Friday, August 13, 2021

Indiana Tour Day 5 - Peru to North Judson

 While we were happily sleeping in Peru, a bunch of severe thunderstorms passed by north of us. Peru only got some light rain, which hit us a little bit in the first hour of our ride. It felt great, no big deal. 

We had a couple really great rail trails today. There was about 20 miles of another segment of the Nickle Plate Trail from Peru to Rochester, where we ate lunch.

And we finished with 9 miles of the Erie Trail.

The Erie Trail has another set of signs for the planets to make a scale model of the solar system. Max determined in this instance of a scale model of the solar system, the scale is 300,000,000:1. 

The Erie Trail is part of the American Discovery Trail, which is a coast to coast route created and maintained by Adventure Cycling. It was originally the "Bikecentennial" route laid out for the bicentennial celebration in 1976. I remember reading about this in 1976, and my 13 year old self really wished I could do this someday.

These trails are really great. Indiana is really outdoing themselves on rail trails. There is some maintenance needed, though. There are a lot of places where the trail has settled and opened giant tire-eating cracks in the pavement, which is scary.

There is also the aftermath of the heavy thunderstorm from this morning.

This was the sixth of six trees that had fallen across the trail in the storms. We did a lot of climbing over trees today. There was also lots of debris on the trail, with many sticks and fallen branches.

When we weren't on the trail, we were on great back roads that followed the Tippecanoe River. These roads were super scenic, and they had no traffic. No shoulders, either, but who cares. The route along the river was not part of USBR 35, and I don't know what they were thinking when they chose the route they did.

This was a really nice day of riding. The storms overnight kept the temperatures reasonable, along with the cloud cover. We lost our tailwind from the last few days, but there wasn't much wind at all. I was expecting today to be a lot harder, with more extreme heat and a headwind as well, but it turned out really great!

We are at North Judson, which is a small town with all the essentials. Including this awesome surviving Googie style drive-in restaurant and ice cream stand. The ice cream hit the spot at the end our excellent bike ride.

We are here because it has the only motel for 20 miles in any direction where online reviews do not mention meth labs in the rooms. We are in the Oak View Inn. It is cheap, basic, and a time warp to the 1970s.

This is so awesome, I had to go for the panorama shot.

Jim is in an adjoining room. His room has an actual heart-shaped jacuzzi.

I was chatting up the permanent residents in the next couple rooms. They said they get a lot of bike tourists (presumably because this is on the American Discovery Trail, and there are no other choices). Then the obese lady in the motorized wheelchair wearing a battered MAGA hat went back to talking about what she just heard on OAN about Mike Lindell and how the truth is about to come out, and I let them be.

This motel is actually pretty good. It's clean, everything works, and there is a nice restaurant across the parking lot. 

The North Judson High School mascot is the Blue Jays. This Blue Jay logo is everywhere, from menus in restaurants to the town water tower. The careful observer might notice that the "Blue Jay" logo is actually a cardinal head colored blue.

Here is the Strava track.

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