Just the Basics: Only 13.5 miles today! We had a lot of errands and such to do this a.m. - we needed to map out the next few days, which will be mostly off-route, and both of us needed watches, toothbrushes, combs and shoelaces, etc. In addition, based on the location of places to stay and eat for the next few days, a short trip to Peru seemed the best choice.
Photos: None today.
Tomorrow: We ride about 45 miles to Markle, IN (pop 1100)
For Those Who Want More:
Watches: Riley has gone through FOUR watches on this trip - all the same kind and all broken in the same way: One end of one of the receptacles for the little rods through the strap at wrist breaks off. The 1st time we figured the watch had just aged-out. Because Riley basically liked the watch, he bought another just like it, then another, then another - every one broke in the same way! He's switched brands . . . .
Becky always has problems with watches - she likes the contemporary electronic type but it's hard to find one that fits her extra-small wrist. We typically cut off much of the strap or it would almost wrap around twice. A couple of days ago the cut-off strap broke off at the last hole. She has gone back to an old-fashioned women's Timex.
Google's Bike Route Mapping Feature: Because we are currently somewhat off the Adventure Cycling route and lack both personal local knowledge and a highly detailed IN map, Riley has been experimenting with Google's new bike route mapping feature. It worked pretty well today and we're using it again tomorrow - stay tuned!
The DQ Guy: We keep forgetting to tell this story: 3 days ago as we approached our motel in Rensselaer we were happy to see a Dairy Queen almost next door to the motel - a shared DQ banana split is one of our favorite biking snacks.
As we rolled up a family was standing outside laughing - the man was holding a GIANT cone - the ice cream looked 6 inches high. He said he'd asked for a large but had no idea HOW large that would be. One of the women in the family was taking his picture with a cell phone. They asked about our trip and he insisted on having her take his picture with us - we were as big a novelty as the giant cone!
Passing Driver: Today a woman drove by, stopped, and asked the usual questions and had the usual response - delight, congratulations, good wishes and a God Bless You.
Penney's: We like shopping at Penney's, and went there today to buy watches. Becky's family have been customers forever and when Riley was a kid he remembers that his mom liked Penney's because she understood that they treated their employees well. We like their merchandise, but, particularly, the typically warm, helpful staff. Same thing today.
We chatted about this with Jennifer, who sold us the watches. She reported that they DO treat their employees well - she said it was the best place she'd ever worked. We asked if they got special training in Customer Service - at that point she spoke to a woman near by and said "Are you hearing this?" Turned out she was the manager - she says they interview for friendly, highly service-oriented people, then treat them well to keep them there.
They were also really interested in our ride and, when told about our blog, asked for the URL so they could follow it!
The Great Martini Hunt: Ever since we hit Mile 3000 we've intended to have a celebratory martini - but that is easier said than done in this neck of the woods. In our experience, family restaurants in small towns in the Midwest typically don't serve any alcohol - and if a motel has restaurants nearby they are likely to be family restaurants. Motels are often surrounded by fast food, but most fast food joints are also alcohol-free - unless they sell pizza or Mexican food, in which case they'll have only beer or, occasionally, beer and wine. Bars have cocktails but (a) We are sick of bar food - often the only place to eat in town is a bar and most of the food will be fried; and (b) We haven't seen any bars lately, either. Mile 3000 was several days ago but we have yet to find that martini (Bombay Sapphire gin, very dry, olives, rocks). = ( = (