12 July 2012

Breaking Away

Raisin' walls in Bloomington.
Tonight we are in Bloomington, Indiana - home of the Hoosiers.  Today we had our sixth build day of the trip, during which I helped to put up some walls and then built most of a deck with Amy (one of the riders) and Larry and Bill (two old guys who were really good at building decks).  In the afternoon I went downtown and ate at all-you-can-eat Indian buffet.  We surprised even ourselves with what "all-you-can-eat" really means.

VHS case of the 1979
smash hit Breaking Away

One neat thing about Bloomington is that, as the home of Indiana University, it is also featured in the movie Breaking Away - probably the only movie ever made about cycling.  We celebrated this on our way into town by taking a detour to the "Little 500" racetrack, where the film reaches its climax.  We even did a few laps around the track to push our total mileage over 100 for the day (third "century ride" of the trip for me).  We are screening the film tonight as a group to commemorate the occasion.  It's cool to be cyclists here in Bloomington, where the sport is such a part of the local culture, as evidenced by the plethora of bike shops and Jimmy John's bicycle delivery guys.

The day before yesterday we were in the small town of Rushville, Indiana, where we stayed with an awesome host who completely overwhelmed us with food.  Before that we were in Yellow Springs, Ohio (the hometown of Dave Chappelle), where we stayed at Antioch College.  Antioch has a very bizarre story: it dwindled from a college of around 2,000 students to a college of 0 students in 2008 and reopened just this past year with a freshman class of 33 very unique individuals.  The town around it was unexpectedly funky and featured a number of galleries, organic food shops, and the infamous "Yellow Spring."  According to legend, anyone who drinks its waters becomes cursed and can never leave the town.  As much as we liked the area, we were all cautious not to drink the water.

An artsy photo Kristen took of me and Collin on top of a train
in Ohio.
Tomorrow we're headed out of Hoosier country and into Illinois.  We are also headed backwards in time into the Central Time Zone (gaining an hour as we cross time zones is one of many reasons why Bike & Build rides from east to west).  From there we are riding two more days into our next extended stop - St. Louis, Missouri.  My souvenir count is still at zero and I'm really lusting after a cool cycling cap that says "St. Louis" on it.  Fingers crossed!

And finally a "sample dialogue" about Indiana:

Scott: "So why is Indiana called the Hoosier State?"
Nice Indianan woman: "Well, when you're in Indiana and it comes around dinner time, your wife sticks her head out the winda' and she yells HOOOOOOSSSIEEER!!!"

I did not understand what she meant, but I did not ask any follow-up questions. 

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