Day 17 - May 20 - Rest Day Franklin IN - Two Old Guys Take On A Continent - CycleBlaze

May 20, 2023

Day 17 - May 20 - Rest Day Franklin IN

A Beautiful Day Not To Ride

Ed’s Story


I slept in till 7:20 this morning, knowing I do not have to worry about raccoons. The only noises I heard last night were from John.

Had a great waffle and hash brown breakfast at the Waffle House this morning. They kept bringing the coffee and it was very good. It’s been years since I ate at a Waffle House .

Clothes washing came next. I had to move someone’s clothes from the dryer to a chair; and someone else’s from the washer to the top of dryer to put mine in. I was never able to dry it because we wanted to go to the bike shop and to Walmart. We needed to get a new gas cylinder for our stove. I laid the clothes out on the bed and over various hangers to allow them to dry.  Whatever is not dry when we get back will be put in the dryer.

We took our bikes to the Gray Goat Bike Shop where Larry helped up out. He found my hanger slightly bent and the derailleur out of adjustment. He fixed everything up good as new, or better. I bought a smaller lighter weight bike security lock and gave my other one to Larry to give to someone who needs one.

Gray Goat Bike Shop…first bike shop we came across in 5 days.
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Larry, bike mechanic extraordinaire, with John and Ed.
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Larry and I swapped military stories. Larry is a retired Army Sergeant Major.

We headed to Walmart for fuel and some food supplies for John. Bought a different canister than normal so need to verify it works. Tested ….it works.

Lunch was at Greek’s Pizzeria and Tapp Room. I had a great baked vegetable pasta dish and a Hoosier Red Ale.

Pizza Delivery Vehicle!
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Then back to the hotel to finish my clothes and some bike maintenance (tighten bolts; clean derailleurs; chain; cassette; and chain. After lubing the bike is now ready for tomorrow’s ride.

We are headed to Lieber State Recreation Area Sunny Acres campground tomorrow with a 57 mile ride. Until tomorrow happy biking!

John’s Story

The day in brief: wake up, eat, bike shop, Walmart, lunch, bike maintenance, laundry, short nap, re-pack , dinner, journal.


You know, I brought an old paperback copy of James Michener’s Hawaii thinking I would read a few pages each day, tear off and toss the pages read, and thus reduce the weight of the book each day until it was gone. How many pages have I read? Zero. I’m still hoping to have time to do it. In the meantime it makes a good paperweight at the bottom of my front right pannier.

Yesterday my bike started exhibiting poor shifting symptoms, randomly jumping from one cog to the next on the cassette, and sometimes jumping back. Disconcerting. A pain. That was the problem I took to the Gray Goat bike shop this morning. Larry found three problems which he corrected sequentially. After each tweak he had me take it out and ride the streets. The derailleur hanger was slightly bent (a problem I had corrected in Oklahoma City shortly before we left on this tour), shift cable stretch and an under-tensioned micro-Shift front shifter. Now it’s back to shifting smoothly. Larry also suggested wiping down the chain and lubricating every single day, and lubing any pivot points on the derailleurs every few days. All is back to normal again.

For giving us his attention as walk-ins on a Saturday morning and swiftly correcting our problems, Larry is granted today’s Road Angel Award. And besides that, he’s a heck of a nice guy.

Wouldn’t you know it, there’s a beautiful courthouse building in Franklin, right across the street from our lunch (and dinner) spot.

Franklin, Indiana Courthouse
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Monument to the fallen in service to the Union during the Civil War.
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Some other kind of bikes in front of our lunch and dinner spot. What are they called again?
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Franklin has a vibrant little downtown area with restaurants, shops and bars. This place was a good choice for a day off. There was (what looked like) a brand new bike trail/lane from directly in front of our hotel to the downtown area over two miles away. We used it a number of times in the past 24 hours. I suspect that Franklin is a bedroom community for Indianapolis just 20 miles away, much like Sugar Land was for us back 30+ years ago when I worked in Houston. I’d certainly rather live here than there.

Happiness is a good beer with lunch on your day off.
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I know many of you are wondering what happened to all of the characters from the Wizard of Oz after Dorothy went back to Kansas. I don’t know about most of them, but now I know where Toto ended up. Apparently that mean schoolteacher on the bicycle finally had her way and made off with the little dog. He never escaped her clutches and ended up as a yard ornament in Franklin, Indiana.

Toto: Cold Case Solved!
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Wildlife encountered on our way to dinner.
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Back on the road tomorrow morning. Today was a beautiful clear day but the wind was still blowing pretty strong, more out of the northwest. The forecast for tomorrow is light winds out of the north shifting to the northeast. Good news for us.

Personal Note

When we titled this journal Two Old Guys Take On A Continent we thought perhaps we were pretty unusual doing something like this at our age. Now after over two weeks on the road we realize that we are more the norm than the exception. We met the two female solo bikers in their 70s in Zanesville. We met Don of birthday cake fame the day we rode to Wheeling. Don is just a bit older than I am. We’ve met a number of other older folks on the road. Folks our age have the gumption, the time and the money to do these things. I’m looking forward to meeting more of us/them in the days ahead.

Today's ride: 14 miles (23 km)
Total: 3,198 miles (5,147 km)

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Dorothy ShinstockLove the Toto history and update.
Love your Road Angel's.
God provides.
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10 months ago
Arthur BrownI can’t wait till I’ve matured enough for such a great adventure. Until then, I’ll keep living vicariously through you too. Have fun and be safe!
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10 months ago