TransAmerica Bike Ride Day 34 – 87 miles

Thom and I had dinner at the Gallatin Grille in Vandalia. It was awesome! The food was excellent and the service would have allowed us to accept mediocre food. Go there if you’re near Vandalia at meal time, which is any time if you’re cycling.
What a day. Thom rode east with me for 15 miles before turning back to get his car. It was just like when we were in high school except he was riding a recumbent. The high schoolers in us came out as we talked about how far I could ride in the time it took for him to go back to his car, load up his bike, then drive to catch me. We had left my panniers in his car.
Those of you who know me and Thom can guess what came next. Thom offered up an over/under mileage: 43. There was no handshake. No stated wager. No negotiating the number. Yet somehow we both knew that it was on.
You’ll have to get Thom’s side from him. All I know is that I told Thom we were at his turning point and he yelled, “See you at 43!” He had already flipped a U and was jamming west.
I spent the next 28 miles riding uphill into the wind as fast as I possibly could. It didn’t matter if I was unable to reach my target destination of Casey. All that mattered was passing 43 before Thom got back. When I got to 44 miles, I almost collapsed. Thom caught me at 46.5. We sat in his car and talked about what idiots we sometimes are before he headed home and I started a more reasonable pace.
Because of the “race” I got to Casey pretty early. I stopped to see the world’s largest wind chime and the world’s largest golf tee. I couldn’t see the world’s largest knitting needles because the shop was closed. I did see the foundation for the world’s largest rocking chair which is coming soon to Casey. After all the big stuff I decided to ride further. When I got to Marshall I considered going on to Terre Haute but I knew I couldn’t buy beer on Sunday so I stopped at the Marshall Super 8. It turns out that Marshall doesn’t allow beer sales on Sunday either. Oh well.
Tomorrow I hope to ride all the way to Indy.

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