Day One (100.3 miles)

Nature sent us off today in a fantastically torrential rain storm -- but several dear friends and family came out anyway to cheer us on and ride out with us for a ways. It was so wonderful to see these great people at Benjamin's coffeehouse this morning, and it meant so much to see everyone there. 

 There were about 20 brave souls at Benjamin's for the send off. (A few escaped the photo...)

There were about 20 brave souls at Benjamin's for the send off. (A few escaped the photo...)

After the wrath of the winds had died down (it only lasted the first fifteen minutes of the ride) the sun came out and suddenly it was a beautiful day. I spent the first half of the ride in a happy daze because of all the amazing support I've received, and soon enough we were in Indianapolis. 

Actually I take that back -- I spent MOST of the ride to Indy in a daze. However, dad and I have decided that an epic bike ride must be accompanied by an epic tournament of Yellow Car...which means constant vigilance. I described this particular tradition in a previous blog post, but for those of you new to the blog, suffice it to say that "Yellow Car" is a cutthroat game involving spotting and screaming about yellow cars. And that's about it. Anyway, we have set out a few ground rules for this epic game of Yellow Car: yellow cars can only be claimed while we are on bikes; yellow cars can only be claimed when we are together; yes, unfortunately, yellow Hummers are yellow cars, but they are lame yellow cars because they're terrible for the environment and so in the event of a tie Hummers are backwards tie breakers, whereas yellow minis, smartcars, and bugs are bonus tiebreakers because they're cool yellow cars. Every day I shall be updating the Yellow Car roster. Today, the results are 13:10 with dad in the lead but dad has two Hummers and I have a mini so I like to think that though I may be losing, at least I'm losing with honor instead of winning through the tears and mandatory gas masks of future generations...

Anyway, the first half of the ride was wonderful, bringing us through Franklin College:

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 And UIndy:

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We continued on towards Butler, but before we arrived adversity struck twice. First I had an unfortunate flat tire as we were crossing the 10th Street Bridge over the White River. As dad repaired it, I attempted to distract myself from the fact that every truck that crossed the bridge caused it to tremble by watching two little turtles on a log in the river who appeared to be passing the time by intently staring at each other. Then, after we crossed through the IMA gardens, we encountered a massive staircase leading up to Butler's campus. Now, with all the gear on our bikes, they each weigh around 50 pounds. This staircase had over 100 steps.

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So, dad decided to carry both bikes up. And so he did, one at a time, all the while wearing bike shoes that basically feel like backwards high heels when walking. My dad's pretty tough. 

After the epic climb, we toured Butler, and it definitely is beautiful! I love the school and was pleased to discover all of the study abroad and creative writing opportunities. Here I am hugging the mascot, Butler's famous bulldog.

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When we had biked through all of Indy, we headed out to Frankfort, where we are now. We got to spend a fantastic evening with Dad's Great Aunt Nelle, who is absolutely hilarious. She invited a few friends over and we played Quiddler and ate ice cream. She's about to turn 91 but that in no way affected her warm hospitality -- or her sense of humor. She told us that on her birthday one year, her first husband died. A year later on the same day, she remarried -- but "God had given her a year off for good behavior." 

I'm thankful for the success of Day One, but now it's time for me to turn in so I can be ready for Day Two!

Thanks for reading,

 

Bethany