Ride 2016 Day 31

I was pretty wiped last night after the 98 mile day, but it meant I had more flexibility today. Even though I grew up in Illinois, I had never been to Springfield. 0524160922b-1Checking Google maps, I set my sights on one of the historical locations associated with Lincoln.  Go figure, it is the Land of Lincoln. After a stop at a drug store to replenish the large bandaids that protects my saddle sore, it was north to the Lincoln Home National site. I passed by the Illinois capitol dome, then a few blocks down was the place.

Outside Lincoln's home.
Outside Lincoln’s home.

Fun fact: Like most candidates of the period, Lincoln did not attend the party convention in Chicago. He was asked to accept the nomination while at his home in Springfield, after a delegation from Chicago had made the trip down. In order to go into Lincoln’s home, you needed to get a ticket from the visitor center. The tickets were free, but you were grouped into specific time slots. My tour started at 10 AM.

I wonder if I could sleep here tonight?
I wonder if I could sleep here tonight?

When I was done with my tour, and by the time I made my way out of Springfield, it was getting past 11. Even though it was not another 98 mile day, I was still 58 miles from Monticello. I had lots of options for the route, but I wanted to pass through Mt. Pulaski, the hometown of my good friend,  Neal Morehead.

A little break before going on to Mt. Pulaski
A little break before going on to Mt. Pulaski

The wind was at my back and the next 18 miles went by in a little over an hour. I had lunch at the Old Brickyard Pub and had a text conversation with Neal.

It was a long, 40 mile ride to Monticello. I was riding due east and the wind was out of the south southwest. There was at least a small component of tailwind. More importantly, there was no headwind.

The front view ...
The front view …
And the rear view on the ride between Mt. Pulaski and Monticello.
And the rear view on the ride between Mt. Pulaski and Monticello.

It also helped keep me cool in the 83 degree heat and sun. Even though I had filled up with water before leaving Mt. Pulaski, one bottle was empty and the other half gone when I got to the halfway point. I still had a small spare in the panniers, but it was probably going to be warm. There was a town 2 miles north, but I didn’t want to add another 4 to the 20 in front of me. Once again, I was saved by the kindness of strangers.  Just ahead of the intersection was a tractor business of some sort. I rode up to the office, left Hidalgo outside, and went in. I asked a lady working there if she could spare me some water. She led me to the water cooler and I filled both bottles and had a little/lot to drink as well. This gave me what I needed to finish the final 20 miles.

0524161703As has been the case, Google maps told me there was only one hotel in Monticello when I was looking this morning in Springfield.  Once I had hit the edge of town, it was showing me two. I’d love to see the algorithm behind all this. At any rate, the original choice was $72 before taxes and the new discovery was only $62 before taxes. As you could probably guess, I  went with the cheaper. Maybe it was because I was on a bike, but he gave me a clean room, with microwave, fridge, hair dryer, and HANGERS for $45, taxes included. Dinner and breakfast were a trip back 2 miles to the grocery store in town. My thighs were telling me it was time for a rest. Laundry is done, I’m stuffed and now am ready for Champaign, maybe Papa Dels pizza, and the push on to Indiana. If it doesn’t rain.

The Lone Rider

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