About Lea's Foundation

In 1998, Lea Michele Economos, a young woman who died of leukemia at the age of 28, made a dying wish to her parents that others would not face the hardships she encountered by finding a cure for this disease. Her family started this charity to carry on that wish. Today, Lea’s Foundation takes an active role in finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma and to better the lives of people living with these diseases. At the UCONN Health Center, the Lea’s Foundation Center for Hematologic Disorders sponsors research in this field. A new program covers the cost of bone-marrow testing to help recruit life-saving transplants for patients. Also, annual scholarships are given to children with leukemia who are planning to attend nursery school. For more information on other projects carried out by Lea’s Foundation, please visit their website at www.LeasFoundation.org.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Day 52 - Mifflinburg, PA to White Haven, PA (83 miles)

We left the Mifflinburg Hotel early this morning and were finally able to see all the historic buildings of downtown Mifflinburg and take some pictures of our hotel.

Also this morning, we were able to take in the smell of the horse poop from the Amish horses that permeates throughout the town.  Thinking back, I am sure that some of this was flung up from our tires onto our bikes/gear/legs last night as we rode through the dark night.  We rolled over to the rail-to-trail and hopped on a great paved trail that headed east to Lewisburg.  Eventually the trail became packed stone, but was still so well maintained and well-used by the locals that our bikes traveled over this surface with absolutely no issue.  The trail ended up lasting a little over eight miles and dropped us out at a bike shop in Lewisburg.  We stopped in, as we often do at local shops, and browsed a bit, made a few purchases and then headed over to a Perkins to grab breakfast.

A quick breakfast later and we were heading past Bucknell University and further east towards the Pocono Mountains.  As Highway 45 came to an end, we merged onto Route 642 and caught up with the first unsupported bike tourer that we have met since leaving Daniel in Cody, WY.  This man was from England and had biked the Pacific Coast before heading to Kansas.  Once there, he took a bus to Charleston, SC and has been biking up the East Coast.  As we reached the second or third town called Danville of our trip, our new acquaintance headed off and we continued on to Highway 11 towards Berwick.  Highway 11 provided us with flat riding in between towns and we made great time despite the road being lined with many business entrances.

Once in Berwick we crossed the Susquehanna River and reached the start of the Poconos.  The town of Nescopeck started our trip on Route 93.  The "hills" began immediately and soon turned into mountains and we found ourselves climbing up to our first Pocono summit.  While the climb did take a decent amount of time, we found it was not nearly as steep or difficult to climb as the Rockies had been.  The one unfortunate part of this part of the trip was that each time we gained elevation up a mountain, we immediately lost it down the other side.  We encountered I-80 once again, the interstate that we had left behind in Nebraska after paralleling its movements for the better part of a week.  Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does not condone interstate travel by bicycles.  As we headed across the next valley, we passed a sign saying "Peacock Crossing".  I thought the homeowner was being ironic until we saw a peacock walking down their driveway...

The next climb was much steeper, but once again we shifted down and climbed it without much fanfare.  Reaching the top, we coasted down into the town of Drums, PA.  From this point we knew it had taken the 2013 riders 227 miles to reach Farmington.  With some mileage left in our ride today, it made our plan to get home in two more full days of riding, finally seem plausible once more.  We grabbed Subway after Drums and took a short rest.  The first thing we faced after eating was a steep climb up to the highest elevation we had seen so far today.  Luckily this time, the descent did not waste our hard work and instead we descended slowly over a number of rolling miles.  We much prefer this type of descent.  We soon reached White Haven and knew we had about 5 miles more of climbing before we reached our motel.  Luckily there was a McDonald's along the way so we were able to satisfy our nightly ice cream requirement.

When we reached our motel, the innkeeper could not believe we had pedaled all the way from San Francisco.  He called his wife into the lobby and they took turns starring at us and asking questions.  As we walked to our room, they moved to the parking lot and continued starring at us.  It was a bit odd, and definitely uncomfortable.  I planned to put my new tires on as I got flats today, but my old tires surprisingly held up. With the extra time afforded to us by getting in by 9:30, I changed out my tires for the new ones.  I hope they fair well tomorrow on the rest of these mountains.

