Good morning! Nate here. I type this as it’s still dark outside. I’m just getting out of bed, and set to start riding before 6 a.m. Huge thanks again to Eric and Tiff for giving us your living room last night!

Michael’s plan is to leave here at 8 or 9 a.m.–whenever he wakes up. It’s looking like another hot day today, but we shouldn’t have to deal with much (if any) headwind during our ~62 mile ride.

We’re headed to Michigan City Campground in northwest Indiana by day’s end. Looks like we’ll be out of Indiana tomorrow!

Check back for an update later today!

Update (Mid-morning): Currently about 55 miles into my ride, with about 10 more to go. I’m stopped for lunch at Jimmy John’s (yum). Some cool stories from this morning. Again, to reflect yesterday’s blog post: people are so nice.

I had cereal for breakfast with Eric at 5:30 a.m. While having breakfast, Eric handed me a phone case from where he works! The company is called “Carved” and they make phone cases and accessories out of wood!

I think it looks great. Because Elkhart was generally in the same direction I was headed, I joined Eric for his commute to work. We departed Goshen at 5:50am. We met up with his friend and coworker, Alex, who also rode the 10-mile commute.

After veering off from Eric and Alex, and starting to head due west, I felt like a second breakfast so I stopped by McDonald’s. I swear I never visited that establishment this frequently before the trip started–but it’s quickly become my favorite place for coffee and water/ice fill ups. When I went in, the lady behind the counter noticed I had been riding, and she not only gave me a free coffee, but also gave me two breakfast sandwiches. I love people.

All filled up with two meals, I continued west, past South Bend, IN and into farmland. One road was so deserted, I didn’t see a single car for a 14 mile stretch. I took advantage of the moment and took a photo of my bike in the middle of the road.

Soon after this photo, I came close to running out of water, so I pulled into a random driveway where a farmer let me fill up my bottles with his hose.

Michael got a later start than me today, but I just heard word that he’s on the road and riding towards our plotted destination. I’ll get more info from him when we meet up later this afternoon, so I can have a full evening update!

Lastly, I have no idea what time zone I’m in. My phone says one thing (Eastern Time), but my GPS and the Internet say that I should be in Central Time. Weird.

Check back later!

Update (6:30 p.m., Central Time): Okay, so we’re definitely in the Central Time zone, or as Michael calls it: “Austin time.” Today was a good day on the bikes. I rolled into the campground at 1 p.m., and Michael followed, rolling in at about 4 p.m. We both felt strong by the end of the ride and could have probably done another 15 miles if we needed to. That’s a good sign.

Between my last update and now, one interesting thing happened. During the last 10 mile stretch I came upon a pack of 20 or so seniors all riding little 50cc motorized scooters, heading east. They seemed happy enough to see me, and all started honking, waving, and cheering me on as I biked past headed west. That put a smile on my face for the remainder of the ride.

As for Michael, he had a good day riding too. Unfortunately when he reached South Bend he hit a major thunderstorm and hunkered down in a local cafe. The manager of the cafe wouldn’t let him lean his bike on the building, so he had to park it on a bike rack–in the pouring rain. Bummer. He rode a much more congested route than I did, but we both made it here in one piece. Also he stopped at Culver’s for frozen custard. I’m jealous.

I whipped up some dinner with my jetboil: a dried pasta side (recommendation of my friend Andrew McCabe). Verdict: it tastes delicious.

That’s it for today! Check back tomorrow where we have one of our longest rides yet: 80+ miles! Crossing over into Illinois tomorrow morning and making our way to Joliet for the night. Thanks to the folks at Michigan City Campground for pointing out a few paved bike paths that are off the road. For most of the ride tomorrow we will be well south of Chicago and safely clear of traffic!

Check out my Relive video for the day here.