It’s Not Illinois but You Can’t See It from Here

The plan was to ride from North Judson IN to Kankakee IL to tour some Frank Lloyd Wright houses with the misses. She preferred visiting with her friend in Valparaiso IN. So it was off to Valpo 17th state be damned.

At least the weather cooperated. It was beyond perfect. And the terrain was a pool table. In fact I’m pretty sure the roads around here are paved with felt.

If you’ve ever ridden in northern Indiana you know that there are two constants. First you’ll be riding among soybeans and corn and little else. Soy. Corn. Soy. Corn. Tofu and popcorn. The second is the grid. Roads are numbered from the centerline of each county. W 100 is a. north/south road 1 mile to the west of the centerline. It’s easy to navigate as long as you pay a attention to county lines. When you cross the county line the numbers go a bit haywire. 1200 W is followed by 1100 E. It’s like going through a wormhole.

I pedaled along oblivious to the map that Google gave me. I even found a marked bike route which seemed silly since every road is ridable.

A wind picked up from the west but my countless was legit northerly. I hid behind the 6-foot corn and rolled effortlessly. I could ride this pool table forever.

I made it into Valpo and rolled around a traffic circle. No worries. Local drivers gave me plenty of room, probably because they’d never see a Bike Friday before.

The center if Valpo has an impressive man drag with boutiques and interesting restaurants. It seems like a city on a roll.

Speaking of rolls, mine was coming to an end. I stopped at my brother-in-law’s house. Mrs Rootchopper’s friend’s house was about a Mike away. I chatted with my sister-in-law who warned me about the hills Campbell Street. I laughed having just ridden most of it. It was barely a false flat, imperceptibly uphill.

I arrived st the destination well before my wife. She showed up and we spent a couple of hours talking to her friends from high school. All during the conversation toe dogs circled round us. By the time we left my eyes were red and sore and my sinuses were a mess.

With Little Nellie in the boot we made our way back to her parents’ place stopping at a Target to get some antihistamines. By this point my eyes were a complete mess. Fortunately they seem to be responding to the medicines we bought.

It was a fun ride. Maybe I’ll do another one someday – on my way to the coast.

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