All posts for the day July 18th, 2014

Princeton IL to Gilman IL
122 Miles
Travel Time 12 hours
Saddle Time 9:30 hours

As I was biking towards my hotel in Princeton last night, I passed a quality steak house about half a mile away. My challenge was, after biking over 100 miles, how do I get to the restaurant after I clean up at hotel. As I biked up to my hotel, my savior was standing there. 25 year old English teacher, Brandt, with his iPhone to his ear, spots me pulling up and immediately rushes over to me. He explains that he did a x-country ride two years ago and he wants to hear about my experience. Before I answer him, I ask him the one very important question, “do you have a car?” . He says that he does. I then draft a five page agreement that states in consideration of him driving me to the restaurant, I agree to buy him dinner and answer all his questions. We sign it and have it notarized. A deal is struck. Sound creepy? Well my family will attest that is how I roll.
At dinner, he tells me how he biked from Boston to California with a group called Bike and Build. It is program to build affordable housing and Brandt had to raise over $4,000 for the program to be accepted on the trip. Then during the ride, the groups stops for 10 days to help build homes. And on other days, they are often giving talks on the need for affordable housing. Brandt then asked about my trip…blah…blah…blah…the conversation then turning to the sexy world of CORN!
Were you wondering why this high school English teacher was staying at a hotel in the middle of corn fields? Well, he and and a group of students, teachers, and retirees, are all staying at this hotel because they have lucrative summer jobs watching corn grow! Really! They are paid by the big corn companies to stand in the fields and watch the corn grow. These corporations are always trying to cross pollinate different breeds of corn to create the most efficient, handsome, intelligent, good looking, athletic corn possible. They test various blends on different fields and test the results. You will see rows of corn with their secret label markers on the end of the rows. Each field is lined around the perimeter with male corn. Then the female corn is in the middle at a ratio of 4 female to each male. The female corn are detasseld, the tops are removed, so they will receive the pollen from the male corn. (Over the last two weeks I heard a couple people talking about going out to detassel some corn, and I thought it would too personal to ask them what that meant). The female corn catch the pollen in their silks, those strands we remove when we husk our corn. The job of Brandt and the other corn Gestapo are to make sure no pollen from outside male corn makes it onto the wrong field. Especially worry some is that sleazy sexy sweet corn that we like to eat. If those studs make it into one of these fields, you can forget about the purity of the breed that comes from those slutty females. And that is how a baby is born!

Brandt- I know you are listening. Please correct any inaccuracies!

Today I had a mailman talk to me while he drove his route. I had Kevin pull up in his pick up to ask about my ride and then proceed to text me biking directions to Indianapolis. And I rode by a huge oil pumping station facility where oil from Canada is pumped to Gulf Coast. Fascinating.