Day 08, Tour 10 Seymour to Bedford, IN

A 'fishing hole' on the White River near Brownstown

I took my second half day today, riding 40 miles to Bedford Indiana. I wasn't sure if I would ride at all today because of the forecast for bad weather, but when another loaded tourist - the only one I have met on this tour, showed up outside my motel room this morning, I took that as an omen that I should ride ;-}

The other tourist wasn't very talkative, but he said he'd ridden from Miami out to Colorado and was now headed to his summer home in Vermont. He was riding a well equipped, and and new looking, black MTB with Ortlieb rear panniers and duffel bag on his rear rack. From the weather radar, it looked like he had a much better chance of running into a storm than I did, but he said it would just cool him down.

This what US 50 looked like before Brownstown
It had excellent shoulders and rolling hills, as shown in this telephoto shot

I stopped in Seymour to stock up at a Dollar General and then headed for Bedford about 40 miles away. Riding was good with temps in the 70s and no wind on a mostly flat road with excellent shoulders. The wind started up before I had gotten to Brownstown. It was mostly a headwind on that section since I was heading southwest. The were some steep - I needed my granny gear - but relatively short hills before Brownstown. I was thinking, quite incorrectly as it turned out, that I was going to miss the hills I had been riding in.

My headwinds continued until US 50 turned west after Brownstown
Then they were crosswinds which, since I was now riding on a narrow shoulder,
caused me some issues with wind gust from big trucks

US 50 after Brownstown but just before the big hills started
You can see the hills ahead in this image

I rode through Brownstown without stopping, then stopped, about half way between Seymour and Bedford, at a small barn near the road. I snacked from my supplies and rode on. It wasn't long after that that I stopped wishing for a hillier road.

The road started climbing again - grades up about 10% - and, surprising me at least, kept climbing steeply for over 300 feet vertical in about a mile. It felt like a minature version of the climb up onto the Cumberland Plateau. It stayed up for about half a mile, then dropped down steeply for over 100 feet vertical and climbed steeply again. It reapeated this descending and climbing 100 to 200 feet several times, then it dropped down about 250 feet, and climbed steeply again up 150 feet before, more gradually dropping down to about where the steep climbing started before reaching Bedfor. After a cumulative 1000 feet vertical of steep climbing, my legs were ready for some flat land riding. They didn't get it. US 50 climbed steeply for 150 feet coming into Bedford. I did most of that climb on the sidewalk since the road was narrow and there were lots of RVs on the road on this Memorial day. I stopped afetr the top of that series of hills a big grocery store to buy (fake) bagels, and real bananas and apples ;-}. It is nice to have a grocery pannier wher I can carry all this stuff!

I rode through Bedford - hilly ;-{ - looking for a place to eat. When I hadn't found one as I was leaving town, I used my GPS to look for one. This time it worked well, finding a local Mexican-Italian-American (that is what it calls itself) restaurant that offered good food and good service at good prices. While I was eating, the clouds were building up rapidly outside and it looked like the forecast thunderstorms might happen. Actually, they did happen, but west of here. As I type this at 5 PM, they still haven't reached Bedford.

Looking at the clouds and at an inexpensive motel right next to the restaurant, I decided it was a good idea to take the second half of my rest day. The fact that I got a decent room with good wifi for $35 including tax didn't hurt. When I got into my room, I first checked the weather radar and then checked ridewithgps to see how much climbing I had just done and how much I would have to do tomorrow morning. From Bedford to Vincennes, about 70 miles, there is 2500 feet of climbing, with 2000 of those feet in the first 30 miles. My legs, and especially my knees, are glad I stopped here today.

A final comment: I lost my cyclecomputer today. I was using it to display cadence - see: - and the time. At this point on my tour, I don't really need a cadence display and, since I'm now keeping my GPS mounted on my handlebars and connected to a battery pack, I can use it to replace the computers clock display. The external battery pack makes the GPS think it is in a car, so it goes into standby mode when I switch it 'off'. It won't do this without the battery pack ;-{. It doesn't use much power in standby mode, but it does keep track of where it is, etc, and the display come up immediately when I switch it 'on.' One of the display item is the time, so I don't need the cyclecomputer for that. Other items I can access quickly include speed, altitude, distance traveled and travel time as well as moving time and average speed. And, of course, I can display where I am and use it - sometimes successfully - to find places to stay and places to eat. I only need to charge the external battery pack - by plugging it into one of my computers usb ports overnight - every week or so.

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