So I’m reading Beth’s posts as I put them up and wondering if anyone’s actually gonna read mine…her writing is much more interesting. I kinda just want to write: “we road to x, road was pretty, bike ran good, the end.” Oh well, I guess I’m gonna have to work at keeping up…so here goes!
Wednesday morning started out in Chicago. I went to get the bike out of the garage and had to pay the horrendous price of $25 to get it out! I wouldn’t feel so bad about it if they let me take up a whole parking space, since the fee was $25 for a car as well. I asked the attendant for a “2 wheel discount” since they had put the bike back in a corner next to a Vespa and a sport bike. All I got for my question was a slightly annoyed “no.” But at least I asked!
We started out with the grand idea that we would use backroads to ride to Forest City, IA. That was great in theory, but in practice it turned out dismally. We started late around 12:30. When I realized it was 3:30 I checked the odometer and we had only ridden 45 miles and we were still in Chicago suburbs! Beth was so tired she was about to fall off the back of the bike. I stopped and got her some caffeine (she was supposed to get off the bike and walk around to get the blood flowing, but after I came out of the store I found her lying on the grass in the sun taking a nap). At that point I ditched my ideal of riding backroads, made a right hand turn and headed for the highway. Most of the rest of the day was uneventful. We road hard (dropped my gas mileage down to like 45mpg) and made pretty good time. When we stopped for some dinner I asked Beth if I should call ahead to the place I had picked for us to stay that night and have them hold us a room and she reluctantly said yes.
It turned out to be a great thing that we kept riding. As we turned north onto I-35 the sun set behind old farmhouses to our left as steam rose from the fields. It forever changed the way we look at Iowa…it’s no longer just the state you have to cross, but we’ll always remember it as the place we saw “that sunset.” Sadly, we took no pictures, but I’m not sure that they could have done it justice.
When we next stopped for gas I was expecting Beth to still be in the “I’m tired and sore” mode, but instead she was practically giddy, so excited about the sunset we’d just seen!
As it got colder after sunset we began to appreciate having brought the correct riding gear. We donned our leather jackets, chaps, and gloves and kept riding comfortably. There is no substitute for the proper gear.
We spent the night at the Knights Inn Resort in Forest City, IA which I can gladly recommend as an inexpensive stopover with kind service if you are passing through (see the separate review). Our room was called “Sir Barton” and I think it was supposed to look like a horse stable. Still not sure if that was a good marketing idea on their part or not, but when your tired and starting to get cold…any warm shower and bed will do.