USA 2019 Day 13 from Richmond to indianapolis
It’s raining. And it winds. Today’s stage would be very long and exhausting even in good weather. I have over 100 km to my Airbnb in Indianapolis, 80 km of it on the four-lane highway. Now with rain and headwind. I take my time packing and when I leave shortly after ten o’clock, it stopped raining. How long will the weather last?
My motel is on the outskirts of Richmond. I have to drive through Richmond first. Then it should go on the four-lane Highway. I do that, too, but only for one kilometer. I managed to find a parallel road. However, parallel roads in the country have completely different distances here than in Europe. Also, the Flatrock River has to be crossed and some roads end directly at the river. Not everyone has a bridge. A small rarely used road with a bridge over the river and parallel to the highway is about 10 km further south. In the end, I have to drive this road to the north again. So 20 additional kilometers. But not 80 km in bad visibility thanks to rain along the four-lane highway, but only one. Sounds like a deal.
So I head south. Zigzag across different roads. After about 30 km I make the first stop in Milton because I haven’t had breakfast yet. The decision came at short notice because I discovered a covered picnic spot directly at the track. With rain a super thing! I take a lot of time and enjoy the break, almost 40 minutes. I’m pretty sure I won’t get another opportunity like this today.
After about two and a half hours I reach the parallel road I chose. Now I will have to drive 70 km along this road. To the west, always straight ahead, as if drawn with a ruler. With rain and wind. You have to take the weather as it comes. I have no problem with that. It was clear to me from the beginning that I wouldn’t have perfect bike weather for a full three months.
What is exhausting is the length of the road and that there are no curves. It seems to me as if I can’t move forward. There’s hardly anything here I can orient myself on. Fields on the right, fields on the left. Mostly corn. Only rarely something else. So I concentrate on my speed. The digital display is the only indicator of my progress. I do some power and use the 70 km lonely, well asphalted and straight road to work on my condition.
Shortly before Raleigh, a small village on the road, there are the ruins of an old school. Who might have gone to school here? There is nothing here but fields, fields and more fields. Shortly after Raleigh comes the Flatrock River. A small trickle. But on an otherwise monotonous stretch, I am grateful for every change. Then it goes on again. Always in the same direction.
After about 100 km I reached the end of the road and the first outskirts of Indianapolis. The rain stops and now the sun can be seen. Then I am even allowed to drive trails. The complete Pennsy Trail. It is altogether only 3 km long, but at least. Further 3 km follow on the Pleasant Run Trail. Then a few more roads through the residential area and I have reached my Airbnb for the next two nights.
Today was not very physically demanding. It was long, many kilometers, but no appreciable gradients and very good to drive. Psychologically the day was a big challenge. Rain and headwind in combination with a never-ending road. That needs perseverance. I am very happy to have reached my Airbnb now and look forward to my rest day tomorrow!
|5:21||123 km||23.1 km/h||550 m||660 m|