-->

It was a blast going to Brett and Janell’s wedding.  Congratulations!   Janell looked soooo beautiful.  Brett was very handsome – i love the beard.    It was really nice to get out of my one outfit and feel like a lady again.  We all made our way out to the dance floor at some point and showed off our moves, none of which compare to those of Brett’s dad.  He was amazing!!

During these next few days, team QAK splits up.  Andy’s hangin in Dayton, I’m flying to Syracuse to see my family, and ken’s headed to his home town to be in his friends wedding.  I was anxious to get to Syracuse so I scheduled an early monday morning flight.  This meant that i had to get up and ride to columbus today to catch my flight tomorrow.  Didnt actually get to sleep till 2, but felt good in the morning and was siked for my solo ride…and i made pretty good time considering there was no one to draft off of.  Got into Columbus at 3 and met Lee who rode with me back to his place.  Ken, Andy and I will meet at Lee’s place on the 28th and get back on the road the following morning. Hopefully our muscles won’t disappear in the meantime.

The ride to Columbus was much nicer than I expected – I had high expectations as there were bike trails the whole way, but it was really a beautiful ride… very quiet, with loads of wildflowers and wildlife.  And the bike trails took me all the way to London, about 25 miles outside of Columbus.  On my ride, I passed a friendly older couple that said hello and then caught up to me a bit later when i stopped to stretch and call my dad, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!… well, i rode with them for a few minutes and told them about the trip and they insisted on taking me to lunch.  More amazing people.  Phillis and Bill Evans have toured all over the country and ride the Ohio bike trails frequently.  Thank you again!

quinn-101-by-you

Two awesome shirts found by Eric's talented girlfriend, MAGGIE. Dorothy, we thought of you when looking at the shirt andy's got on.

quinn-103-by-you

a bit confused.  trying to fix a hole in ken's pants - i went over and took care of it after laughing for a bit...  love this photo.

a bit confused. trying to fix a hole in ken's pants - when i saw the photo op, i couldn't stop laughing. Â i eventually tagged in and fixed the pants for them.

Getting all dolled up.   The bride on the left with Maggie to her right.

Getting all dolled up. The bride on the left with Maggie to her right.

Emily doing a beautiful job on Janell's hair.

Emily doing a beautiful job on Janell's hair.

A little tooo tight...

A little tooo tight...

We’re going to a wedding!

Dayum, do we clean up nicely.

Dayum, do we clean up nicely.

And the shoes! It's gotta be the shoes!

And the shoes! It's gotta be the shoes!

Quinn, getting all gussied up by a bridesmaid. The bride is in the photo, with her back to the camera.

Quinn, getting all gussied up by a bridesmaid. The bride is in the photo, with her back to the camera.

Brett Wayne Barker and Janell Kathleen Broering, congratulations!

img_1700

The entire city of Dayton, in anxious anticipation of the return of its prodigal son and most famous Team QAKer, twoarmpartier and Trackstar, took an enormous, simultaneous breath, creating an eastern vacuum that pulled us out of Indiana with great haste. Our tailwinds hadn’t been that helpful since somewhere in Wyoming. With the flatness and short, 45-mile distance of our ride, we were back to Andy’s roots by 1:30 in the afternoon with time to stop at the fireworks store for a half hour along the way.

Again, we are relaxing for a while, waiting for our muscles to atrophy before we punish them in Pennsylvania. We’ll probably see some movies and we’re definitely watching our friend Brett get married. Shortly after we leave the monday after next, several of our friends will pass us like silent trains in the northern night of Ohio as part of the Bicycle Film Festival’s 42Ride. 42 riders are leaving from New York & ending up in LA over 42 days with no rest days and they’re getting paid to do it for some reason. The message here is, again, Vodka. They’re sponsored by Vodka. You must drink more Vodka. As we’ve proven, it’s good for you. We know a couple people on this ride. Of Kennedy, Doug, and Corey the Courier, Kennedy is the only novice tourist, just like us. Good luck to all of you.

The Bike Film fest kicks off in New York and Fiona & Cecily are throwing a polo tournament. 42Ride begins. Pedalacross has finished. (These were the two guys we met on the train out to Portland who were taking a southern route across the states.) The

It’s good to know we’re making progress towards the Atlantic Ocean once more. Indiana is a flat, mostly gridded state – at least in the North. We’ve heard that the Southern part of the state is far more hilly & scenic. Not as hilly as Kentucky, which we regretfully did not travel to, even though there’s an allegedly spectacular Creation Museum there. (They have Dinosaurs AND Jesus!) But hilly and much more worth seeing than the north. Even Torrey Dawley, our host in Indianapolis and an AIGA colleague of my sister’s (thanks, Chelle!) said that if our requests for interesting things to do in Northern Indiana pan out, we should let him know because he couldn’t think of anything. It’s a shame we didn’t get to spend a bit more time in Indianapolis, because good things have been said about their museum. And their bike path (the Monon Trail) really was great. Tuesday was a dismal day though, and touring a town of any size would’ve been something only the most hardiest of travelers would do. Twoarmparty, on the other hand, likes watching action flicks on their days off.

