Quarry in Indiana near a Blasting Site
Exploring around the blast site!

Wanderin’ on a Blast Site…Kaboom

Lawrenceville, Illinois

I woke up at 4:30 AM to crickets chirping in my ear.  As soon as I stopped moving they would start right back up again so I decided to prep my gear for an early departure.  I refilled my hydration pack, ate a peanut butter sammich, charged my phone and headed out at 6 AM.  The terrain around here is so flat that covering over 60 miles in a day is relatively easy. I wanted to make up for yesterday.

I pedaled for 30 miles and ended up grubbing on some leftover pasta I found in my pannier.  Google Maps Bicycle Beta sent me on all sorts of random roads.  The problem was in these parts of Indiana a lot of roads are closed and under construction or they consist of gravel, which isn’t ideal for road bikes.  It’s similar to riding a sports car in the snow.  You have zero traction.  I spent a good part of those roads walking.  Then all of a sudden I ended up in front of a huge pile of broken up asphalt with a road closed sign.  I decided to continue onward and check it out.  I stumbled upon a beautiful lake and took a few pictures.

Since I do not like to turn around I continued going down the closed, half paved road and ended up in a blasting site.  At this point I could not hide the fact I was trespassing so I asked for directions and a man pointed me in the direction of Route 67.

A drop of sweat dripped off my nose secret second from the scorching temperatures.  With the heat index it was well over 100 degrees today.  My shirt drenched in sweat and eyes beginning to tear so I stopped at McDonald’s to cool off.  I refilled my hydration pack and bought a large Hi-C drink to get some sugars in me.

I asked a couple for directions to Vincennes and the nearest campground.  Bad mistake on my part. Aside from his directions being horrible, he went off on a political tangent and his pessimism towards my trip made me stop talking to him.

I pedaled down the road towards Vincennes and my back tube popped again.  I replaced it with my last tube and literally within 500 feet it popped again.  My frustration level at an all time high, but I maintained my composure and luckily found a bike shop called Bicycle Outfitters, five miles away.

I gave them a call to figure out there hours.  With only 2 hours and a long hike ahead of me I decided to walk up the hills, ride down them and ride the flat terrain to get there quicker.  About an hour later I finally arrived.  I realized the reason my tubes kept popping was because the bike mechanic from Bikesmiths sold me the wrong tubes.  I needed the larger tubes for my new back tire.  Allen from Bicycle Outfitters also hooked me up with thorn resistant tubes, which are much thicker and last longer.  The perfect tube for touring.  They let me change it in the store and I told them where I was from and where I was headed.  We chatted for an hour.  He directed me towards Red Hills State Park in Illinois.  He sparked my interest when he mentioned he used to do BMX and is now into go-kart racing.  Both activities I would like to try.  Some of the modified go-karts can hit between 110 and 150 mph.  That’s just insanity going that fast that low to the ground.

I grabbed six tubes and headed out.  I am currently at a church in Lawrenceville, Illinois where I plan to camp for the night.

Previous articleChangin’ Tubes for Vincennes
Next articleSam Dale Lake State Park
Brian Cray is not a cyclist. He’s not a hitchhiker. He’s not a train hopper or an adrenaline junkie. He’s just an ordinary man with gypsy blood in his veins, who can’t seem to settle down. Nothing defines him. He goes wherever this world takes him on this journey we call life, roaming the world, at will, by any means. He aspires for a life of indefinite travel, a tiny home in the woods for him and his wife, and any work that keeps him wanderin’. Brian Cray is a travel writer at heart, sharing his stories with the world one keystroke at a time.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

five + nineteen =