Our mileage was not massive today, but with the climbs we covered, we should be set up tomorrow to have more descents than ascents, hopefully allowing us to get a good distance into New York.  Two more days until our homecoming!

Photos by Jonathan Kobles

Friday, August 8, 2014

Day 51 - Ebensburg, PA to Mifflinburg, PA (118 miles)

We started today with our drive back to Ebensburg from our Altoona hotel.  Unfortunately, the stretch of Highway 22 from Ebensburg to Altoona becomes limited access highway, and bicycles are prohibited.  Unfortunately for the state of Pennsylvania, they neglected to post signage about transition, so Jonathan and I headed down this more direct and safer (due to larger shoulders) highway.  Two and a half miles into riding, a 1.5 inch nail ruined my no-flat-tire streak came to an end.  For the first time since before buying a new flat-resistance tire in Grand Island, Nebraska, I found myself once more on the side of the road changing my tire.  A motorist actually stopped to make sure I had what I needed to change the tire, something that does not usually happen when we are stuck/stopped on the side of the road.  While I may have been slower at tire-changing than I was back when we got multiple flats per day, I was back to rolling down Highway 22 in no time.

Eleven miles into our day, we reached Summit, PA.  We had been slowly climbing since Ebensburg and now a sign informed us that we had earned seven miles of 5% down-grade.  Along with the break this afford our legs, we also got to take in fantastic views of the Pennsylvania countryside as we coasted down into Altoona.  We made great time here, but due to an expected lack of solid breakfast options before we would reach State College, we hunted down a Bob Evans.  Bob Evans, as usual, gave us a great breakfast for a great price, and we were now ready to ride for hours without needing to stop for a meal.  We headed northeast, mirroring I-99, and other than stops caused by stoplights, were making great headway to State College.

Before we reached Bellwood, we encountered another construction zone, telling us that the road was closed to through traffic in 1.75 miles.  With our past record of being able to walk/ride through construction sites, and the detour taking traffic on the Interstate, we decided to try our luck.  Unfortunately, the road work was actually a project that involved replacing a bridge over the Little Juniata River, and we were forced to water 3.5 miles of riding (with backtracking) and then take a detour to Bellwood.  Of course our unofficial detour also had a road closure, so we had to do even more "creative navigating" to emerge in Bellwood and resume our paralleling of I-99.  This road (Old Highway 220) was fairly straight and rather flat compared to other options leading to State College, and it allowed us to make much better mileage than our convoluted route around Pittsburgh did yesterday.  We passed an "amusement park" in Tipton, and continued on to the mill-town of Tyrone.

After we passed the paper mill in Tyrone, my "flat-resistant" tire was tested once more.  It failed.  To its defense, I am not sure any tire could have survived receiving a through-and-through double sidewall puncture from a 6 inch long screwdriver.  This caused a blowout that blew my tire off the rim, and threw the screw driver 10 feet across the road.  I was mad that my expensive new tire had been destroyed so completely by roadside trash, but honestly was quite lucky that the screwdriver had not broken my more complicated chain, spokes or derailleur.  Luckily I was still carrying my old rear tire that I had been too lazy to ship home.  Tire replaced, and nerves regained, we set off to our next gas station rest stop at Port Matilda.  Here, I called the State College bike shops, and once I found an acceptable tire, sent my mom to pick up a new pair of tires (I do not want to waste any more time of this trip on the side of the road).

As we made our way to State College, we had to climb the side of a mountain to catch up to the elevation I-99 had gained.  At the top, we realized that we had gone higher than I-99, but were rewarded with a great view of Happy Valley and the city of State College.  We rushed down the other side of the mountain and into State College.  Penn State was gorgeous and quite expansive.  Jonathan said that it reminded him quite a bit of Storrs.  Unfortunately when we met up with my mom, it was time for her to start heading back to Connecticut.  We consolidated our bags, and left behind our camping gear and anything else we could spare.  With our bags lightened, and a hotel reserved in Mifflinburg, we headed out to ride the last 45 miles.

