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Cross Country Challenge Journal, page 4
St. Joseph, MO to Indianapolis, IN
(Heartland Tour)

current date and time 2006-10-21 | 09:16:56
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Number of Journal Entries online: 8
Day 31 - Tuesday July 5th - St. Joseph, to Chillicothe, MO (91 miles) 2750� cumulative climb
Back to the bike! We really enjoyed the off day but it�s good to get moving again. Great weather today, mid 80�s with a little cloud cover. Today�s route was rural, rolling missouri countryside. Beautiful! Green, lush rolling hills, not mountainous, but constant up and down. You�ll descend 50-100� and then wind it up and climb back up 50-100�. The whole day was like that. The scenery�s beautiful, farms, ranches and homes scattered over and around the hills. At lunch time we passed by the town of Jamesport. It�s an Amish community here. We stopped and had a great buffet lunch, super home cooking. On the way out of town, saw a number of horse and buggies with big orange caution signs on the back. That�s how the Amish folks get around, no cars. It�s cool to cycle past them out on the road, it really takes you back to a different time. Winding down the last few hills, the route flattens out as we near Chillicothe and our overnight. Everyone arrived in Chillicothe safely. Overheard on the road, �Hills rock!� �Meet you at the DQ!!� �Andy, can you order up a tail wind everyday?!�

posted 2005-07-07 | 21:15:12 | article number: 1

Day 32 - Wednesday July 6th - Chillicothe to Kirksville, MO (82 miles) 2690� cumulative climb
Another good day today! Weather in the mid 80�s again with a little help from the wind. We head back out into the country and continue our adventure thru the rolling Missouri countryside. We passed Thousand Hill State Park and it feels like we�ve ridden over most of them. The pace is quick as we scream down one side and up another hill. If you get up enough speed on the descent you can usually make it up the other side without slowing down too much. At some point I was riding next to a pasture with horses. I must have gotten their attention because they began to run alongside me for a minute or two. It was awesome. I felt a real connection with nature almost like a cowboy or something. Rolling into Kirksville, we�ve climbed almost as much as a Colorado Mountain day! Everyone arrived in Kirksville safely. Overheard on the road, �Boy Missouri is the ultimate roller coaster!� �This is much more interesting than the flats.�

posted 2005-07-07 | 21:16:54 | article number: 2

Day 33 - Thursday July 7th - Kirksville to Quincy, IL (96 miles) 890� cumulative climb
Last Missouri day! The states are really flying by now! Weather today in the low 90�s with no clouds. It did feel warm. We went back out into the country and back to the rolling terrain. Beautiful area! The hills did not last long though. As the day went by the rollers flattened right out. Especially when we got close to the river, from there to the hotel it was very flat indeed. Still scenic farms and ranches with more corn and soy now than the wheat fields of Kansas. The highlight today had to be crossing the Mighty Mississippi River. From Canton we boarded a small ferry. This thing was like a barge, it could handle a few cars and not much else, except a bunch of bikers. We took a scenic cruise across the river and into another state, Illinois. Now we are officially in the East!! The final few flat miles, past the corn, saw us all safely into Quincy, a small city with great charm and many 19th-Century River Estates. Overheard on the road, �Man, we�re moving now!� �Hey what�s there to do in Quincy anway.........EAT!!!�

posted 2005-07-13 | 12:19:00 | article number: 3

Day 34 - Friday July 8th - Quincy to Springfield, IL (102 miles) 1910� cumulative climb
Here we go again! Off on another Century day. Yesterday started a stretch of decent mileage days.............pedal, pedal, pedal! Nice day again today, warm in the 90�s with a little head wind. Out on the road, the terrain was pretty flat for the 1st - 15 miles or so then it kicked up and began to roll. And while it wasn�t as sharp as Missouri, it definitely was fun to rock and roll some more. Still rural country for most of the day, plenty of farms. Saw a number of pig ranches. Pig is king here in Illinois. Remember the poem about Chicago, �Hog Butcher of the world� Well we�re not too far from Chicago. After the 1/2 way mark, the terrain began to flatten out again. Slowly the country began to give away to the city of Springfield, with more houses, buildings and activity. As we rolled thru town we cycled right past the State Capitol building. You could see the huge gold dome from the Quality Inn, right downtown. Springfield, Illinois is definitely the land of Lincoln. He lived here and practiced law for 24 years. His adult home is only a few blocks from our hotel. Everyone arrived in Springfield safely. Overheard on the road, �Hey Abe, on your Left!� �Hey every body stop, I saw a DQ!� �Andy, can we take the van out tonight?�

