Much of today’s ride was on historic Route 40. I could frequently see modern I-70 parallel to my road. I-70 pulled most of the traffic off Route 40, so I had it mostly to myself. Without exception, when vehicles did pass me, they gave me as much berth as the road allowed. Even when I was completely on the shoulder, the largest truck would go clear into the oncoming lane to make sure I had plenty of room. I have never seen such consistent courteous behavior toward a cyclist. (https://youtu.be/MOWXjmLnIFE)
Old Rt 40 was lined on both sides with farms and much of the traffic was of farm nature including pickup trucks pulling trailers, tractors, and the occasional combine. Perhaps the users of the road are accustomed to nature’s time table with cornstalks growing from seed the more normal measure of time.
I first noticed while cycling in Texas that a change in county line often means a change in pavement. As I crossed the county line into Effingham County, there was a decided change for the worse in the pavement. As if to answer my observation, I encountered an extensive area of road construction. A sign warned me of 5.5 miles of rough grooved pavement. You may have heard me complain loudly about chip seal. Rough grooved pavement is an order of magnitude worse. Here’s a video by Susie in the sag car of me riding on it.
As I rode up a hill jolted by the pavement, I spotted a flagger directing traffic. I was getting all puffed up to whine about how rough grooved pavement is for a bicycle, when the flagger, a woman, asked me what I was cycling for. I shouted back, “Coast to coast – for a Guinness World Record!” She shouted back, “Awesome! You go girl!” Then she got on her walkie talkie and informed the guy at the other end. My puffup deflated and was replaced with a giant happy grin. Shortly afterwards, the grooved pavement gave way to a two foot wide swath of nearly smooth concrete next to the chewed up road, just enough for me to ride comfortably. I could see another flagger in the distance holding back cars waiting for me to get there, so I went as fast as I could so as not to anger the waiting motorists. When I finally got there, he said, “Good luck!” The first flagger had told him not only to expect a cyclist but had also told him of my goal!
Today’s was a pleasant ride through US land and its people who work diligently to fill the nation’s bellies.
Start location: Greenville IL
End location: Effingham IL
Distance: 51.3 miles
Cumulative distance: 2162.4 miles
Elevation gain: 895.7 feet
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/733449081