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Chasing George Wyman: Crossing Iowa Into Illinois

Around 2:00 pm I fueled up and grabbed a bite to eat in Iowa City, 60 miles short of Davenport and the Illinois state line. Just before Davenport, I-80 heads south through Peru, Illinois and Joliet, then back up through the south side of Chicago. I decided to take a more northerly route on I-88, following the course of the Rock River. Once into Illinois, I again altered course and left the interstate at Sterling to get back on Route 30. The slightly more direct path across Illinois promised lower miles and the reduced speed limit wouldn’t really hamper the Halcyon. It was wonderful to leave the interstate and get back on a two-lane road again across fields that looked more and more familiar to the farmland of northern Indiana. I was tired and sore and relished every break I could afford the time to take out of the saddle.

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Chasing George Wyman: Crossing The Great Divide

With my optimism back, I settled into the ride and began to consider how far I thought I could make it that day. Would it be possible to ride all the way to the group rendezvous point in Council Bluffs, Iowa, making up the distance I had lost? Adding the 200 miles I had lost the previous day to the 550 long distance miles allocated for this stage of the trip would put my total for the day at a formidable 758 miles. Averaging 60 mph I knew I was looking at a bare minimum of 13 hours in the saddle, not counting the 8-10 fuel stops that my Halcyon 250 would require. After running over the numbers in my head, I decided to play it as it lay and enjoy the ride.

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Chasing George Wyman: Mountains to Deserts

I left the motel around 6:00am, fueled up the Halcyon 250, set my trip meter, and headed east toward Sacramento. The odometer on the bike read 1,402 miles. I noted this and decided, in the interest of time, to head up over the Sierra Nevadas on Interstate 80 as all other routes would take too long to allow me to realistically reach our rendezvous point in Wells, Nevada with any time to sleep.

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