July 29, 2019


Right now I am sitting at the kitchen table of my in-laws house in Illinois. Today would have been the day I would have taken off from Oskaloosa for my second destination of Lansing, IL. Obviously, I didn't continue with the second half of my planned trip. I'm ok with that.

I went to church with my family Sunday morning and then back to the house for dinner. Instead of turning in for a nap and preparing for another week of touring, we loaded everything up in the van and headed for Illinois. The rest of my vacation will be spent with family. We'll go to Michigan and see more relatives and spend some time on the beach. I may even go for a bike ride later in the week.

Two days off the bike and my hands are just starting to feel normal. They are still a little tingly. I'll have to figure that out. Before my next trip.

About that. Here are my takeaways as I see them:

  • 340 miles in 4 days is too much. Plan shorter days.
  • I don't have thick enough skin to ride the small shoulder on a busy road. I'd rather take gravel. Gravel is slower and would have to be factored in as well.
  • Trails are great. Do more of those.
  • Being alone is fine for a day or so. Any longer than that and it loses its appeal.
  • If you aren't going to cook, don't pack and haul the gear. Go as light as possible.
  • I hate disc brakes. The minute you start riding through puddles they attract gunk that starts grinding and pinging as you roll.
  • Have a plan B and an exit strategy. Define, at least in your head, what the criteria will be for changing your plans.

Thank you for following along. Until next time.