Monday July 20: Lisle IL to La Porte, IN

106.5 miles, out of Illinois and into a Really Friendly State

I had to take a picture I really didn't want to, but it was such a contrast from what we've been seeing that I had to -- the sight of smog for the first time in a long time. We rode though lots of suburbs and housing developments, some of which did make a good argument for suburban living (such as good streets, and large yards). But Illinois is extremely contrasted in this area -- while following some of the rougher roads we found a corn field and vendors directly opposite of some of the suburban-type houses.

We rode through Steger and Sauk Village, stopping at a White Hen Pantry as an emergency I Need Food stop during the 35 mile stretch between pits 1 and 2, then after pit 2 decided to continue over the Indiana border before getting lunch. We found more evidence of DJ's family in this area (explanation?) along the way, and eventually got into Indiana, where our picture was taken by a rider's mom who was waiting for her son at the border. We then started looking for lunch, but the route took us about a mile off US 30 before turning to parallel it, giving us a route with less traffic but also no food. At the US 41 intersection, however, when we stopped we asked a man walking his dog for suggestions, given our route and our desire for a "cafe with pie". He said that the way we were going we were most likely to find fast food, but that if we rode about 1 block north of the intersection we were at, we'd find a fantastic place ("best coconut cream pie ever!") -- so of course we headed over! There was only one bike there when we arrived at BJ Comfort's Hoosier Cafe, which is a rarity at times, so we parked, locked up, and entered. We were seated next to a wonderful mother/daughter couple, who asked us all about our ride, and how we were doing, and so forth and so on, starting what would prove to be a statewide reputation for friendliness to bikers! Team Toto rode by to the next-door bike shop as we were ordering, so I hopped out and brought them in, starting a cascade reaction that ended with over a dozen bikers there by the end of our lunch. *bounce*.

That lunch perked me up for the rest of the day, and although we had a long route on US 30 after lunch, we had a shoulder and a bit of a tailwind, so the mileage just flew by. We made it into La Porte just after 6pm, surprisingly early for such a long day, given that I still wasn't really feeling completely happy with my right leg's recovery. It didn't storm that night, but it did rain on and off a bit.

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