One thing we missed – or at least *I* missed – was Karaoke night. In Indy, we would’ve gone to Karenoke hosted by a lady named Karen who happened to be sitting immediately behind us at a local brewpub as I said something like “if there was a town called Karaoke, even if it was in Gary Indiana, I would move there and be mayor just so I could be the mayor of Karaoke.” Eavesdropping, she told us about her show, which was a bit of kismet because I had just stumbled across Karenoke on a quick Indianapolis Karaoke google search. Even though we’ve missed it, perhaps we’ll try to make it to one of her NYC performances of “Assholes & Aurioles” in late July as part of some kind of Manhattan Theater Festival. I have no idea what the show is about, but since that random information just fell in my lap, I might as well check it out. (there’s no website for their show).

After Indianapolis, we turned left and finally started heading directly east again towards Dayton Ohio, where we’re going to spend the next week or so. Prepare for excruciatingly bombastic and dramatic blog updates. There are weddings, amusement parks, barbecues, airplanes, rain days with DVDs, and big hills in our future. And there better be Karaoke too. I’ve been promised.

On our way to Dayton, we stopped in Richmond. Richmond Indiana, where we’re the proud first warmshowers guests of Chris Hardie ( ChrisHardie on Twitter). We got in before he got off work, stashed our bikes in his garage, and promptly took naps in his spacious home. His friends, avid cyclists who are very active in the well developed bike culture here in Richmond (bike maps AND bike polo! Again, Richmond INDIANA – not Virginia), cooked us a carb-happy vegetarian dinner as we watched their 16-month-old toss pasta everywhere.

Thank you to everyone out here, our last stop in Indiana. We’re leaving momentarily, and in the last 6 miles of your state, we expect to see a few more fireworks and antiques shops. That seems to be the thing to do out here…as if when people die anywhere on the east coast, all their old crap gets shipped to small towns in Eastern Indiana, and someone else tries to blow it all up. It seems like an incendiary combination….

I wanted to put up some photos, but figured I’d write a little too since Ken does most of the writing.  Andy and i are a little lazier about this, especially since ken really loves to do it and is a great writer.
Thanks again to Brean for letting us monopolize his apartment for several days in Chicago.  The guys did their own thing for a good part of it, and Brean was nice enough to show me around a bit… we went to see “The Bean”.  I’ve been to chicago twice before, but both times the bean was not yet there.  finally, i got to walk under this thing, and i didnt move because it was so weird and kinda creepy.p1030967

i'm waving!!!

i'm waving!!!

Brean also told me all about the architecture in Chicago and why its, generally, a lot nicer than  the most of the buildings in NYC.   Standing in Millennium park, it really was much classier than standing in Central Park.  and though i miss my friends and occasionally other parts of the big apple, i dont miss it much.

Day 2 in Chicago.. we watched movies ALLLL DAY!  Ben Schults on the left (one of Chicago's BEST polo players) and Brean on the right.

Day 2 in Chicago.. we watched movies ALLLL DAY! Ben Schults on the left (one of Chicago's BEST polo players) and Brean on the right.

So, as Ken said… last night we stayed on Bass Lake and it was way too expensive and completely packed.  I fear that we will find this more in our future.  Ugh.  Hopefully we can still find nice remote spots to camp where its quiet and the kids aren’t obnoxious and annoying.

BUT!! the lake WAS beautiful and it was really nice to sit and eat dinner on the beach.  We had a really incredible sunset.

p1040004

Today we rode to Kokomo…. thaaaaats where you wanna gooooo.    Well, along the way we went through beardstown.  As the guys have um, reallyy awesome beards now,  i thought it necessary to stop and take a photo.

p1040010

So, now i’m writing from a bar in Kokomo.  Yep, a bar.  Already drank 1/2 a bottle of vodka ON MY OWN.. and i toasted to you, mom!  Not really, but after a beer and not enough to eat, i can feel it – so, sorry if i sound ridiculous.

i’m excited to hang out in dayton, visit my family in syracuse and ride through pennsylvania.  because, even if PA is maddening to ride through, its gotta be a lot nicer than northern Indiana!

