Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fifth Day on the Road

Today was another good day on the road. It started out in Peru Illinois. The temperature was warmer than what I've been dealing with and the bike started on cue. Before I started down the road, I stopped in at Starbucks for a quad espresso and a coffee cake.

Once on the road, the first order of business was to pass Chicago. The roads there were not laid out very well and traffic was not very good. Of course, this is coming from someone who was just in cities with very small populations. There was an awful lot of construction going on as well... I guess it goes to show that it doesn't matter what part of I80 your on, there is ALWAYS some work being done to it.

Right after passing Chicago, I was almost immediately into Indiana. What was odd about this is Indiana, and later Ohio, has "toll roads". When you enter Indiana via I80, you have to go through what looks like a bridge toll plaza. You pull a ticket from the machine, the gate raises and you enter the highway (not a "freeway"). When I got on, I was kinda lost... Not in the way that I didn't know where to go but in that I wasn't sure what I needed to do. Being on a bike didn't make thing any easier. As soon as I pulled the ticket, I wasn't sure how long the gate was going to stay open. So, I grabbed the ticket, put on my glove as fast as I could and got on the highway. Of course, I was still grasping the ticket in my left hand. As I was rolling down the highway, I started looking for a place to pull over so that I could secure the ticket in my jacket pocket. Unfortunately, there were no places for me to was all emergency parking. The next place available was a rest stop 30 miles down the road. At this time, I thought it was time to get resourceful. I saw the brake cable and turn signal wires were tie wrapped together fairly tight. I slid the ticket between the lines and viola... Instant ticket holder.

When I finally got to the rest stop, I secured the ticket and started to look around. The way that the highway system works is if you exit, you have to pay for the distance you travelled on the interstate. However, there are a number of "travel plazas" which consist of a couple of restaurants, a convenience store, gas station, a rest room, and park like are for dogs. The ones in Indiana were very well maintained. If you exit into one of these, you do not have to pay yet as the only place to go from there is back onto the highway.

The next stop was about 60 miles up at one of these travel plazas for lunch. I ate at Hardee's which is basically a Carls Jr. On my way out, I had to get another espresso from Gloria Jean's. The girl gave me a quad instead of the double I had ordered. When i asked "this is a double?" she replied " I gave you an extra shot...shhhh, don't tell anyone." Very nice of her.

Continued to the end of the toll rode in Indiana. When I got to the end, it was time to pay. I rolled up the machine and inserted the ticket... $7.30. I quickly pulled a $10 from my pocket and inserted it into the machine. The gate went up as I was fishing my change put of the little bucket. All this stuff is automated and I wasn't sure how long the gate would be open after I paid. I grabbed it as fast as I could then rolled past the gate.

As soon as I got passed that gate, I entered the Ohio Turnpike...another paid road. Grabbed another ticket and sped passed the gate. My first stop on the turnpike was the Fallen Timber Service Plaza. This one was NOT well maintained. Actually, it was pretty filthy. The rest off the service plazas on the route were all very nice. There were several of them as I moved onto the Pennsylvania border.

Once into Pennsylvania, it was time to hunt for a hotel (Holiday Inn). The first one I found didn't have any rooms available. The manager there called the next closest one for me. Once she found there were rooms available, she them hold a room for me. I traveled another 45 miles to the other hotel before my day was complete.

As a means of recycling, I have been able to reuse my hotel room key with each of the 5 nights during the the trip. In the photo is my room key, bike key, and Karen ( AKA Garmin Zumo). Karen was the name Garmin gave to the voice file I have assigned (female, English, Australian) for turn by turn directions. Hence, that's what I call it.

If all goes well, my next entry will be from New York. Until then, I'll be seeing you on the road...

Total miles traveled for the day: 547

Location:Kane Dr,Clarion,United States


  1. Hey Anthony, I see you made it safely to NY. I actually watched your progress on and off during the last couple of days on the Spot website. Pretty cool! Looking forward to more reports from the road.

  2. Thanks Ray,
    I'm glad you like it. There will be more to come beginning next Monday...