We were very grateful that my mom was able to come out to Pennsylvania and help us over the past few days.  Taking our bags was immensely helpful during our hill climbs, and we do not think we would have made it successfully through the busy and steep Pittsburgh suburbs if we had been weighed down with our panniers. My parents also donated a nice hotel room to us, which was quite a step up from where we have been staying recently, and allowed us to get a great restful night's sleep.  Thanks mom!  See you soon in Farmington!

With our bikes and gear we headed along Route 45, and immediately found ourselves in flatter land filled with agriculture.  We felt more like we were in Illinois than Pennsylvania at this point.  When we reached a gas station containing a Subway, we stopped for our second meal of the day (around 5pm).  This time we only ate half our sandwiches and planned to eat the other halves further along on our trip.  Unsurprisingly, we felt much better after this meal and while we had more energy after our break, we also did not have stomach cramps from eating too much.  Looks like this "moderation" technique might be a winner.  As we continued on, the hills began to roll and we soon found ourselves among the Pennsylvania Dutch.  The presence of their horse and buggies gave us wide shoulders great for riding, and practice avoiding obstacles (horse poop).  We exchanged waves with the Amish, but did not take any pictures out of respect.

The cornfields disappeared after we ate the other halves of our sandwiches and were replaced with State Forests.  We felt more than ever, that we were almost back in New England.  The sun set, and before long we were riding under moonlight and light from our bike lights and headlamps.  Five miles before we reached Mifflinburg we found an ice cream place, Chilly Willy's.  Here we met Mandy who told us that our hotel for the night was a historic building that was potential haunted.  I was excited, Jonathan was not particularly thrilled.  Apparently employees stayed out of the basement and the third floor had burned down in a fire.  The hotel had been recently remodeled/rebuilt.  Mandy also told us of a 10 mile-long rail-to-trail we could take from Mifflinburg to Lewisburg tomorrow morning.  She said we would avoid a big hill between the two towns, something that excited us quite a bit.  After ice cream, we rode by graveyards and agriculture as we approached Mifflinburg.  Reaching the town, we took in what we could see of the historic buildings lining Route 45, before reaching The Mifflingburg Hotel and Scarlet D Tavern.  The waitress who helped us check-in told us the hotel was built in 1884.  She asked about our trip and donated to Lea's Foundation.  Our room is on the previously burned third floor...

Photos by Jonathan Kobles

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Day 50 - Hickory, PA to Ebensburg, PA (96 miles)

This morning we started by backtracking in my mom's car through Pittsburgh to the Subway parking lot we had stopped in the night before.  We set off on our unloaded bikes (which is such a nice feeling), and efficiently climbed and descended our way along Highway 50.  After our driven tour of Pittsburgh last night, we realized that the climbs and tunnels that would be necessary in order to ride directly through Pittsburgh was going to be too much of a hassle.  That being said, we still had to head towards the city before we could circumvent it through its suburbs (on the Yellow and then Orange Belts).

To begin, we had more downhill than uphill, and we made good time as Highway 50 became a divided highway to Bridgeville.  It was at this point that we had to take busier, sometimes shoulderless roads around Pittsburgh.  The roads were packed because it was still the tail end of rush hour traffic, and we were glad that we did not have our bags on our bikes that would serve to prolong our ascents, and widen our bikes.  When possible we road on sidewalks to avoid aggressive drivers, but this solution was often plagued with broken glass and other trash that was strewn about.  The hills were steep, but we were able to maintain a good portion of our momentum because we did not have our bags.  Eventually we reached the summit of our climbs and got to enjoy a steep downhill ride to the Monongahela River.  The traffic and stoplights slowed our progress and we found it frustrating that despite riding quickly, our mileage was accruing much slower than usual.

Around noon, we reached North Versaille.  We had only biked about 35 miles, but being on constant high-alert to avoid bad drivers and navigating in stressful areas necessitated that we stop for a meal.  Conveniently there was another Denny's and we sat down to enjoy another one of our "Build Your Own Grandslams".  My mom met us here and topped off our supplies of snacks and fluids, and after eating we set off to Monroeville (which is where we had stayed the prior night in a hotel).  Being Pennsylvania, the trip to Monroeville required more climbing and descending, but eventually we reached Highway 22.  The William Penn Highway promised to finally send us on a more direct eastbound route.

