Ted's Big Ride 2009---Day Two

Sturgis, MI to Riverside, IA
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Todays ride was MUCH, MUCH better than yesterday. There were scattered showers and I had to occasionly don my foul weather gear. But all in all it was fine. Traffic around the Chicago area was alittle brutal but even the bumper-to-bumper sections were at least moving, albiet slowly. One thing I did notice in the Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois area was that every factory I saw along my route that had a BIG-3 name showing, all the ENORMOUS parking lots surrounding the facilities were essentially empty.

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Riding time: 8 hours 28 minutes

Actual distance:
    Today = 432 miles,
    Total   = 987 miles
Average Miles/Gallon:  34.6
Average Price/Gallon: $ 3.03(Premium Grade)
2009_06_18/IMG_1849.JPG 3:44 PM Made it to the second State in my todo list. Passing through these green fields was such a treat because there were many, many red-winged black birds.
2009_06_18/IMG_1854.JPG 5:22 PM Not too much to say about ride across Indiana and Wisconsin (that I can remember).

NOTE: For this portion of the journey, I am more interested in covering ground that sightseeing. This will change as I get to the Yellowstone area.
2009_06_18/IMG_1856.JPG 6:41 PM Well here I am in Riverside, IA. How many of you knew this bit of Star Trek trivia? Bob Ryan, my host, informed my that this bit of future 'fact' may become (in a totally weird way) incorrect when taking into consideration an 'Alternate Universe' theme in upcoming Trek episodes...go figure. I'm scratching my head trying to write this.
2009_06_18/IMG_1858.JPG 9:40 PM After a fantastic dinner at cafe dodici in Washington, IA. Shown in the picture (L-R) are Alessandro(Chef), Lorraine(Proprietor), me, and Bob Ryan(friend).

I shared my adventure story to this enthuastic group. Alessandro rides a VERY nice BMW RT1200 and has done much riding in an area that I also love---Italy. Too bad there was not time for us to meander through the Iowa countryside...maybe sometime? Anyway the food was fantastic and the restaurant sits on a lovely town square. Be sure not to miss this top rung restaurant when in Iowa.

And a little info about Bob Ryan, my generous host for the evening. Bob is my sister Stephanie's husbands brother (Steph was featured in my 2006 Big Ride). Bob is at the core an artist; with a penchant for metal sculpture. Unfortunately, Bob must also work to pay the bills, BUT there is a grand plan. Bob has two storefront units on the main drag which are being converted to living/gallery/retail rental spaces. Bob is extremely ambitious and is doing the renovations himself. Best wishes Bob, for a successful real estate and artistic home base for the future.
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