The birds wake me up before my alarm. As much as I hate waking up this early, a smile comes over my face as I realize that I’ll be able to do this every day on my trip. Nature (or my body) will wake me up when I should be up, instead of having multiple alarms blast away while I’m sleeping in my bed, cursing work (just kidding, kinda ;).
I pack up and hit the road by 4:30am. Edward had suggested I ride Highway 35 through Ohio to the original Bob Evans farm for breakfast, as this is a ride he and his friends do often. I heed his advice and set off for some breakfast and coffee.
I read through my maps and decide to continue on Highway 35 through Ohio, then hop onto I-70 until Indianapolis. From here, I can take the freeways up to Chicago. I don my rain gear as new patrons to Bob Evans stop to ask me if I’m ready for the rain, where I’m from, where I’m going, and where I’ve been. I have a feeling this is going to be happening a lot in the next year. I don’t mind it at all.
The ride is smooth and uneventful, and the miles just seem to tick away. On every other bike I’ve owned, I’ll always be reading the odometer to see when I’m going to be able to take another break. On the KLR, I’m comfy cruising until I have to go to the bathroom or get some gas, which is a long time with the aftermarket 7.1 gallon IMS tank good for 300-350 miles per tank!
I hit some rain, but it clears up quickly and then cools down dramatically. I start to get chilly, but just as I’m about to add another layer to my outfit outside of Indianapolis, it warms up and becomes a beautiful day.
I check my oil level at lunch and notice that I’ve burned some oil after cruising 70+mph on the freeway. This is something I’ve read about on the KLR forums and have brought along some extra oil just for this. The engine tends to burn some oil at freeway, speeds, so you have to keep an eye on it during gas fillups if you’re taking the super-slabs.
Nearing Chicago, the cloud formations look wild. I stop under an overpass, take a quick pee break, and throw my rain gear on. Immediately after getting back on the bike, the heavens open and it starts *pouring*. Every other bike on the freeway pulls off under an overpass and waits out the storm, while I continue to head to the city in traffic. A little hail even starts to come down, but I make it home and unpack, exhausted after a long day of traveling.