Day 19, Aug 5th

Start: South Beloit, IL

Finish: Dwight, IL

Miles: 138

Elevation Gain: 1150'


Classic Inn Motel

15 East Northbrook Dr.

Dwight, IL 60420


Click on an image to see a larger view

Sunshine with moderate temperatures. A healthy wind from the northeast with a largely southerly route. Nice mostly-smooth rural roads with hardly any traffic and no significant hills. Pretty scenery consisting of farms and tree-lined streets. What more could a cyclist ask for?

I had originally posted this as a 118 mile day, but I

There were a lot of wildflowers along the roadside

think this was an error. With detours and route changes, we actually did close to 140 miles, but it was still by far the easiest day we've had since day 11.

It was a chilly mid-50's when we got started this morning. I put on my arm and leg warmers for the first time in days. But by mid-morning, it had warmed

John decided to give Marlene a chance to join him on a tandem

up to the upper 60's and was perfect cycling weather. The humidity was relatively low (compared to the past few days) and I don't think it ever reached 80 degrees.

Virtually everyone rolled out of the motel together this morning. We don't often have such a mass start. But within a few miles, we had started to separate as the faster riders really took advantage of the tailwinds. On the way to the first rest stop, we had a nice little stretch of riding on a tree canopied bike path which was must smoother than the bike paths we have around Seattle. And about every 500 yards, a rabbit or squirrel would dart across the path in front of me.

It seemed like we had just gotten started when we reached the first rest stop. Everyone was riding fast and we soon ran out of room on the temporary bike racks the PAC tour crew set up. The second leg was equally as fast. As I stopped to take a couple photos, John and Marlene whizzed by on a tandem as I snapped the photo of them above. I got back on my bike and struggled to catch up to them - they were flying, but tandems are always a bit slower on the uphills, so when we hit a longish climb I finally caught them. I drafted behind them the rest of the way to the second SAG stop, riding between 26 and 30 mph all the way. John is a very strong rider and Marlene was doing her bit as well. This was a perfect day for a tandem.

By the time Susan got to the first SAG stop with the lunch truck, all but three riders had already gone through. When she barely got to the second SAG stop ahead of us, she declared that the lunch stop was being moved from mile 78 to mile 93 so she'd have time to get things set up. She also told us to slow down. Fortunately for the lunch crew, we had to head east for five miles or so into the wind before turning south again which significantly slowed us down. We still got to lunch well before noon.

Even with leisurely stops at lunch and the rest stops and a relatively easy-paced last leg, I rolled into the motel at 2:30, one of the earliest finishes so far.

For all Bob's fans in Michigan Kim is in front Lots of pretty farm land

Mike and Nancy from VA on their tandem - we had 4 tandems today We had very slightly rolling hills for most of the day Marlene and John standing in front of their "John Deer" tandem

A weird looking tree for sure How long do you think this barn is going to stay up? E is a reverend at a local Methodist church. Some of his congregation came to welcome him to lunch