54 miles, 1171 total miles
Ahhhh, a layover day!
We spend this evening and tomorrow in the city of Carbondale, population 20,681, and the home of Southern Illinois University.
A very nice ride today . . . always beautiful scenery.
Our first stop, 20 miles into the route, was Delanie’s Cafe, where bikers are served either a milk shake, slice of homemade pie, or strawberry shortcake free of charge.
It’s places like this that make the small towns so interesting. A no-nonsense Margaret catches us at the door as we arrive and with a nod of her head says, “anywhere you’d like and I’ll be right along.” As she heads back to get menus, a weathered local says to her, “any chance of getting a coffee re-fill?” Without missing a beat, she shoots back, “Fred, you’re lucky we serve you at all.” She’s quick to fill up his coffee cup . . . and they trade a bit of conversation that shows the banter is based on the affection so common among small town residents.
A new blog feature — biographies of our tour participants. Every few days we’ll introduce a new rider.
Tom, 63, also lives in Bowling Green and is retired from the Lucas County Waste Water Treatment Facility. Tom has already done a cross-country bike ride (the Southern Tier). His hobbies include working with stained glass and biking. He and his wife Jane are frequent train travelers. Tom is unique in our group, as he is riding a recumbent bike with a Bob trailer.