Ride Across Indiana

Ride Across Indiana: It can be hard to distinguish excitement from anxiety

Margaret brought me to Richmond last night to begin my journey. It was too late to do any riding so I had dinner and relaxed in my motel room. It’s a shabby motel, a little musty, but it’s clean.

The Schwinn stows nicely between the beds.

My motel is right on US 40 near the end of the Dayton Cutoff, which you can read more about here. It’s also near a road that I’ve long suspected is an old alignment of the National Road. It’s signed as Woodside Drive. It is a curved road that begins and ends at US 40. This map snippet shows both roads. Woodside Drive starts immediately left of the Red Lobster, and the Dayton Cutoff comes in from bottom right at an angle and ends at US 40, which is the double yellow line.

All the way here I felt strong feelings that could have been either excitement or anxiety. Maybe they were both. What a thing I’m doing! For the next four days it’s just me out on this road I love so much, seeing it much closer than I ever have. But I’m definitely apprehensive about the risks — traffic, bad weather, bike breakdowns, bad people. I’ve prepared as best I can for these things, and now I just have to relax into the ride.


26 thoughts on “Ride Across Indiana: It can be hard to distinguish excitement from anxiety

  1. Greg Clawson says:

    Jim, relax and enjoy the adventure. We will be praying that your journey will be a safe and fulfilling one.

  2. Andy Umbo says:

    Ha, you’re right in the groove! There’s A long history of shabby hotel room pictures from famous art photographer on the road! Enjoy!

  3. Jim, what a great thing you’re doing. I wish I were is a position to offer to extend the trip across Ohio. Good luck and Godspeed.

  4. Janice Caloia says:

    Praying for your safety and that your ride turns out to be everything you hoped for. Good weather, too!

  5. I know the feeling, and I’m someone who has done many tours over the years, including a cross-country one. My two tours this year started with the same anxiety/excitement dichotomy, probably heightened by the fact that I haven’t done one in a couple years due to COVID. I found that the feeling for me pretty much evaporates in the first hour on the road, as long as things go well. Hope it does for you as well, Jim!

      • I’ve found that I only got grief once for bringing in a bike to a motel room, but they begrudingly relented when it was apparent that there was no other spot for me to put my bike. Most places didn’t seem to mind even if I asked. I make sure that my bike isn’t that wet and isn’t going to get the place dirty.

  6. Rush Rox says:

    I’m still looking, but I haven’t yet found any maps that indicate Woodside Drive predated US 40. However, US 40 was routed over Woodside Drive in the 1930s, as evidenced by a map I found in the Indiana State Library online collection…


    If you’re looking to add eastern Indiana old alignments of the National Road to your inventory, consider the stub of Cumberland Road going north from Eaton Pike near the state line. Here’s a 1910 Wayne County map (also in the ISL collection) where we see Cumberland Road (aka National Road) before construction of US 40…


    Cumberland Road continued east into Ohio as the National Road, which I expect you’ll easily confirm by inspection of other old maps. Forgive me for mentioning this old alignment if you were already aware of it, but I think it is one that could be easily overlooked. If this stub of Cumberland Road is indeed an old alignment of the NR, then I think the Dayton Cutoff would have terminated at the intersection of Eaton Pike and Cumberland Road, rather than farther west near modern Gravel Pit Road. Happy Travels!

    • How utterly fascinating this is! I wonder why they had to route the NR
      as they did before the Woodside Drive alignment. I’ll def. do a blog post about this soon.

      • Rush Rox says:

        The link below is to the 1876 Wayne County map from the David Rumsey collection, which provides a nice look at the NR’s route through Richmond. Notice how the National Road (aka Cumberland Road) crosses East Fork Whitewater River on E Main St, a US 40 river crossing that remained until about the turn of the 21st Century.


        Other maps in the Indiana State Library Digital Collection confirm this old alignment (see Wayne Co 1893 map).

        For more on the north-south section of Cumberland Road near the state line, see the Richmond city maps from 1840 and 1854. Woodside Drive is nowhere to be seen in these old maps. I’m pretty certain Woodside Dr (or the road that became Woodside Dr. as I suspect US 40 preceded it) was built on or along the right-of-way of a traction line.

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