Friday, May 29, 2015

Day 69 Chicago to La Porte, Indiana

Today we rode from Tinley park (Chicago) to La Porte Indiana. It was great to have Sean with us again. Sean's support and encouragement makes a huge difference. Plus, having the company of my lovely wife, Diana who will be riding with me all the way to New York is a real treat.

Today though was a tough day of riding. Emotionally Diana and I were exhausted. We received an emotional call from our daughter last night informing us that our lovely dog, Tigger had passed away. Tigger's been part of our family for 16 years and was a wonderfully  mischievous and loving dog to the very end. We will miss her greatly. Thank you John Becker and Andrea Brennen for stepping up and helping during this very difficult time. 

So our day started off with heavy hearts. 

It helped though having our new friend David Barnes come up to us at breakfast. He thanked us for saving his life and that of his friends and family. After talking with Sean and me yesterday, he did some research on stroke and heart attack prevention. He got the message and spread the word to his siblings and co-workers and plans to get his carotid arteries scanned. 

So he thanked us and we thanked him. His feedback fuels our drive to keep on moving. Thank you David.

The ride to La Porte was difficult. It was not a long day and it had minimal climbing. But the first 20 miles gave us traffic light after traffic light. Stop go stop go. It wears on you. Then we faced horrific road conditions. Pot holes, cracks, bumps, you name it. We also had our share of drivers telling us to get off the road and to ride on to the sidewalk. A bit disheartening. The concept of sharing the road shouldn't be so difficult to understand.

Some of the better riding conditions before lunch...

We stopped for lunch at mile 32 and it was a nice break. Clouds were looming and a few sprinkles hinted we might be getting drenched...

Those are my legs hanging out as I eat lunch in my favorite spot

Post lunch, the ride got much better. Bike trails (still very bumpy) led to country roads. We moved pretty well,  though the early miles took their toll. We got some sprinkles, but in general the skies held tight and what little moisture came down gave us a most welcome break from the humid heat. We rode pretty much straight through with just one stop to help a wayward turtle and another stop where Diana changed shoes to try and address some hot foot issues...

Finally a bike trail!

We arrived in La Porte around 2:30 pm, pretty tired. Sean headed out to a local gym to do some leg work therapy, and around 6 pm we  all headed out to dinner. Parking was tight in this little town as today they were parading all of this weekend;s race boats down the main strip. This is a big deal apparently. Lot's of drinking, bar-b-ques, and concession stands. 

La Porte is an interesting little town. Seems to be doing well. Howevever, I was amazed at how many tattoos I saw. Having seen my share of them along this journey, it would take a lot to stand out enough to catch my eye. La Porte takes the cake. 

Tomorrow's forecast for both La Porte and our destination of Hamilton is rain and more rain. I hope it's not 108 miles of this...

Here's an interesting bit about La Porte's history taken from Wikipedia:

"La Porte is also well known for the area of which Belle Gunness serial murders took place. Belle moved to the United States in 1881 in search of wealth. Belle had posted many notices in lovelorn columns in hopes to attracted wealthy men. She would attract these men to her farmland, and mysteriously they would all disappear. Not only did she murder the wealthy men she attracted, but also her adopted daughter, and her foster children. The remains of over forty men and children were found on her property. Belle eventually burned her own house down, and made it look as if she died inside, although the body found was not hers. Belle withdrew most of her money from her bank accounts, then skipped town. She was never tracked down, and her death has never actually been confirmed."


  1. Oh David, I am so sorry to hear about Tigger!! These animals are not just pets, they are beloved members of our families. So sad.

    Your blog is always so interesting, sometimes I think I would love to ride there... and sometimes, not 😊. So happy you have Diana riding with you! I'm sure the day goes by much more easily. Great to have Sean back as well.

    Thanks for the history lesson 😀

  2. So sorry to hear about Tigger passing away. I've always believed that "dogs are people too!" Hopefully the addition of Sean back with you will help lessen the pain of your and Diana's loss. Of course, having Diana right by your side (or leading, right?!) is most certainly comforting. Pedal on!

  3. What a rough start to today's ride...Also very sorry to hear about Tigger...She was a very well behaved and friendly dog the time that I met her during one of our after ride lunches. Glad Diana and Sean are there to keep you company, and that Diana will be accompanying you the rest of the way. You're in the home stretch. May the Rain Gods be kind to you tomorrow for your 100+ mile ride...-Mikey

  4. La Porte also has an automotive museum including some Indiana-built cars like the Auburn - which you will be slightly north of tomorrow (Auburn, Cord Duesenberg museum). You'll also pass south of the University of Notre Dame and then the home of my aunt and uncle. Very sorry about Tigger. That's really sad. Say "hi" to Sean. Tell Diana we're going to Buffalo Bill's tomorrow for another brewvet ride.

  5. Sorry to hear about Tigger. Your dog looks so beautiful! Say hello to Sean from his niece. My cycle ride from London to Brighton is in 3 weeks! I have been training by cycling to work. Sara p.s. Spooky murder story!

  6. A tough day all around. Very sorry to read about Tigger. Good news that Diana arrived safely and is riding with you. I wish you favorable winds and good weather as you continue east!