Week 4 – Bike & Build

by Andrew Stein

7/9 – 7/10: Yellow Springs, OH
Mileage: 55
Host: Antioch College

My body gets rocked today starting at 2am and not in the same physical way that the bicycling and building had been doing previously. I must have eaten something that I shouldn’t have and as a result I am making panicked trips to the bathroom throughout the night and then returning to my sleeping bag pale and in a sweat. I repeat this a few too many times.

Understandably, I am in no condition to ride let alone be awake. I spend most of the day asleep in one of the vans many open rows. I wake up for a brief time during lunch where I consume several sips of Gatorade before returning to my slumber. We arrive in Antioch college, I force myself to eat some very bland food, and then after a quick Bike & Build presentation and a small scoop of ice cream, I proceed to sleep for close to twelve hours and wake up the next day considerably stronger.

Although still not 100% as my body is still thoroughly dehydrated and seemingly exhausted, I am able to participate in the build day. We move a shed, paint a house, and weather seal another. In addition, we get a tour of a passive house, which I learn is a house that is incredibly insulated and therefore requires very little energy. The walls are thick, the water heater cooperates with the dryer so that they can exchange energy in an efficient way, and all of the appliances use very little electricity. Interestingly, this kind of house is still not really economically feasible because in order to make it an economic investment, the house will need to be lived in for upwards of over fifty years, which is not always achievable.

For a quick GI update, I am not eating normal foods and replenishing my water supply; therefore, I’m excited that I should be able to ride the next day.

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7/11: Rushville, IN
Mileage: 101
Host: St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 426 N Morgan St

A lot happens today on the road, especially given that we are on the road for over 100 miles, but what I will remember most from this day is that one of the riders, Alex, gets into a very scary accident with another cyclist. She ends up hitting her helmeted head against the pavement and suffers a concussion. In addition, her acromioclavicular ligament is hurt, which if more serious could have prevented her from riding the rest of the trip (luckily, this is not the case). Frighteningly, Alex alsohas a posttraumatic seizure just after hitting the ground, and although I am not on the scene to witness it, just hearing the story third-hand is enough to send shivers throughout my body. Alex spends the night in the hospital with a couple other riders and seems to be handing everything as well as possible.

rushville

7/12: Bloomington, IN
Mileage: 86
Host: Sherwood Oaks Christian Church

Today is a very long van day for me totaling about 370 miles—a longer distance than traveling from the San Francisco Bay Area down to my folks place near Los Angeles. The miles added up as follows: I drove to the lunch spot around mile 45 where I leave the trailer so that riders can help themselves to the coolers and prepare themselves lunch from our leftovers. I then back track and drive the 100 miles from the day prior because Alex was at a hospital near our host in Yellow Springs, OH. We all wait a little while at the Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia, OH because the orthopedic surgeon still needs to clear Alex to ride (even if after a couple weeks of rest). Together, we drive back to the lunch spot to reattach the trailer to the van and then complete the day’s route all the way to Bloomington, Indiana.

Upon arriving at the Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, I was very ready for a little food and a beer, and as luck would have it, a handful of riders are heading out to the Upland Brewery in town. The church is nice to give us a brief tour of the beautiful town before dropping us off at the brewery where I end my day with a delicious bowl of chili and a couple beers.

Although Alex will not be riding for at least a week, things seem a little more normal now. The whole group is back together after having been separated for a night—this rarely happens on this trip, and usually we end up even sleeping in the same room all together. I’m excited to get back on my bicycle tomorrow.

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7/13: Sumner, IL
Mileage: 95
Host: Sumner United Methodist Church

Today is a long day but a good day. I find a town named after my alma mater, and seeing how I bleed cardinal, I had no choice but to stop and take a couple selfies of me and the relevant signs. Later we find a pool around half way where we cool off and take a much needed break on this incredibly hot and humid day. It might have reached close to 100 degrees with no lack of humidity.

Also of note today is that we cross our first time zone as we leave Indiana and enter Illinois. State boundaries are always exciting, but couple them with a time change and it is almost too much excitement with which to contend. In short, our day was broken up with fun intermediate stops such as the pool and the state boundary, and this made the 95 miles seem much shorter.

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sumner