We have a lot of time while we’re riding to think. Along the way, things we see or do might get left out of daily posts, or little bits of information might not yield a story until several days’ observations come together. And then there’s just random stuff. You may or may not find it interesting, but I’ve collected some of it here, as we mark Day 20 of our journey:

  • To start, today was Day 20! Woohoo, that’s one-third of the trip!
  • But wait, are we ahead of, on, or behind schedule? By total miles to date (1,115.7), we’re 32.6% complete; Yes, that’s about a third of the total, so not bad. But not all of those miles are on the plotted course due to detours and stops off course. By the end of June 13 (today), we calculated being at 1,119.6 miles (so close!)–but in Matteson, Illinois, which is ~44 miles from our current position. That means we’re 2/3rds of a day behind schedule. (I’m not concerned; We’ll make up miles in the days ahead.)
  • Each of the campsites we’ve stayed at has provided a distinctly different experience. Tent camping these days is the exception; Campgrounds are filled with RVs. (Nate and I have both decided we want campers). The size and ground condition of tent sites varies considerably, but usually we’ve had more than enough room for two tents. The showers also differ from place to place (although all or nearly all have been great). Some campgrounds have zillions of bugs; Others, none. Michigan City Campground has fireflies (lightning bugs)! And this campsite also has a mulberry tree!
  • I think it’s safe to say we’re both happy with our bike choices. Nate’s Surly and my All City have proven dependable; They’re built like tanks. Yay, bikes!
  • Yesterday, the reason I stopped at the gas station I mentioned was that sunblock (SPF 100+) had gotten in my eyes, and I couldn’t see to ride. I flushed them with water and was back to normal vision quickly. I don’t recommend getting sunblock in your eyes.
  • A couple days ago I joked that I might buy a paraSAIL (because it was so windy), not a parasol.
  • We’ve seen Amish people in every state of the tour except Maine.
  • I haven’t seen a single moose.
  • I have been drinking a lot of water as we cross the midwest (Nate generally drinks more, for the record). During the day’s ride yesterday, I drank 225 fl. oz. of water. Typically I drink between 50 and 75 ounces each ride.
  • I’m missing the U2’s 30th Anniversary The Joshua Tree tour while cycling across the U.S.
  • The adventure-inspiring Dan Eldon lived the idea that the journey is the destination. That motivates me every day.
  • Anecdotally, the utility of bungee cords–to fasten things in place–has not been proven on this trip. They are by far the most common thing on the shoulders of highways–with dozens counted already. And more so in Indiana where trucks are ubiquitous.