Highway 22, did not satisfy our expectations immediately though.  We found ourselves on more of a commercial turnpike than a highway, and we were once again dodging aggressive drivers, searching for usable road shoulders and being slowed by traffic lights.  Luckily, the further we got from Pittsburgh, the less traffic and businesses there were.  Along with this transition came an increasing number of mountains that were part of the Allegheny Mountain Range.

We climbed and fell for the whole afternoon and eventually made our way to a Subway.  After our sandwiches we decided to grab another 1.5 hours of riding before it became dark out.  The hills had definitively transitioned to being mountains at this point and we had two "opportunities" to test our climbing skills as we had to slowly trudge up mountain sides that lasted around 2.5 miles.

 Eventually we reached the town of Ebensburg around 8:30pm and when we rendezvoused with my mom, decided that we had biked far enough for today, and would head to our hotel in Altoona.  We hung the bikes on the back of her SUV and set off for Dairy Queen and beds.

Photos by Jonathan Kobles

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Day 49 - Cambridge, OH to Hickory, PA (94 miles)

We woke today with large ambitions:

1.  We needed to cross out of Ohio, through West Virginia, and into Pennsylvania.
2.  We were going to rendezvous with my mom who had volunteered to act as a support vehicle and carry our gear for us over the next couple days.

As we set off, the air was heavy with moisture and there was fog obscuring some of the road.  Clouds covered the sun, keeping it "cool".  The morning was not comfortable however, and even with the slightest exertion, sweat would pour off of us due to the oppressive humidity.  We passed through the historic portion of Cambridge before setting off to face some more hills.

I thought that Ohio would continue the Midwestern trend of having flat agricultural land, but instead it seems many of the hills I was expecting to find in Pennsylvania, have slipped over the state border and are attacking us earlier.  We climbed and descended too many times to count.  Unfortunately these hills were way too steep to maintain any momentum and we were working at our maximum effort, during our entire trip on Highway 22 to Cadiz.  To make the situation more fun, the shoulder was most nonexistent and the road was heavily trafficked by oil drilling and fracking equipment.

The humidity occasionally changed to 10 minute rain showers.  The rain did little to cool us, and only accomplished obscuring whether we were dripping water or sweat onto our bike frames and gear. The road to Cadiz passed through a few small communities, some of which housed Amish families, as was evident by some Amish men being driven to work at furniture and other woodworking businesses.

There were few places to stop along this stretch of road, but we did stop along Piedmont Lake and learn about Civil War battles that had taken place along the stretch of road we were following.  Right before Cadiz we were forced to scale the steepest hills of the morning, before reaching a pizza place.  As we had ridden quite a bit of distance and burned way more calories that we had eaten so far, our breakfast/lunch meals were rather large.  Jonathan ate a spaghetti dinner with salad, while I ate a 14" pizza.  While these heavy meals might have made our trip more difficult under normal circumstances, we were in luck.  Highway 22 became an actual freeway after Cadiz and we were allowed to ride it for about 12 miles before bicycles were prohibited.  These 12 miles flew by, and we were quite disappointed to have to exit the freeway and take older, steeper roads to Steubenville.

Steubenville was the most built-up city we had seen since Cambridge, but our excitement to escape the hills of Eastern Ohio kept us moving quickly through the city.  This was also helped by the fact that the last few miles were purely downhill to the Ohio River.  Waiting at one stop sign, a man pulled up in his car, rolled down the window, shouted "Meet my friend" and then proceeded to hold up a plastic spider and make a bizarre noise at us.  As we starred at him in disbelief, he pulled a bit farther forward, and continued to make the noise for another 90 second or so as he waited for an opening in traffic to pull out into.  I am not sure why people in this part of the state are so "interesting".  Maybe they hate the hills as much as we do.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the highlight of Eastern Ohio.  Jonathan and I have been playing the "Sign Game".  The object is to identify signs that begin with each letter of the alphabet... in alphabetical order.  Coming out of Columbus yesterday we had done quite well, but found ourselves stuck on "x" since Zanesville.  It was at the intersection with crazy-spider-man that we found "X-Tra Storage" on not one, but two signs.  With the letter "x" now found, we were sure we would be able to complete the game before Farmington.

