right tools, but we made it work. when we were done fixing the tire, i asked if he was heading south. he said no. dang. well, better get back on the road in the rain.

i got to the next small town and talked to a cyclist on the trailhead that i was entering. he told me how long the trail was and that there were benches along the entire thing. a few minutes later the rain came on strong. really strong. i was riding and got a great idea. i could clean my bike drivetrain in the rain! i had been putting it off for a few days because of a lack of water source. today was a good day for it. i soaped, scrubbed and rode for a bit while it rinsed off. i did that three times. everything is sparkling on it now. it was the only thing i could do since i couldn’t gain speed in this storm that was above. when the trail came to an end, i got back on the road.

i was soaked. it had been raining for almost four hours. my shoes were filled with water, my rain jacket wasn’t holding up as well as it could have and it didn’t look like it would stop soon. riding down these straight flat roads is nice for that. you can see when the rain stops and starts for a few miles. it lightened up and eventually stopped. i was getting hungry and couldn’t wait to setup camp and get food cooking. i needed to stop and get water, and newspapers for my shoes. the first place that i saw had five dollar pizzas. i couldn’t help myself. i ate almost the entire thing. it was worth it. now i’ve got pizza for breakfast too.

with the rain slowing me down and helping the guy change his tire, i could have went longer. i did 107 today which was enough. i didn’t get many photos because of the weather. day 43 done.

i’m looking forward to tomorrow, having a place to stay with someone and stopping at a place that manufactures something that i bought on kickstarter(surprise again!). if i have the time, i may even surprise some people…



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