Ride Across Indiana

Ride Across Indiana: How long on this longest day ‘til I finally make it through?

Day 3 of my ride along Indiana’s National Road was long – 45 miles and 8.5 hours. I was spent by the 7 hour mark but had little choice but to keep pushing on.

The view down Market Street in Indianapolis west to Monument Circle. I had stayed in an Airbnb a block north of this spot.

I slept nine hours last night, yet when my alarm went off at 7 AM, all I wanted to do was keep sleeping. That turned out to be a harbinger of the day.

I headed west with a ride around Indy’s Monument Circle and then one block south to the National Road. I followed the trail through White River State Park over the one-time US 40 bridge now used to carry only pedestrians. Beyond it, getting through the west side of Indianapolis was little fun. There wasn’t much to see and the road was in bad shape, making for jarring riding.

West Park Christian Church, just north of the National Road on Addison Street on Indy’s Near Westside

It took me almost 3 hours to reach downtown Plainfield, where I stopped for lunch. There was a Dairy Queen there so I went in and got a grilled chicken sandwich and a hot fudge sundae. I figured I’d treat myself! That turned out to be a terrible lunch; within an hour I was having a giant sugar crash. Bleh.

My bike on a US 40 bridge abandoned since at least 1940, west of Plainfield.

I got to visit my favorite abandoned bridge. It’s just west of Plainfield. I visited for the first time in 2006 on my first ever trip exploring the old roads. This was so cool that it hooked me forever on this hobby.

After about four hours on the road, I need to stop frequently to rest. I’m quite saddle sore, and thre were just several times that I just had to get off the bike to give my bottom some relief. Additionally, my lunch didn’t hold me and I needed to stop to snack a couple times. But more importantly, as I headed into Putnam County and the terrain began to become hilly, I struggled up the hills. I’m not too proud to admit that I had to walk my bike up three or four of them. They weren’t super steep, I was just fried. At one rest stop I stood next to a cornfield that was busy whispering as cornfields do. I recorded several seconds of it; I hope you can hear the whispering.

Rising Hall, a gorgeous old home right on the border between Hendricks and Putnam Counties.

Tomorrow is my last day. If I feel as tired tomorrow as I do today, I’m going to end the ride in downtown Terre Haute. That will change a 50-mile day into a 38-mile day! That’s still a long day for this middle-aged man who is in middling shape.


14 thoughts on “Ride Across Indiana: How long on this longest day ‘til I finally make it through?

    • Lone Primate says:

      Man, I get tired just READING about what you’re doing. You should be so proud that you’re actually doing it! :) And that is a seriously great shot of your bike before the old US 40 bridge there. <3

  1. Andy Umbo says:

    Jim, really? 12 miles short of the total win? No shame in it, it’s been more work than most of us could accomplish, but let see how you feel when you get to TH. Nice ‘existential’ video!

  2. Greg Clawson says:

    Great job Jim! I would not even attempt a bike ride like that. You have already accomplished much. I’ll bet it’s a ride you’ll never forget!

  3. You have already accomplished far more than almost anyone half your age, and that’s if you stop right now. Best of luck to you for the last leg.

  4. Christopher May says:

    I really like that shot of your bike on that weathered old road. Good luck on the last day of the ride!

  5. Jon says:

    Hang in there! Really awesome to take a trip like this and push yourself to the limit. Could you imagine being in the tour de France and riding almost 100 miles everyday for a month?

  6. I am so impressed. Not even on an electric bike either. Sounds like you might need some cycle lube to ease the saddle sores. So proud of you.

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