Outflanking Indianapolis - Riding in Circles - CycleBlaze

October 6, 2020

Outflanking Indianapolis

Trying Not To Die Today

Day 6: Tues Oct 6th Fishers, IN to Amity, IN

Miles: 73 miles

Weather: 44 in am, 74 high and sunny

Wow, what a day!  Today was a day of extremes.  Both highs and lows. To the best of my knowledge after doing some research I was camped last night in the town of Fisher in or just outside of Richey Woods Nature Preserve.  I was up and had everything broken down and packed by 9 this morning.  I also did some basic bike maintenance this morning. Lubed the chain, checked air in tires, and made sure screws and nuts were tight on bike.  Also, I found the leak in my air mattress last night and patched it and then reinforced with gorilla tape. 
Much of the first 20 miles riden today were on back roads through affluent suburbs northeast of Indianapolis like Fishers and Carmel.  After that the riding grew increasingly more harrowing. 
A couple high points were people I met along the road.  I met 2 couples today.  The first was Tom and Rhonda who I met at Eagle Creek Reservoir.  

Eagle Creek Lake
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Tom is a retired doc who is 75 and still cycles.  We chatted about a variety of subjects.  He said he wished more younger people were doing what I'm doing.  The other couple was a few miles up the road from eagle creek on a side street in a development.  When they saw me they quickly pulled into their driveway and hopped out of the car to ask me where I was coming from.  This was the start of a long conversation.  They plan to hike the Appalachian Trail once they retire in a year or two.  Having thru-hiked the trail in 2000 I gave them my phone number.   Before we said goodbye the woman went in her house and came out with 5 Michigan apples for me.  I ate all but one of them already.  They were so nice.  They wanted to know if I needed anything.  I thanked them and said I had too much! 
Since today's goal was to avoid Indianapolis and not get run over coupled by a longer term goal of getting to Cataract Falls State Park by lunch tommorow I spent much of the day heading west and then a little south.  Unfortunately I faced strong headwind both those directions today.  I spent 14 miles riding on US Hwy 40 which is a terrible road for bike touring.  There is little shoulder and the car's go fast.  Also I was headed due west with strong headwind the whole time.  Add  38 lbs of gear meant I was going 8 mph on extended but graded uphill and only 13 downhill.  These extended uphill against the wind really started demoralizing me and made me feel like Sisyphus.   At one point I pulled off the road midway up and took a water and phone break.  

View from us hwy 40 during an extended but gradual uphill with 15 mph headwinds. Brutal!
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When I turned on my phone I had a message.  Who could it be?  Curiousity peaked my interest.  When I checked my v/m a voice came on that said, "We've been trying to reach you about your extended car insurance warranty!"  I had to laugh.  I don't own a car.  But the message served the purpose of getting my mind off these endless hills and headwinds for a moment.
Suddenly, I noticed there was a police officer blocking Highway 40 up ahead.  As I pulled up went up to the officer and asked him how I could get to county road 350.  He pointed to the left and said your here.  How lucky is that.  The road was closed exactly where I needed to turn.

When I got off hwy 40 i began looking for a place to camp.  Though no such luck.  All i could find was farm after farm. 

Back in farmland. Central Indiana...
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 I dont mind stealth camping on public property but dont like doing it on private property.  Especially, a farmers property who likely own a gun or several. So, I just kept riding in the direction of Cataract Falls.  

It was around this time I started to learn about the cruel little tricks Google maps directions for cyclists likes to play on people.  First, I had to walk almost 1.5 miles because of a heavily covered larger stone covered road called Measel.  The 28mm tires I'm running on can handle light gravel but not heavy stone.  Second, and this is the real issue, Google likes to continually take cyclists off main roads which are more direct and more conducive towards riding on and onto dirt and gravel roads.  For instance I noticed when I made my route notes that google had me turn off 42 west and make multiple turns only to end up back on 42 west 3 miles later.

When I entered the tiny town of Eminence I confirmed thd best way to get to Cataract Falls with a woman outside smoking.  By this point it was 7 PM and the sun was about to set.  So, I made haste and kept pedalling with my night lights on.  At 730 I saw Amity Missionary Baptist Church.  I was beat and had ridden 73 miles already.  So, I went around behind the church and made camp.   

Today's ride: 73 miles (117 km)
Total: 337 miles (542 km)

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