There was a headwind again today. It was not too strong, just enough to keep me dry in the 80% plus humidity. Who would choose to live somewhere with 80% humidity. Most cross-country cyclists ride from the west coast to the east coast. They say it is because of the prevailing wind. I didn’t buy it before I left. I may have been wrong. Headwinds may haunt me for the next few weeks.
I have not stealth camped since Maine. There are two common ways cross-country cyclists find places to stay. The first is to stealth camp. The second is to ask local law enforcement in small towns if there is somewhere on public property that it would be okay to camp for the night. Both are so contrary to my personality and so far out of my comfort zone that I have a real problem with them. I keep thinking that eventually I will break through and do what thousands of people before me have done, but it hasn’t happened.
Today, I tried to force the issue. I rode into Lima because Google said there was a Barnes and Noble there and I hoped to get all the maps I needed for the rest of my trip. Unfortunately, it was the bookstore for the local university. I was able to get an Indiana map, but that is all. When I left Lima, I intentionally chose a highway I knew would take me into an area with no campgrounds or motels. In the early evening, I left the highway and started riding a county road looking for a place to stay for the night. I passed two sites that probably would have worked, but because they weren’t “perfect”, I kept going. Eventually, I turned north and headed to a city I knew would have a motel. Rather than use one of those two sites, I pushed myself to ride over 70 miles just so I wouldn’t have to step outside my comfort zone.
On the bright side, I rode over 70 miles. I’m exhausted, but feel like with a good night sleep I can put in another good day tomorrow. I have been riding five or six days between rest days. For one reason or another, there always seems to be one day that is really short, under 30 miles. Maybe tomorrow will be that day. Even if it is a short day, I should make it into Indiana.