July 22, 2001


Life is good....
I wonder if it is as hot everywhere else right now as it is here in Fremont, Ohio. I got rained on yesterday and was happy because besides the free shower, I got a break from the heat and humidity. Less than an hour after sending the last update, I started to leave town and my chain broke. Upon inspection I found it was cracked not once, not twice, not thrice, but in four separate places. Oh boy, this was gonna take some work. Luckily, forty miles down the road in Dyersville, I was able to get a new chain. Actually it took 3 chains to make one for my contraption. Dyersville is one of the coolest towns I�ve been to.

Big Church � Small Town On the way there I headed through Petersburg. The picture of the church on the left was taken from the center of town. What was so crazy about this is that the town has a church that can probably hold a thousand people and a population of 50? Come to find out, there were three small towns within a ten-mile radius that all erected unbelievably beautiful churches between 1889 and 1906. Somewhat of a competition developed and with each new church came a more elaborate design and another steeple. Once in Dyersville, I stopped at the St. Francis Xavier Basilica and took a tour. They�re just finishing a $1.7 million dollar renovation. No picture could do it justice.

After watching the state champion high school baseball team skunk the neighboring school and catching some Z�s in the city park, I headed into the cornfields. To my wonderful surprise, I ended up passing by the movie site from �Field of Dreams�. I normally hear voices on the road but the �if you build it, he will come� voice gave me goosebumps. The nice youth group that was playing on the field let me take a few swings. I was hoping to play some wiffleball but softball had to do.

Biking on the Field of Dreams Continuing south, I tried to join the town of Wyoming�s parade but had no luck. Got to check out a lot of farm equipment though. At Muscatine, I finally crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois and started east again. Heading south for so long was tough on the noggin because I knew Maine was north east and sometimes I was heading south west.

My new biking buddies I met a biker in Iowa who was heading west that said there were four views in Illinois.

  • Corn on your right � Soybeans on your left

  • Soybeans on your right � Corn on your left

  • Corn on your right � Corn on your left

  • Soybeans on your right � Soybeans on your left
  • I thought he was joking a bit but found out he wasn�t. Really, besides a handful of houses and barns, that is all you see. The land is too valuable to do anything else with it. I tried to rent a car in Pontiac to go to Chicago for a Cubs game at Wrigley but it didn�t work out. Thankfully, because I found out a day later that I was going to pass an amusement park the following day. Whooppeeee!

    Meet my new friend IsobelleLess than ten miles into Indiana, I was welcomed into the town of Brook with my very own apartment. Thanks to the Ward family I had a nice place to do laundry, clean up (don�t tell anyone, but I made it all the way through Illinois without a shower), and relax in my new air conditioned palace. The next day I headed to Indiana Beach. For those of you that don�t know. I LOVE ROLLERCOASTERS! I even did a cross-country roller coaster trip a few years back. I was really impressed with the park. I have come to enjoy the smaller family owned parks much more than the over priced, behemoth, super parks. They have two great wood coasters that I rode about a dozen times each. I lost my voice from screaming so much. I also met an amazing gal while I was there. She was so great that I decided she should join me for the rest of the trip. You can see her nice smiling face in the picture on the right. Her name is Isabelle. For more pictures of the coasters, click here.

    The Cornball Express Just before exiting Indiana, I was spoiled in Monroeville, with a free biker hostel at the city park. All the essential goodies and horseshoes. After three months on the road I finally got a chance to seam seal my tent. Right now, Indiana gets my vote for friendliest state. Free lemonade, donuts, sandwiches, places to stay, and who knows what else.

    So now I�m in Ohio, Fremont to be exact. The owner of the wonderful bike shop in town, Dan, came down and opened the shop on Sunday so I could get this darn computer to send out this update. What a life saver. I would have had to take tomorrow off if I didn�t get it done tonight. Tomorrow I�ll hit Lake Erie then scoot through Cleveland on the way to Pennsylvania and New York. If anyone one knows of a place to stay in Cleveland, I could use the help. There aren�t many campsites in the city.

    I got to sing the Ohio song Last Thoughts: There have been some great guesses about what sort of creature Jake is but no one has got it right yet. �Chi-duck-en� was the best yet. I�m trying to plan the Great Cookie Drop but haven�t found a place willing to accept the packages. Look forward to a brief update the next couple days with Great Cookie Drop info. Planning a day off in Cleveland to meet with a breast cancer group and catch a baseball game.

    There are a whole lotta people I need to give BIG BIG BIG thanks to; Dan, Gwen, and Floyd Waggoner in Fremont, The Ward family in Brook, Monroeville, Don in Zanesville, Suzie and everyone at Indiana Beach, Madonna Resort, Della Crema Bicycles, Don in Sherrard, my momma, dino, anyone who has an extra Radiohead ticket for the Hollywood Bowl show, and of course, all the supporters and sponsors.

    To join the RideforCancer email list, send and email to me at If you would like to be removed from the list, have comments/suggestions about this email, or wanna just say Hi, send an email as well. Also, if you are having troubles viewing this email, you get all the pictures and info at You can enlarge the pictures as well by clicking on them.

    Can�t wait til Yuengling,
    Matt Allen

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