May 2 - 5: Illinois

5/5 - Chester (LAYOVER) (0 miles 1101 total)
since i had visitors from iowa on this layover day, i don't know much about what everyone else did, tho' i saw some folks with new haircuts, a few at the dairy queen, & a continuing stream of riders walking to & from mcdonalds & walmart nearby. some, i believe, also took jaunts to see downtown chester.
this morning my friends judy & dennis moss from iowa city & judy & bob adams from burlington, along with my dog fritz, took my bike & darleene's bike to a bike shop in carbondale....about a 45-minute drive from chester. we're not seeing bike shops very often on this ride, so i was very glad that i had a way to get me & my bike to this one. it was carbondale cycle & it's great. the fellow tuned up & fixed up our 2 bikes in a couple of hours. & he also recommended a fantastic chinese restaurant a couple of blocks away.
in the photo are, from left, dennis & judy moss, judy adams, me, & bob adams.
perhaps you can't see it, but each table is unique; a huge painted flower adorns each tabletop. & the food is absolutely wonderful. when recommending this place, the fellow at the bike shop said it's healthy chinese. very little fat is used in preparation of the food. if you're ever in carbondale with a yen for chinese, don't miss The Pacfic Rim.
when we arrived back in chester we had hoped to visit Ice Cream Alley for dessert, the place where sari & i & others had those fancy sundaes yesterday. but the place was closed. (we later settled for the dairy queen.) judy & bob took me down to get a gander at the bridge over the mississippi that we have to cross tomorrow morning. biking over bridges petrifies me--being high up on anything petrifies me--so i wanted to start fortifying myself. i particularly wanted to make sure that the riding surface wasn't see-through (it isn't). down by that bridge is also a bronze statue of popeye.
in the photo you'll see me holding my dog fritz (a schipperke mix) with popeye's statue to my left & that awesome bridge behind me.
at tonight's map meeting we learned that the local police have offered to escort us across the bridge. the bridge is very narrow, so riding across with traffic (often trucks) would be unsafe. we'll be allowed to take up one lane...maybe both lanes ...'til we get safely into missouri. what a relief! gloria tells us that the first part of tomorrow's 65-mi ride is quite flat, but we soon encounter the ozark foothills. most of us were hoping for a little longer respite from hill-climbing.
Higher quality versions of the pictures from my trip are available here. If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, or if you would like text-only versions of these daily reports e-mailed to you, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

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