We set off into the light fog that hung around Carmel and Noblesville. Heading east we were lucky to head through these beautiful suburbs on a bike path that paralleled the busy road for about 11 miles. We made great time and we were in good spirits. We planned to reach Pendleton and grab breakfast. Part way there we reached a Waffle House, something that Jonathan had been looking for this entire trip. We decided that we really ought to get at least the 25 miles to Pendleton of biking in before we ate and slowed down.
We found a great pancake house online and headed off. We were flying along back roads with small hills helping us to maintain our momentum. Our speed led us to pass a group of local cyclists out for a morning ride. Unfortunately our directions from Google led us astray as they tried to direct us through an Indiana Correctional Facility that was gated and fenced off from the public. We decided it was best to not push our luck, or push past the fence, and instead we headed to another diner and dug into a hearty meal. Once more, we were the only spandex clad patrons, and we stood out compared to the old farmers that were seated for their daily breakfasts.
After we ate, we headed off on Highway 36. The road was flat, as was typical in Indiana. Still, we made decent time, despite the weak crosswind. (While headwinds are by far our least favorite thing to encounter on this trip, crosswinds are unfortunate because they still do slow us down a bit). Eventually, I noticed that my shorts are catching on my seat, looking down noticed that I had tar on both my seat and shorts. I stop to wipe this off, only to realize that my bike, bags, water bottles and left leg have quite a bit of tar on them. I do my best to wipe this off with leaves from a roadside tree, but eventually just accept that I will have tar on parts of my legs/gear for the rest of the trip. We set off, and not 100 yards later, a small explosion of air leaves Jonathan with a flat rear tire. Upon inspection, nothing pierced the tire, and his tube had spontaneously exploded. (Maybe our repair of the tire sidewall slice from yesterday was not strong enough).
Tire swapped out, and a new tube in place we keep setting off towards Ohio. We have one last stop in Lynn, IN where we look for an open restaurant, but instead must default to another gas station meal. Yum. After an extended break, and with the Ohio border only seven miles away, we set off. 20 feet later, Jonathan realizes his front tire is flat. We change it, and set off to Ohio!
Five miles later, another front tire flat for Jonathan. Patch the tube, and we are off! 200 feet later, flat tire number four for the day. We swap tires, and use our last spare tube. Finally we get into Ohio, knowing that ten miles later a Walmart would hopefully have more spare tubes for us. With gentle terrain, and decent road shoulders we make our way into Greenville, Ohio. Sure enough, the Walmart had a few tubes that would work, and we ate a dinner at Subway. We had booked our motel back in Lynn, before we knew that we would spend over an hour playing music tires on Jonathan's bike. Needless to say, the sun was setting, and we still had about 30 miles to our destination in Piqua, OH. Without the sun, the traffic lessened and the temperature cooled. Decked out in lights on both our heads and bikes, we flew through the night. Night riding is tough knowing how late we will arrive at our destination, but the combination of less traffic and less heat usually leads us to very productive pedaling.
Photos by Jonathan Kobles