After our descent we crossed into West Virginia and sought out a Subway for lunch.  I found a "shortcut" while eating, and we headed off to Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately the shortcut involved a steep gravel road, so I quickly found another road that would keep us headed towards Pittsburgh.  This was a small county road that had the steepest grade climb that we have covered on our trip.  Exhausted and sweaty, we finally reached the top of it, and then cruised over to Pennsylvania.  Our travels in West Virginia were only about 10 miles long, but they were definitely not easy.

Once in Pennsylvania, we headed off on Route 50 towards Pittsburgh.  By this point my mom was on the other side of Pittsburgh looking for hotels and we planned to head towards each other.  Between the towns of Avella and Hickory we finally spotted the CT-license plate clad SUV we had been hoping to see all day.  We ditched out gear in the back, and road the final miles into Hickory before my mom drove us back to our hotel.  Tomorrow morning we will come back to this exact spot and continue the trip.  Luckily for us, and perhaps unfortunately for my mom, there was a Denny's right next to the hotel!  Time for another late night "brinner".

Photos by Jonathan Kobles

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Day 48 - Powell, OH to Cambridge, OH (92 miles)

We set off from the Mann's house loaded with food and clean clothing all thanks to their great generosity. They had showed us a less trafficked route to follow to the Olentangy Bike Trail that would let us avoid busy roads packed with Columbus commuters. Without much trouble we reached the Olentangy Trail through Powell and Worthington and began paralleling the river of the same name towards Downtown Columbus. The trail was in great condition with good signage and many other people out for recreation and commuting. The trail was great at avoiding busy road crossings, instead offering above and below road level crossings for bicyclists. The trail led us right past Ohio State University and Jonathan was able to see Ohio Stadium for the first time. Photos captured and then we hopped back on the trail down towards the Arena District.

Emerging in the Arena District we road some sidewalks to get around waterfront reconstruction work, before arriving on East Main Street, which would become Highway 40.  We headed out of the Arena District and into a more "interesting" part of Columbus.  Suddenly we found ourselves surrounded by Starbucks and Chipotle as we entered the wealthy suburb of Bexley.  By this point we had gotten used to riding on a minimal shoulder and dodging traffic as it pulled in and out of local businesses along 40.  Although we had not covered a huge amount of distance, this type of urban, stop and go riding is tiring, so I turned to Google and found a Bob Evans on the border of Reynoldsburg.  After stuffing ourselves with whole grain pancakes, we headed off on Highway 40.

The riding was comfortable, with some slow rolling hills and flat agriculture that allowed us to maintain a comfortable pace. The closer we got to Zanesville, the larger the hills began to become.  We could no longer maintain our momentum as we climbed these hills, and for the first time in a few states, we were shifting to our lower gears to creep up each hill.  Finally in Zanesville we grabbed some lunch at a gas station and met a very interesting woman who was convinced that we were twins.  We apparently looked so much alike that she could not keep our sandwich orders straight, and we each ended up with a combination of what we had each wanted on our own sandwiches.

The hills leaving Zanesville were even less hospitable to biking and exceeded 10% grades.  The shoulders were nonexistent and the locals were kind enough to verbally harass us as they sat in the backs of passing pickup trucks.  We also saw a young boy walking around, trying to get a piece of plastic sheeting to stick to his sweaty back, he greeted us politely as we passed.  What an interesting section of the Midwest!

Around 7pm, we reached the town of New Concord and decided it would be best to grab dinner before continuing on to Cambridge.  We got sandwiches from Subway, which curiously did not have any seating available.  Luckily for us, the town of New Concord has outdoor concerts and the Muskingham Valley Symphonic Winds were beginning a performance across the street right as we emerged with our food.  We ate quickly and took in two songs before we headed back to the steep Eastern Ohio hills.

