Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Update on States Where I've Ridden my Bicycle...

I have a vague plan to ride my bicycle in "as many states as I can" before I either die or get too old to ride. I hope that both of those are a long way off, especially since I have so many states left.

I know, it's pitiful, right?

Before this past summer, it looked even MORE pitiful. I had covered all the states in the Southeast, and Iowa was hanging up there all by itself. At least this year I did give it some company by riding in Illinois and Wisconsin.

I had a grand plan on the way to Wisconsin that I would have Hubby stop in Kentucky just across the Indiana border and cover two states at once. I looked on the map and knew we would be traveling on U.S. Highway 41, but it looked like it had a wide shoulder (it does). Where it crossed the Ohio River, it appeared the bridge had enough extra pavement almost to be a bike lane (it isn't). I also looked on the map and found a bike path in Indiana that I could follow to the meet-up point with Hubby.

As we approached Henderson, Kentucky on U.S. 41, even BEFORE I saw the bridge, I had misgivings. U.S. 41 did indeed have a wide shoulder...along with a 70 mph speed limit. It simply wasn't safe to ride a bicycle on, no matter how much pavement there was. Then we got to the bridge, and there wasn't a quarter inch of pavement outside the travel lane. I would have been wildly unpopular with drivers crossing that bridge.

I did manage to ride in the state park in Illinois, so those miles are legitimate. There's a guy who is a friend of a friend, and he has a goal of riding in EVERY single state. I think Hawai'i is going to be his last one, and he has combined it with a cruise next January. (Yes, I've thought about going.) His rule, though, is that he has to ride 150 miles in a state for it to count.


Rules schmules. If my tire crosses the border, I'm counting it.

When we were camped on the shore of Lake Michigan and someone mentioned a ferry to Michigan, I got the bright idea to take my bike on the ferry and hop over to Michigan, ride a few miles there, and return, checking another state off my list. Then I found out the ferry A) cost $70; and B) took three hours each way. (Apparently that Lake Michigan is a BIG sucker. Just kidding, I know it is.)

When we were on the way back from Wisconsin, we stayed overnight in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and it would have been a simple matter to ride a few miles in that state and get another "sticker" on my map. In fact, I mentioned to Hubby on the way to the campground that I could get on my bike and ride back to get us some dinner, but when he saw the road we were on Hubby said, "I don't want you riding on this road." He's NEVER said that to me before!

I was bummed about missing out on Indiana, though, and frankly I had had enough of cycling for one week. So Kentucky will have to wait for another trip too.

Katydid suggested I ride one of the Amish push-cycles and count that, but I thought that would REALLY be cheating. Maybe there are rules after all.

No comments: