Rensselaer to Peru

May 19, 2015 § 5 Comments

And we’re off again! This leg of our journey is shorter than most, with only three days of riding. However, they’re pretty long days; we expect to stop in Defiance, Ohio on Thursday. We’ve never biked so early in the year, so hopes are high that we’ll experience something new.

Today was our longest ride, on the order of sixty miles. Yesterday, as we arrived in Indiana, it was about eighty degrees, but the temperature never exceeded fifty today. Dad and I biked in long sleeves under overcast skies through countless farms. Winter ended not long ago in the Midwest, so the day smelled of freshly tilled soil as farmers began to plant the first soybean crop of the year. This part of Indiana is almost as flat as our ride last summer, with the addition of gentle slopes into and out of riverbeds. Despite the cloudiness our ride was still picturesque. Much of the farm scenery was the same as last year, but our last six miles were wildly different from anything we’ve experienced since the forests of Oregon and Washington. We rode south on the Nickel Plate Trail, a railroad turned bike path, through a gorgeous wooded area full of birds and brooks. Best of all: the entire trail was nearly perfectly flat, a welcome reprieve for our cramping quads after fifty miles. 

We arrived in Peru (pronounced PEE-roo or like the country depending on who you ask) at about 5:00, where we stopped at Breakaway Bike Shop for some gear and for advice for tomorrow’s ride before settling down for the night in Shirk Mansion B&B. It’s an amazing nineteenth-century mansion in the heart of Peru and we’re the only guests. Wonderful antiques, great woodwork, and Dad and I get our own giant suites. Lovely – but it’s also the most likely place to see a ghost we’ve ever visited. 

Looking forward to another (colder) day tomorrow!

 The largest hill we’ll see all week: a landfill with trash from as far as Chicago. 


We hadn’t seen a single bike path in years, but today we saw two. Go Indiana!


A stop in Fletcher, a sleepy lake town.


Sign in Fletcher.


Lots of old bikes scattered around the town!


Lake Fletcher.

    About eleven miles later was a great lunch at the Hoosier Hot Spot in Denver. Next time you visit, try the BLT sandwich!
The start of the Nickel Plate Trail in Denver. We passed two people in the first mile then didn’t see a soul until Peru. 


  Our view for the entire ride down the Trail, excepting some wooden bridges over rivers. Amazing to be in trees after years of corn, soy, and wheat!
Peru, Indiana: Circus Capital of the World.


 Dad’s room in the B&B.


 The richest man in the area built this mansion for his son. 


 The bike leans in the grand entryway.


The outside of the B&B.



§ 5 Responses to Rensselaer to Peru

  • Great to hear this. Very, very nice images too. That wooded path looks like heaven. Bike on!

  • joyce says:

    Hey Evan,
    You are a gifted writer and photographer — I could practically smell the soil and feel the chill as I read your description of the ride and viewed the bleak pictures. I look forward to reading about the next leg of your journey. Speaking of legs, I can only imagine that they may be complaining a little as you start your second day.

  • Katie says:

    Another year, another adventure! Ride safe and have fun 🙂 love you guys!

  • Jan says:

    Great descriptions and photos! Totally enjoy following your adventures!!

  • jannette says:

    Nice to meet you at Denver hotspot!!! Safe travels for both of you!

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