While we wished to continue past Cambridge, there was no real options for lodging that would keep us under 130+ miles for the day.  With the terrain continuing to through large hills our way, it was unlikely that we would have made it much further anyway.  We planned to stay overnight in Cambridge, and had to endure many hills on the way there.  About two hours after we settled down for the night, a large thunderstorm rolled through the area.  It was definitely a good idea that we had not tried to push on for a late night of riding.

Photos by Jonathan Kobles

Monday, August 4, 2014

Day 47 - Piqua, OH to Powell, OH (69 miles)

We slept in a bit, and planned to deviate from our normal routine, and grab breakfast before biking.  Conveniently, across the street was a Bob Evans.  Bob Evans is essentially a better, Midwest version of Denny's (which if you follow the blog, you have seen is definitely one of our favorite meal choices.  Breakfast is packed with carbs and protein, exactly what we need to bike many miles each day).  Many carbs and grams of protein later and questions answered about our trip from local diners, we were off towards Powell.

We headed off through the small towns of Fletcher and St. Paris.  While both towns were small, they still had a more Northeastern feel than towns that we have seen before.  It looks like Ohio might be the state where we start feeling more at home.  Only time will tell.  About twenty five miles in, we arrive in Urbana.  The downtown is very picturesque and we take in some of the historic sites as we make a short northern diversion up to Urbana's sole bike shop.  We need tubes to replace what we used in Indiana, and Jonathan is in pretty serious need of new tires for his bike.  I ask the shop owner what he has for puncture resistant touring tires.  He then grabs a few options which I can tell are in fact not puncture-resistant, and then proceeds to Google features about them and recite them to me.  I am not impressed, and after looking a bit more around his shop decide that we have wasted enough time here, and head off towards our destination.

Leaving Urbana, we left Highway 36 and jumped onto routes 29 and 161 that would lead us from Mutual to Plain City.  Our ride led us through more and more agriculture, something that has become routine, only to be occasionally "spiced up" by some of these increasingly present Ohio trees.  The towns we passed through, such as Irwin, were not much more than a couple buildings along 161, with no sources of food or drink.  Thus it was up to us to make it the 55 miles from breakfast to a Subway lunch in Plain City.  The riding was not bad, and despite our later start and hearty breakfast we were eating lunch about 15 miles from our destination by 3pm.

The rest of our route got busier and busier as we approached the suburbs of Columbus and passed through Dublin into Powell.  As it was the beginning of evening rush hour, the roads were filled with aggressive drivers that were much more confident in where they were headed than we were.  With only one wrong turn, we soon found ourselves on the very busy Saw Mill Road, before turning onto our destination's street.  Tonight we are staying with my girlfriend's aunt, uncle and cousin in Powell.  They have graciously opened up their home to us and treated us to an all you can eat fish and chips dinner.  Mrs. Mann also helped us with laundry, the first we had done since Wyoming (and possibly the first time that my non-biking clothes have been washed the entire trip... possibly).  Thank you so much Mann family!

The first thing we did when we arrived was get a ride up to Wheelie Fun Bike Shop (http://www.wheeliefunbikeshop.com) in Powell.  I had talked to the owner, Ryan, on the phone earlier and he told me that he also was a bike tourer and had some options for puncture resistant tires.  When we arrived he showed us the tires and had two great options that we could use for new front and rear tires on Jonathan's bike.  We also made some tuning adjustments to both of our bikes.  I asked him to take a looking at my rear derailleur, which had been shifting poorly since Illinois.  Ryan fixed this quickly and also recognized my rear disc brake rotor was warped.  He fixed this as well.  When we tried to pay him for the service/installation work he did, he refused.  We ended up leaving the shop with free tubes and a new bottle of lube too!  Ryan was fantastic and I hope that Wheelie Fun Bike Shop is very successful (it's been open just three months and is the only bike place in Powell).  Unlike some shops we have run across this trip, Ryan definitely knows and sells quality products and service.  Thanks Ryan!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Day 46 - Carmel, IN to Piqua, OH (114 miles)

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