Home…Home..on the Range…

Well, it’s not on the Range, but I am writing from Home. I arrived in Batavia around 1 this afternoon after leaving Moline this morning. Steve rode away from our air-conditioned hotel room about 7 this morning as he wanted to beat the heat. He called a few minutes ago from Mendota, Illinois after an 86.6 mile ride. I drove through Mendota earlier today and reserved a room for him. I asked what was most impressionable about today’s ride and he said, “It was flat.” I can tell you though, that we are fortunate as bike riders in Illinois for most of the county and state roads are bike friendly. Iowa’s roads had a lot to be desired as they didn’t provide nice shoulders for Steve. Today he ventured off the roads onto the Hennepin Canal bike trail and enjoyed riding on it for about 5 miles.

Yesterday, Thursday, July 21, Steve rode with a “small” bicycle club that hails from Lone Tree, Iowa. Club members included our 8 year old niece, Shaundria, 6 year old nephew, Jovonte, and their 8 year old friends Thomas and Nicholas. It was so cute to see Steve and the four of them riding down the street together. Jovonte has a competitive streak and announced that he was going to beat everyone!! On the edge of town, the kids all gave Uncle Steve hugs and sent him on his way. From Lone Tree, Steve drove to Muscatine and over the Mississippi River on the bridge that crossed there. We were led to believe that there was a convenience store in the little hamlet of Illinois City, but all we found was a small post office and a United Methodist church with shade. Fortunately I had some bottled water and granola bars in the traveling pantry, so at least Steve had something to wet his whistle and a bit of nourishment. I stopped in Andulasia for gas and noticed that the thermometer posted in the shade read 100 degrees! We heard reports that the heat index was around 105. Ugh!!! And, the crops are really taking the brunt of this heat. I feel so bad for the farmers in Iowa and Illinois. Pray for rain!!

Yesterday just when Steve thought that he was getting closer to completing his day, there was road construction in the Moline area. So he had to negotiate those challenges and a little extra riding time. He ended up with 64 miles yesterday, which seemed much longer due to the heat.

I’ve enjoyed traveling along with Steve since Norfolk, Nebraska. I’ll be home for about 10 days before heading off again for more traveling towards Virginia, where I’ll meet up with Steve. I’ve logged about 6800 miles of driving so far this summer and I’m content to stay put for a little bit. Steve will enjoy his two day stop-over here to take a break from riding, to regroup, and, yes as Jeremy mentioned, to hopefully get our website a little more updated. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to hear about Steve’s travels at 12 mph! — Love, Diane

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