Day 1: Two Pilgrim Triples

12 hours on the road is not bad for a first day. A refreshing 50F at morning’s start, about half of the suffocating 100F just a day or two before. Farewell to Clary flying home to Holland and then on to Italy.

Heading into stormy winds from Bloomington to Fort Wayne to meet Troy (HKshooter) for lunch at downtown original 50’s Cindy’s cafe. The sign inside says Cindy’s serves the world 15 persons at the time: total shoulder-to-shoulder counter capacity, no room for other seating. My runway to get to the Lincoln Highway is basically Interstate 69. And the dull and flat scenery between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne doesn’t make it any better.

Right on the agreed time of 12.30: a broad smiling Troy waves me over to where the Lincoln Highway journey truly starts. Troy radiates not only a bourgondic personality: he is also a triple genius as he got his 850 from a friend all in pieces and boxes; managed to get it back into one working piece. His searching eyes inspect MS. The disabled cruise control contraption catches his eye. My mind silently asks: what is he going to see that I should be worried about? However MS passes his scrutiny. She should because she is running as if she wants to make up for the 3 years she spent waiting in a garage to be let out again. The strong and variable headwinds have me doing mostly no more than about 60-65 to test her moods. An occasional passing 70-75 is not met by objections, on the contrary. Her rough character smoothes out at about 4000 RPM. Her mileage doesn’t yet present a stable period pattern as it varies between just over 30 to close to 40 mpg.

Cindy’s historic burgers launch Troy and myself onto the Lincoln Highway 1913 original itinerary. BTW, the LH is the very first transcontinental highway built. We ride our triples to the archeological trophies to be found. A small old bridge with very very rusty railing, rough concrete that show its age; we dare park our triples on it anyway. Access only over gravel and grass but that is OK for the triples. It is hidden in the fields but did not escape discovery by Troy’s advance scouting. Neither did an original brick section in good condition that still serves as access road for a number of houses. We ride proudly over the sacred bricks. Bridge and brick road are narrow. We fantasize about the T-Ford style traffic of almost 100 years ago slowly moving over the winding wonder that LH was at the time. Troy’s hometurf will never look the same again for him. Together we cover almost all of Indiana’s LH before we share dinner and Troy heads back to Fort Wayne on a straight 100 miles run over the 1928 itinerary of the Lincoln Highway. At sundown I end up almost on the Illinois state line. South Bend city jungle we skipped; I am not fundamentalist about riding LH.

The road always brings smiles and scares. Signs, regardless of whether I agree may bring a grin for creative imagination. This one: “Teenage Sex 1 + 1 = 3 Doesn’t Add Up” in huge letters. Danger is always a traveling companion. I am passing a truck at 70 mph when he decides to move to the left lane. I am forced to the left shoulder and hit the brakes. Next time I pass the driver kind of hangs & leans on his steering wheel as if on a bar. I look at him. He appears oblivious of the world and of the danger he just created. Another truck is speeding and passing me when a huge big deer shows up on the road. Dead already but very much three dimensional and bloody. The truck seems to be heading with its wheels right over it. I fear for a bloody rain onto MS and myself and power up to prevent a red shower. The LH pilgrimage got off to a very good start. Thanks Troy for making that happen!

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