What I didn't expect is that everybody takes stop-signs totally serious even if it's obvious that no car is coming! So strange and totally different from home. If it's not necessary there you just don't stop!.
All this just by the way:)
|Half-typical American mailbox with an insanely high number!|
Cause the distance between the relatives in Cleveland and Tiffin, OH is just about 140km I decided to do that in one day, cause for two it would have been to short. Extra for that I set my clock to 7 am to get on the road as soon as possible! Long story short...it didn't work, like everytime before on this trip, but the attempt is what counts:)
I started then at 10 what is kinda pathetic considering that I wanted to start around 8:/ but I can blame the wonderful breakfast I had for at least half an hour of my delay:) (picture is on the last post:) Thank you Marion that was so delicious, especially when I think about what I usually have in the morning!
|Main issue with my navigation system: just look in the way it wants to send me|
|Look carefully it's the one on the right!!|
I probably won't tell anything about the landscape in the next two weeks anymore, cause I expect it won't change at all for about the next 2000km (1250mi). It is like super flat now, fields and farms between some trees and a couple of houses, and always like that. The advantage I hoped would be that you can make a lot of distance and this expectation should become true. With an average speed of ca. 19km/h (12mph) I did the 140km in less than 7 1/2h which means it was the longest and the fastest stage same time so far on this trip. Although I don't mind sleeping in a tent (my sleeping mat is very comfortable) I appreciated it a lot to sleep in a real bed again:) In Susan and Randy's house (our distant relatives in Tiffin) I got a whole bedroom for myself, what a luxury again! I got a welcome with the flag of Heidelberg (they've got a Heidelberg-University in town) and some birthday presents including a cute little cupcake with a candle as well:) Thanks for all that so much!
|Arriving in Tiffin|
|Susan with her husband Randy:)|
|Volunteering at the Ritz-Theatre were I met them|
Their house is located almost outside of town with a nice backyard including a porch and a pool! Unfortunately I had no chance to use it but it must be so cool to jump in during the hot summers in this area.
After some route-planning with Randy and a long, recreative sleep I decided to take the next day of and continue my trip on Monday.
We had a nice relaxing day with a scenic history-drive in and around Tiffin and visited a parade of the American Memorial Day in Bascom, a neighbor-village of Tiffin. Everybody seems to know each other around here, what reminds me totally of my home where it is in smaller villages pretty much the same.
Before leaving next morning I got another contact of some people they know in Colorado, so I probably can pass by there and add another stop after Kansas City and LA on my way:)
|Backyard with pool:D|
|old car on the parade in Bascom|
|another king-sized breakfast again!|
The distance between Tiffin and Indianapolis, where the next distant relative lives, is 350km (220mi) and it was really hard to decide, either to do it in three or in two days, cause three would have meant just 117km (73mi) per day (and in flat areas you can do definitely more) but two would have meant an average of 175km (110mi) per day what is really hard with a heavy and non-aerodynamic bike like this. The longest stage I ever did was 210km (130mi) and that was with a racing bike and I felt really bad afterwards!
However (but mostly due to my kinda tight schedule) I decided on the two days option and planned to get up really early this time to leave before 8!
I think I don't have to mention that that didn't work:D but it was nine o'clock when I started and anyway the earliest departure I had so far on this trip.
I just forgot about on thing:...
|Susan and Randy's house:) just about to leave...|
When people told me I would be going the wrong direction because of westwinds in the middle west I thought they would mean something like light winds or like light breezes but this day was just awful! I got headwinds up to 50km/h (30mph) which didn't allowed cycling faster than 13km/h (less than 10mph) most time. Pretty demoralizing when you imagine that you could go easily up to 30km/h (ca. 20mph) steady with the same wind in your back:/ But long story short: I made it 183km further that day due to almost no breaks and riding till sunset. I camped anywhere near the Ohio border to Indiana then and didn't even feed exhausted at the end of the day what really surprised me! But it was a taff ride though and I was glad that I made it that far. And... new record!:)
|Place next to the road where I stayed the night|
The next day the wind slowed down and changed direction to the northwest so I almost got backwinds when I was riding south-streets:) Although it was 165km, it was a pretty relaxed ride and I made it in time for dinner near Victors with his brother an mother as well:)
|It still impresses me how much space people here have to build!|
|Passed Berlin on the way:)|
My aunt and I visited Victor last year in Washington DC. before he moved to Indianapolis to live closer to the rest of his family. His new home totally reminds me of the one in Washington. It's part of a terrace house and doesn't seem that big from the outside but has soo much space in it, I even got my own bedroom again, so much luxury compared to my tent:) The house is located right next to the Monon-bike trail I took, a very well maintained trail, which runs from the very north of the city to downtown and allows cycling through the city without any traffic!
|Monon Trail through Indianapolis|
I got such a great welcome with a welcome-card at the door (missed taking a picture of that:/) and a German-color-decorated balcony! Victors mom bought me a huuuge peace of cake for my birthday, was so delicious! It was not to late for dinner with his brother and mom in a restaurant close to his house. I had some special Indiana-food pretty similar to Wiener Schnitzel but looked different and was served with sweet potatoes, very delicious as well!
|Delicious birthday cake:)|
|His house just on the right|
|Dinner with his brother Jeff and mom Pat|
The next day we visited Downtown Indianapolis and the house of Victors brother too. Indianapolis has a great Monument-Mall (see the pictures) and a nice canal-district which they apparently built or improved because of the Super Bowl a couple of years ago. We saw the. Lucas-Oil Stadium as well, where the Colts (Football Team of Indianapolis) play. Cause I'm a Colts Fan since I started watching football a couple of years ago I definitely want to get in there for a match some day!
|Another war memorial|
|Victors nephew Connor and niece Megan|
After the tour in Downtown we went to the "Ratskeller" a German restaurant for lunch. The Jägerschnitzel mit Sauerkraut was really good, almost like home!
|Lunch at the Ratskeller with his sister in law Kristen and her son Briggs :)|
Victors plan was definitely to fill me up to get some extra pounds I can loose on the trip, cause just a few hours later we went to a restaurant near the canal all together, this time with his other brother as well, and a nice dinner and dessert at another place afterwards:)
|All his brothers (including Doug this time) and me before dinner:)|
Victors plan was definitely a success cause apparently I gained four more pounds in just 24 hours (according to his scale). Now I can definitely do some extra kilomiters the next couple of days:D
|...and after! 4 pounds!!!|
I just can say thank you very much for this stay and for all the food, definitely served its purpose and maybe see you again some day in Germany!:)
|My route during these couple of days:)|