Day 18: Celina to Portland*

Rest and Recovery

Awaking and emerging from the storm, I had a whole cacophony of issues to deal with. And I was hungry. And cold. And wet. And tired.

I needed to get warm and dry – hot breakfast would help no end, and my phone & external batteries were all dead, so getting a charge before heading off was equally of high importance. Knowing I could plug in my phone back up in Celina, and I could get breakfast there, I decided to repack everything as-was, load up the bike and head there.

Then I noticed my flat rear tyre.  I wasn’t going anywhere!

So I unpacked, stewed some cold porridge, chatted with some locals, took down tent and separated sheets to dry over the picnic tables, hung clothes and towel anywhere I could to dry, pumped up the back tyre, ate breakfast, repacked everything, chatted with more locals and headed off for Celina.

Rear tyre was getting flat again by the time I arrived, so knew it needed proper repair.

Most of the day was then spent under the sheltered picnic area back in Pullman Bay Park, repairing puncture – caused by one of the vast many nails which litter the side of America’s roads – charging batteries, re-treating leather saddle, trying to dry out all I could, cleaning bike (of the 1,000miles worth of dirt built up on the gears and chain), and getting myself fed.

I had breakfast at the Bay Restaurant, just across the carpark from the picnic shelter. A good portion of biscuits and gravy (an American culinary tradition). One of the other diners recognised me as we’d chatted earlier, and so we chatted briefly again.  When I went to pay, I was informed that the couple had paid for my breakfast!

Shocked, but also amazed at the generosity of strangers, I tried to channel a more positive outlook to get me back on the road.

And with the steady, strong Easterly tailwind, I could still put in some decent miles!

Predictably however, in spite of this Constant Easterly as had blown all day, as soon as I hit the road, the wind changed.  So much that I thought I was cycling in the wrong direction, and several times had to stop to confirm that, yes, indeed I was heading southwest.  Into a massive headwind!

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I arrived in Portland (*Indiana) late afternoon, and worn out, decided that the time had come to stay in a motel.  After last night, I needed rest.

So I stopped after less than 50km, checked into the cheapest motel the Internet showed existed in town, got shower, and headed down the street in search of food.

I found Subway – where I got a footlong sub – and The Pit, which didn’t do any food.  Only beer.  Really cheap beer. As in $1.25/pint (US = 440ml).

I didn’t get much rest that night either!

Check out my ride on Strava.

Relive my ride.

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