Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summer 2009 tour - day 1

And we're off! Our summer '09 tour is westward.

Day 1, packed to the chief's satisfaction and off by 9:30 - we're never on the road early ... Our goal for today is to zip across as far as we can manage without dropping. Glorious sunshine to start the day.

Border crossing was a snap - very little traffic and lots of lanes open at the border. Border guy didn't even talk let alone ask questions. Just circled the bikes and wrote down the license plates.

Great improvement - we can now go directly onto the interstate! Nice!

I94 straight through to Chicago then I80. Bits of construction here and there. Clouds started building mid-afternoon, showers started. Donned raingear (love the Frogg Toggs!) under a bridge, on the road again.

Cleared up mostly by late afternoon, broke through the clouds to clear skies again after seven.

Crop report - pretty uneven east of Chicago, lots of corn not yet in tassle - definitely behind normal. Gets better west of Chicago. Soys look pretty good. Hardly any wheat.

Sightings:
- Pioneer processing plant at Princeton Illinois
- wind farm also near Princeton (also happens to be the birthplace of Ronnie Regan)
- one turbine blade at the weigh station - likely has to wait for weekday to continue it's trip
- lots and lots of bikes - plenty headed for Sturgis, and LOTS getting trailered. Why don't they just ride them? A few reasons come to mind - they're travelling with more people than can ride the bikes? not enough time off to ride all the way? not comfortable or reliable enough to go the distance ?
- love the rolling landscape - crops have wonderful patterns, grassy waterways, lots of dimension - am sure they're not easy to farm but sure are pretty, remind me a lot of quilting patterns!
- the big red bikes always attract comments and people just stop by to chat - one little guy was just amazed that we had twin big red motorcycles, but he wouldn't ride one because he didn't like riding in the rain; met a couple at a gas station who were both on harleys, headed east - recommended a few nice side trips in Iowa on our way west.

Figure I have to do something so I don't seize up ... get off the bike every hour or so (coffee, water, water, lemonade, pix, sights) along with lots of shoulder rolls, kegels, clenching, rocking & rolling in micromovement to great tunes ...

Favorite song timing - Phil Collins "Dancing thru the night" going through Chicago. Fav song today - Jason Mraz, "Lucky" :)

Total KM today - 870. Resting place for the night - Moline Illinois, almost to Iowa. Have to check out the John Deere stuff in town in the morning. Apparently this is 'Quad City' - Davenport Iowa, Bettendort Iowa, Rock Island Illinois, Moline Illinois.

Discovered the new gloves have already worn thru ...

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