July 24 - Heat, and A Show in Berlin: Sullivan to Jacksonville, IL

Temperature's rising, we're havin' a heat wave. Will and I got away from the Corps of Engineers' campsite at Lake Shelbyville 20 minutes after sunrise, with the temp at 65 F. Promptly got a flat on my single - first one on this trip. Obvious cause: crammed a pebble and shot it fifty feet, immediately lost air from the pinch. Back on the road in 13 minutes, we motored through about 28 miles, and kept up a good pace along central Illinois back county roads, with no lost bikers or RVers. As the day and miles progress, the temp rose up to 93, and the heat index (whatever that is - they never explain on the radio; guess its as confusing as "snow level" is in the Pacific Northwest) above 100.

Two things stood out for me today. It's still flat here, and when it gets hot, asphalt blisters. Ride over those blisters, and its like "snap, crackle and pop". Annie had a streak of tar along the back of her shirt, and a little blob stuck to the nape of her neck, from her turn as stoker.

Got as far as New Berlin, outside of Jacksonville, when a combination of heat, miles, detours (bridge out), and a new flat on my single brought an end to the day. We'd stopped at a convenience store to fill up on fluids; when I got back out to my bike, the other tire was flat. This time with a rip in the tire. Without an effective boot, and word that the road was closed five miles ahead, we waited for Cody. In the ten minutes until he came, I sat on a picnic table outside the window at the convenience store, which seemed to serve as the local coffee shop. Three puffy men in Levis and plaid shirts were just hanging out, looking at the aliens in lycra and camelback, with plastic aero helmets on top. I made sure they got a good view, and went to work on the tire, never looking back at them. Got no response or smiles or comments even when Cheryl went back in for water.

Tonight, with no RV camp for forty miles, we stayed at a motel for the second time, and ate out. Real luxury, although we did need a second helping of towels from the establishment. Will and I vowed to get an earlier start, to beat the heat one more time.

Miles: Will, 87; Al (Tandem& single), 87; Cheryl (Tandem & single) 65; Shaine (Tandem) 25; Ann (Tandem) 15.

Total Miles: 1381

**Next Day's Journal**

-Al Bikrutz