Reporting on: Monday, June 8, 2009
Riding Route: From Quincy to Springfield, IL
Temp 60-mid 80's/ Winds: Too Much!
Elevation Climb: 3800 feet
Miles Ridden Today: 108
It was another long, tough day today. There was thunder and lighting when we woke up - and the ride was delayed 1.5 hours. The first 70 miles again consisted of LOTS of hills. We had pouring rain for an hour + but it let up after that. It was the wind that did us in! It was one of the worst days we've had - and after 5 of the last 7 days being tough it got the best of several people today. We averaged about 11 mph for the first 70 miles. I have to be honest and tell you that it was not fun and many of us were depressed with the conditions. Several of the guys got in the van and took a "bump". The good news is that at mile 70 the winds changed direction - and the terrain became flat. We again had the wind at our backs - and the ride became much faster. I completed the entire ride today - but am one exhausted guy tonight!
What countryside I saw today was beautiful. Everything was lush green and we passed miles and miles of corn fields. The farms we passed had beautifully manicured lawns. I did a survey among the team tonight and asked them how much time they thought we spent looking at the landscape vs. looking down. There was some mixed thoughts - but they all promised to pay attention the next few days and report back to me! I'll pass on the consensus when I get it!
Today was my worst "dog" day since the trip began. I had five dogs come out yapping, nipping and chasing me in this one day! With the weather we had they should have been hiding in barns somewhere! Two of the guys following me said I ran great interference for them! The dogs were exhausted by the time they got up to them! I'm glad some good came of the experience!
Champ (my roommate) had a friend, Roger, join him for the ride today. We rode together about half the time - and I rode by myself the rest of the time...just trying to concentrate on getting through the challenges of the day.
I can tell you we are one tired group tonight. We are ready to leave the wind, rain, thunder and lightening behind!
We are in Springfield, IL tonight. Since we were late in our arrival (and exhausted) we're not taking time to visit any of the highlights of the city. Springfield is the capital of Illinois... and has an area population of around 200,000 people. I'm sure most of you know that the city's most important and prominent past resident was Abraham Lincoln, who moved from Indiana to the area in 1831 and lived in Springfield from 1837 until 1861. He began his study of law here - and spent the next 24 years as a lawyer and politician.
Lincoln is my favorite President. He served this country as it's 16th President from 1861 - 1865...when on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, he was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln's body was taken to Springfield by train, and he was buried in the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery on May 4, 1865. For my young blog readers you should know that Abraham Lincoln is remembered for his vital role as the leader in preserving the Union during the Civil War... and beginning the process that led to the end of slavery in the United States. He was a masterful politician and a man of gentle spirit.