posted 2005-07-13 | 12:22:28 | article number: 4

Day 35 - Saturday July 9th - Springfield to Champaign, IL (102 miles) 750� cumulative climb
Another Century day! Similar day to yesterday, long, warm and flat. We did head back out into the country after getting out of Springfield proper. Not much terrain today, just plenty of Illinois corn. The group is definitely keeping a slower pace, warm weather and plenty of miles are taking it�s toll. The small towns with local character continue to remind us we are in the heartland. Great friendly people! The corn here is 6� high. Saw a farmer clipping the silk atop some corn stalks and found out how corn is pollenated. Actually they cause the corn to self-pollenate. Interesting gig down on the farm! Nearing Champaign we are back to civilization. With it�s twin sister, Urbana, Champaign is home to the University of Illinois. This is definitely a college town, but the students are gone for the summer. Everyone arrived in Champaign safely. Overheard on the road, �The fresh corn�s awesome!� �Hey, I went in the corn field to take a squirt and almost got lost finding my way out!!�

posted 2005-07-13 | 12:24:09 | article number: 5

Day 36 - Sunday July 10th - Champaign to Crawfordsville, IN (80 miles) 1120� cumulative climb
Great day today! Fast day too! Good rural roads with less mileage and flat terrain. Cooler day, in the mid 80�s with a little help from the wind. Everyone is enjoying the ride and excited for another off day in Indy on Tuesday. We crossed into Indiana, our 8th state, on the way to New Hampshire! We�ve also come over 2,650 miles from San Francisco with about 1,150 miles to go to see the Atlantic. That puts us over 2/3 the way across America!!! WOW hard to believe we�ll be there in 2 weeks. Crawfordsville is a nice Indiana town founded around Wabash College. In town early, most of us checked in and relaxed by the pool. Later in the day we had a T-Shirt swap. There were some good deals going on! Everyone arrived in Crawfordsville safely. Overheard on the road, �Anyone up for Ice cream? .....You don�t need to ask twice!!�

posted 2005-07-13 | 12:26:18 | article number: 6

Day 37 - Monday July 11th - Crawfordsville to Indianapolis, IN (64 miles) 890� cumulative climb
Interesting day today. Good weather with temps in the 80�s, looks like rain tonight as Hurricane Dennis, now tropical storm, invades the heartland, it looks to be wet for a few days. The route continues to be rural and flat right into Indianapolis. Lots to do and see today! At the 33 mile mark in the town of Brownsburg, IN, we stopped for a visit at the Roark Bicycle factory. Ted Roark, an avid cyclist and engineer, originally started his company to manufacture titanium parts for GE jet engines. They began making bicycles too about 12 years ago. And now make about 100 beautiful custom titanium bicycles a year. The factory was amazing, their attention to detail is excellent. We all enjoyed the tour. Back on the road, we watch the small towns grow as we near Indianapolis. Once close to town we rode thru Eagle Creek Park and exited near the Indianapolis Colts headquarters. Next it was a quick ride over to the Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway. We had a chance to visit the museum and see the track. There were a couple of teams using the track for testing, preparing for the Brickyard 400 race here August 7th. Very cool! Then we cycled over to the Major Taylor Velodrome and had a chance to ride on the track there. Have you ever ridden on a Velodrome? The bank and angle of the track are a little nerve racking but once you get the hang of it you can really rock around the track. Some folks even got a chance to ride a single speed track bike. It was a great experience. After the Velodrome we got on the White River Parkway Bike path and followed the river for a few miles right into downtown Indianapolis. Once off the trail it was just a few blocks east to our hotel, the Days Inn - Downtown. Great location! You can walk all over the area and take in the sites. We all went to dinner at the Olde Spaghetti Factory. Everyone arrived in Indianapolis safely. Overheard on the road, �Excuse me, Mr. Roark, are you giving out any samples today?!� �Hey, where are the brakes on this track bike?� �How do I get to DRIVE an Indy car anyway?�

posted 2005-07-13 | 12:29:01 | article number: 7

Day 38 - Tuesday July 12th - Indianapolis, IN - Off day!!

Nice to have a day off! Only one more left. Great opportunity to take it slow today. Slept late, hung out, and did some laundry. Walked around the town, hit some shops and the local micro brewery. Some guys went over to the Zoo, others to the bike shop. Great day, no schedule! Jay, one of our riders from the area had everyone over to his house for a BBQ. It was very comfortable to be in a home and not a hotel for a while. The home cooked meal was awesome too! Everyone had a blast!! Overheard today, �Indy Rocks!!� �Thanks for everything JAY!!� �Next up, OHIO!�

posted 2005-07-13 | 12:30:29 | article number: 8

Back to Page 1 San Francisco to Salt Lake City, UT (Western States Tour)
Back to Page 2 Salt Lake City to Pueblo, CO (Rocky Mountain Tour)
Back to Page 3 Pueblo, CO to St. Joseph, MO (Tour de Plains)
On to Page 5 Indianapolis, IN to Erie, PA (Country Mileage Tour)
On to Page 6 Erie, PA to Portsmouth, NH (Eastern States Tour)

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