Where I Did Not Find What I Was Looking For - America's Most Naive Bike Tourist Rides From MN to MA - CycleBlaze

June 15, 2014

Where I Did Not Find What I Was Looking For

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Several months ago when I began researching the Northern Tier Route and I had planned to actually follow it, I plotted a little side trip to Fort Wayne.  The reason?  A few years ago Ft. Wayne was ranked as the "dumbest" large city in the United States by Men's Health.  The magazine apparently used a number of criteria, including percentage of adults with bachelor's degrees, number of colleges, book sales, library circulation, etc.  Personally, I don't give much credence to ratings lists of this nature and one always has to consider the source.  But in this case, it is the ONLY thing I know about Ft. Wayne.  Curiosity got the best of me.  Now it is no longer a side trip.  I'm headed straight for it to spend an afternoon and evening in the heart of the city.

As I approached the city, and Highway 14 widened to four lanes of craziness, I already felt about 30% dumber for cycling that route--and I wasn't all that smart to begin with.  You could even say that I fit right in with 253,000 dumb people.

I made it downtown, checked into a fancy hotel--my Father's Day treat--and set out on foot to try to find the dumbness.

I sure didn't meet any dumb people at Jimmy John's where I ordered my favorite #17.  Almost everybody who came in were riding bicycles.  In fact, I saw bikers all over the city--not dumb at all.  I talked to a 60-ish year old guy with a long white beard who rode to Jimmy John's on a decked out, upright bike complete with custom made cedar fenders.  He wasn't dumb.  I didn't find any dumb people at the Ft. Wayne TinCaps minor league baseball game.  No dumb people at the Lincoln Tower.  Certainly none at the Botanical Conservatory.  None at Champion's Sports Bar and Restaurant.

So what's up Men's Health?  You now have a serious credibility problem.  I've never read your magazine and now I probably never will.  I like Ft. Wayne as much as I like the rest of Indiana.

The Ft. Wayne skyline. Smart!
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That's a #17 on the table next to The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong.
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Proof I'm still alive.
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Today's ride: 38 miles (61 km)
Total: 721 miles (1,160 km)

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