That’s right, we’re writing to you from the present again! No more one-hour time delay between our current events and you’re reading of them. As soon as we left Bass Lake, Indiana, where they charge you far too much to camp for a night and the little kids yell late, the dogs yip all the time, the Indianan’s wake up early and don’t bother keeping their voices low because, you know, someone might be sleeping in that tent over there, but hey, whatever, it IS Saturday night, the time leapt forward an hour.

So far, the present is a bit nicer than the past. It’s sunny, warm and Gary, Indiana is behind us. The roads mostly have a well paved shoulder, and the cornfields are uh…pretty, in their ubiquity.

Of course, if you’re reading this anywhere west of Indianapolis, we’re writing to you FROM THE FUTURE! I hope your internet connection is fast enough to download all of our photos. Not much has changed here in the future. I don’t know if you’ve got androids yet, but they still haven’t turned on humanity in general, and the alien spaceship hovering above earth continues to provide a limitless, clean energy source for 98% of the planet. Hope you’re all doing great. We’ll be in Indianapolis tomorrow night.

Michigan was only 10 miles away, and about 5 miles out of our way, so we figured we’d just go!

I stopped standing in holes, to make it look like I'm bigger than Quinn & Andy

I stopped standing in holes, to make it look like I'm bigger than Quinn & Andy

Harumph, Indiana.

Harumph, Indiana.

Then we turned back south into Indiana and promptly took a wrong turn, so we’ve gone close to 30 miles, but we’ve only advanced something like 12. Also, it’s raining and Indiana roads are terrible. We’re at a diner now, and they take American Express. Thanks, Dave.

It’s a good week to totally screw up. We’ve got plenty of time to kill.

I try to make it hard to daunt my positive outlook. In the most adverse of situations, I always know an end is imminent and this minor suffering will soon cease. Challenges are things to relish. When I absolutely must bear through an awful situation, I do it with the knowledge that this is something I know I can deal with, and can only be stronger because of. Having said that, I couldn’t wait to get the f*** out of Gary, Indiana. What a f***ing s***hole.

Every minute we spent trudging through the poisonous air of that town, I felt worse and worse about life in general. The overwhelming stench of industry permeated not just every gasp of air I sucked into my lungs, but tarnished my soul as well – nearly irrevocably blackening it to any positive account of my day and this trip.

Our past week in Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago recharged our zest for the vibrancy of the city and reaquainted us with the connections of friends and family that make life worth living. This second half of our trip was rooted in a refreshed physical and mental state. We felt great. Gary, Indiana almost killed that.


Ron Howard as a little kid, you’re out of your mind.

That’s all I’ve got to say. For now.

Rest days seem to be our best friends right now. We took a long weekend in Milwaukee, even though it hurt Quinn and me, and wasn’t always that *restful*. Since Tuesday, we’ve been in Chicago. What day is it? Friday? Yeah. I guess it is. We’ve cranked out a stellar 100 miles over the past six days and spent most of yesterday watching movies or old Simpsons episodes.

Is twoarmparty slipping? Are we giving up? Balderdash! How could you possibly suggest we give up? After we’ve pulled off multiple back-to-back centuries, climbed the rockies, braved the perils of South Dakota, roughed it out in Iowa, and navigated the woody mazes of Wisconsin? It’s not US that gives up when we get to Chicago. It’s those OTHER friends of ours from last summer, and they started on the EAST coast. That’s the SHORT way to Chicago. We’re just hanging out. It’s been tough.

It’s also been inclement. It’s like April weather out here. Yesterday, we had to cancel the barbecue at Dumptruck’s place and go to the brand new Art Institute Modern Wing instead. Blech! Art! (It’s free on Thursdays & Fridays from 5-9!)

Dumptruck. This is the name he goes by. Image from Gus Legit.

This is a good time to give our thanks to Brean. Hey Brean, thanks. For letting us stay at your place for three nights, watch all your roommate’s DVDs while it rained, and meeting us in Kenosha to guide us into Chicago. We’ll never forget you. Come back to New York. Don’t just say it, do it finally. And good luck with the kids you’re coaching out at the track.

Goodbye, Chicago! Nice lake.

Goodbye, Chicago! Nice lake.

Oh wait! I totally forgot to explain why we’re wasting so much time. It’s because we’ve got time to waste. The next place we have to be is in Dayton, Ohio, and we need to be there by next Friday. It’s less than 300 miles away, and we can easily make it there by Tuesday. So instead of pushing boring, 30-mile days through cornfields and Gary, Indiana (which is not nearly as nice as the song from the Music Man leads one to believe), we figured we’d hang out in the windy city and visit our friends. So there you go. That’s why we’re here.

« Previous PageNext Page »