Day 20: McCordsville-ish to Indianapolis

Highways and Byways

I left Brian and his family much later than I had planned to. I wasn’t too bothered as I knew it was going to be a short day with only about 20 miles into Indianapolis. Should be less than 2 hours of cycling, so I had plenty of free time to enjoy the day.

Yet while not concerned, I heeded that I’d massively overslept. Maybe I was getting a whole lot more tired than I thought! 

I headed out on the road probably just after 10am, cycling along the mile squares of these country roads with fields in all directions.

The vast majority of crops I’ve seen in every State so far, has been corn. Their fields stripped from last year’s harvest, stalks still jutting out of the ground in part-decay. All these fields of much the same, mostly old corn though some were starting to show the new life with their soy-bean ground-cropping.

After a very short while, I was connected with a main road again. Brian had given me rough directions for taking back roads to a State Park that he recommended I cycle through, and to a cycle “Greenway”  which runs all the way from the park to downtown Indy.

I missed a turning (or took an extra turn) somewhere and ended up on a fairly major road with plenty of traffic.

I missed the State Park but found the greenway which followed nicely alongside the river. The problem however with a riverside path is that when the river floods, it deposits mud and silt along the path.  And when it then rains before this mud/silt has been cleared, really deep puddles with slippery bases form.

Going through one such puddle – so deep that my shoes, clipped into my pedals, were alternately submerged – I had a wobble. Fortunately it was no more than a wobble or there would have been a big splash, but it was a warning.

This path being unsuitable for cycling on, I cut back onto the main city road.

Closer to town, I noticed a couple of other cyclists on another cycle path so decided to follow. A much better path. Not such a nice view, but no threatening puddles.

As the path entered Indianapolis’ roughly-downtown area, I spotted a wine shop and had to stop. A nice selection of personally chosen wines representing a good range of styles and all under $30/bt. “Averaging $15” the owner told me. Very similar concept to what I had attempted with Fyne Wines – approachable wines at affordable prices. His location seemed to be working for him, and with plenty of loyal customers, so all the best to him.

Landmark For Peace Memorial

I had to backtrack about a mile to find the destination I was really looking for – this reason for my couple-hundred mile detour down from the Great Lakes.

The understated statue, located at the spot where a Robert F. Kennedy gave his famous speech – in a majority-black neighbourhood to a largely black crowd and against police advice – announcing the assassination of Martin Luther King.

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Robert F. Kennedy’s speech in full.

I consider it to be one of the most honest and powerful political speeches ever to have been given – and as timely now as then.

Needless to say, I spent a fair amount of time here, reading and rereading the speech, taking photographs, and trying to imagine just how different America – and the world – might be had Bobby Kennedy not also been assassinated, and had he succeeded his brother as US President.

Strangely – and morbidly – I realised also why Trump is safe from similar fate: Nobody would want to make a martar of him!

Reluctantly leaving the Kennedy-King Park, I went off in search of the friends of John & Anne Findlay (the Scottish couple I met a week before at the Southern Tier Brewery, and stayed with in Jamestown, NY). The phone number I had been given was very slightly incorrect, so I showed up unannounced.

Despite this, when I introduced myself to Des, and explained how I came to have his contact info, I was welcomed in and offered a place to stay for the night.

Check out my ride on Strava.

Relive my ride.

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