Day 22 - Springfield to Tuscola

Hello everyone, it's great to be back in the saddle as Ralph and I continue our ride across the country. We enjoyed what might have been the easiest and most enjoyable day of our journey so far. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and even with the brisk temperature we made some great time getting to our next destination.     

With a solid tailwind at our backs, the bikes practically rode themselves the 77 miles to Tuscola! We got to sleep in a little bit today and didn't leave until 8:00 a.m. Despite the late start we knocked out the ride in a little over 4 1/2 hours. It's amazing how just a little tailwind can go a long way, I think that with the exception of my dad's birthday on May 3rd, this was the first real tailwind we experienced of the ride.     

Illinois is quickly becoming my favorite state in terms of terrain. Not only are there zero hills, but everything in the countryside is just filled with vegetation embracing the Spring season. There is so much greenery all around us, I'm constantly enjoying the fresh clean air and the gentle whispering of the freshly sprung leaves in the wind.     

We rode on quiet back roads almost the whole way, with barely any cars to disturb the tranquil beauty of the Illinois countryside. For a short portion of road we even had the chance to ride through some Amish country. Although we didn't see any horse and buggy carriages, we did see one sharply dressed Amish man walking down the road. He even tipped his wide brimmed hat in greeting as we pedaled by.    

Yes today was a great day indeed. After some much needed rest and recuperation, in addition to some top notch physical therapy from a local trainer named Linda in Springfield, I was feeling like my old self. I even had my first big salad since leaving for California all those weeks ago. It's amazing what some sunshine and a proper diet can do for one's spirit and personal well-being.     

I am looking forward to seeing what the next couple of days will bring. We have 11 days left, and I intend on enjoying every one of them as we inch closer to our final destination.  Stay tuned tomorrow as I update pictures, along with a video of my dad and I as we discuss the past few days, as well as overcoming obstacles off and on the road.

Danielle Rivenbark