Day 17: Sulivan , IN- Seymour,IN, distance-126 miles , climbing – 3556 feet
The plan for the day was simple – get up early, shop at Walmart, get some breakfast and push further east. There was a note in my bag containing ongoing list of items that I needed containing mainly medications. Neosporin for my open wounds, Calmoseptine for saddle sores, eye drops … you get it, a very boring list. I was finally able to purchase chain lube as well. If I do this again, I would likely ship set of tires and chain to USPS location along the route. Sadly, they didn’t have any Calmoseptine and after consultation with the pharmacist , he proposed some really good diaper rash cream. Yep, baby products work really good and so do those for females but lets not go there now 🙂 Honestly, I was really pissed as my new cream needed reapplication too often for my liking and was not working as intended. Typically, I don’t use any cream unless is humid or raining and there was plenty of rain in the Midwest. A friend suggested Calmoseptine and this wonder cream really saved my a##. This stuff really creates a barrier on the skin to protect it from irritants/moisture. It is a bit on the greasy side but it works better than most advertised saddle sore creams. It contains Zinc Oxide but the addition of menthol gives a nice numbing effect. In my opinion, if applied proactively, this stuff is a game changer. After many days of riding in the rain, my backside was one area I had no problems with. Obviously, the Infinity E3 seat was a big factor and I highly recommend it. Doing anything above one or two days without that seat is going to be a pain fest.
I definitely took my time in the morning before leaving the hotel. Altogether, sleeping , shopping, laundry and breakfast costed me 9 hours. The wounds needed to be addressed, all of my gear had to be washed and dried. My recovery time on the other hand was extending with added fatigue. The border with Ohio was about 190 miles away and I was looking forward to it. My first Ultracycling race was in Ohio at the Calvins Challenge 12h.
Traffic was now increasing exponentially and it was making me nervous at times. There was nothing interesting to see that day as I was sandwiched in between never ending cornfields. At least it smelled good and provided some cover from the wind. Another interesting thing about this state was the overwhelming amount of churches. To no surprise, just north of me, Indianapolis have the most churches per capita in the entire country. There are 2,900 churches and other religious sites, one for every 289 people who live in the city !
Upon arrival in Springville, IN, I was hammered by another rainstorm. By now, everyone was commenting on social media about my special gift of attracting bad weather. The tricky part for me has always been the timing to put rain gear on. If you switch a little too early, you start to sweat really bad and if you are too late, well, too late to remain dry 🙂 Perhaps I need to look into better materials that repel water and breath at the same time.
As I pulled off the road to look for my rain jacket ,a dotwatcher by the name Matthew Conley stopped by . Thanks for coming out and for the nice pictures.
The rain stopped in the early afternoon and that allowed me to dry up a bit. I made a stop to eat at a nearby church parking lot. This was also opportunity to dry my feet and apply some bandages and ointments on the open wounds. By now, I was used to the pain and just learned to live with it.
More gravel was awaiting further down the road and I hated my life in that very moment. Its all fun when fresh with a light bike on a short event, but having all kinds of wounds and hauling 50 Lbs bicycle is not the best time ever..
Additionally, the dog chases throughout the day never ended. I was really shocked by the amount of loose dogs here. I love you Indiana, but please do us all a favor and put a dahm leash on your dogs. Lets act like civilized people that care instead of being as###les and teach the dogs how to attack cyclists! During this short day, I had at least ten running’s with dogs. Many of the dogs I encountered were Pitbull’s and not some little friendly pups.
I remember clearly pedaling and enjoying the scenery while all of a sudden, in a blink of an eye, nails were scratching the pavement and another chase was on. It was two large Pitbull’s this time , one on each side of the bike and they were really trying to get a piece of me. I was so fortunate that none of them hit my wheels and make me fall. It always happens so fast and without time to get my pepper spray out. My defense was to yell loudly, pretended like I am throwing my water bottle at them, spray them a bit and sprint away. That’s fun and all but it was really devastating for my achilles.
As the sun was going down slowly, frustration and anger was boiling inside of me. There was so many bugs around here and the drivers were making everything worse. Now that I was done with the gravel, rain and dogs, I had another issue to deal with – unfriendly humans. Few drivers were very vocal of their dislike for cyclists and definitely against the “share the road” slogan.
Although I started late and planned on riding through the night, I had enough of this. Tired of being chased by dogs and yelled at by motorists, I decided to pull the plug and call it a day after having covered just 126 miles. I was frustrated and did not feel safe on the roads. By the way, the only day during the entire race where I felt that way. The goal of reaching Ohio today vanished but at least I was alive and safe. My desire was to bike another 40 miles before going to bed but I couldn’t even find hotels in Osgood and Piereceville. Seymour was where this day ended, a bit off the course but beggars can’t be choosers. The hotel was one of the worst so I am not even going to mention their name.
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