Day 10, Pilgrim Spokes – Across Central Illinois

Greenville, IL to Terre Haute, IN along the Old National Road by bicycle


I begin my tenth day of riding in Pilgrim Spokes in Greenville, IL. It’s a chilly 39 degrees (F) as I begin my ride, and I’m on the Old National Road (US-40) within the first hour of riding. I’ll generally follow this old historic highway most of the way to the east coast.

  • I explore my first covered bridge (The Jackson Truss Covered Bridge) of the trip on this day, in Greenup along the Old Cumberland Road.
  • I enjoy a windy lunch in Effingham.
  • I get to see the largest wind chimes in the world in Casey.
  • I get to meet Mary, who’s riding her bike from Annapolis to Colorado.
  • I get to meet three other wonderful young people riding from Indiana to Colorado. In Pilgrim Spokes, I think I might refer to them as hippies, and I use that term with positive and affectionate intent, in memory of my own (possibly slightly hippyish) youth.
  • I continue to enjoy miles and miles and miles of Midwest farmland. Oh, and flat… Kansas has nothin’ on this stretch of Illinois for flat!

A cross-country bicycle adventure is the canvas for this tale of discovery along the winding backroads of America’s heartland. The second book in the “Cycling Reflections” series, Pilgrim Spokes tells the story of the eastern half of the trans-American trek, continuing the saga begun in Neil’s award-winning previous book—Pilgrim Wheels—which reconnoiters the western half of the journey.

More than just a journal of a bike ride across the country, Hanson’s delightful and beautifully written story takes the reader on an engaging pilgrimage of observation and reflection. Often hilarious, sometimes poignant, and always inspiring, it’s a must-read adventure that will stir your soul.

Three Top Images From The Day

Wonderful flat Midwestern farmland abounds across Illinois
The old Jackson Truss Covered Bridge in Greenup, Illinois.
The world's largest wind chimes in Casey, IL.