Day 14: Taking the Shortcut - Sebree, KY to Harrisburg, IL

On the table in the cyclist’s map room of Sebree’s First Baptist Church are instructions for a shortcut to Carbondale. The temptation to cut off 35 miles of the trip allows me to catch up to T and Annalisa, and eliminated a few hills. What you bypass is a scenic route and dedicate yourself to the highway. Done deal.

Crossing Shawneetown Bridge from Kentucky into Illinois.

Crossing Shawneetown Bridge from Kentucky into Illinois.

The Route

On Day 14, June 7th, the route is 62 miles from Sebree to Harrisburg, Illinois following highway 56. Shawneetown Bridge carries you over the Ohio River bringing you from Kentucky to Illinois.

The beginning of the route does not offer much shoulder. An advantage of this route is that it is relatively flat and could be a good candidate for a century ride – arriving early to Carbondale.

Going across the Shawneetown Bridge is a bit unsettling and anyone with a fear of heights will not feel comfortable. I walked along the small raised ledge and escorted Dark Roast alongside. There is no shoulder and passing 18 wheelers made me feel uncomfortable, especially with Robert being hit only a few days ago.

At the start boarder the highway changes name from 56 to 13 and goes directly into town.

The Scenery

"Harvest season" is here with farmers collecting wheat

"Harvest season" is here with farmers collecting wheat

Large commercial farms border the highway. Some small towns with gas stations offer a place to refill your water bottles.

A nice stop to take a break is in Old Shawneetown to view the bridge across the Ohio River and has an impressive looking historic bank.

Real life monster truck moving coal

Real life monster truck moving coal

At the intersection before Harrisburg a real-life monster truck waited to cross the street. Mounds of black high-sulfur coal shook as the two story wheels rolled across the cement. These trucks are only temporary as the demand for this resource fluctuates with the economy.

The People

The pool director discusses the future of education and the need for less student debt

The pool director discusses the future of education and the need for less student debt

The pool director and I had an hour long conversation after topping off the two empty water bottles on Dark Roast. He is also a school teacher for 3rd grade math and offered his concerns about student health.

The nicest part is that he offered an open ear to the diabetic world and the advancements that are happening by those outside of large pharmaceutical companies. Maybe his students would be the researchers that develop the breakthroughs in the future.

Berea College was also brought up as a model that exists here in Kentucky that could be replicated elsewhere so students do not graduate with debt. Him and I both expressed concern over the amount of debt people take on without being able to pay it off.

The Blood Sugar

The cut off for the previous day’s feast stopped around 8:30PM there was less Insulin On Board before bed. I went to bed with a blood sugar of 94 mg/dl and ate a graham cracker to help stabilize it overnight.

However, I dipped low at midnight and was not woken up by the probable alarms. This most likely caused the blood sugar spike that happened around 2 a.m. and left me at 196 mg/dl upon waking. How do you solve not waking up to alarms when going low?

Stopping to talk at the pool caused the spike you see at 11 a.m. This is brought down until lunch at 2PM where graham crackers with tuna caused a major lunchtime spike.

Chris, the pastor, invited me to stay in Harrisburg and recommended the local pizza joint Mackie’s. Their thin crust pizza seemed like a great option and source of calories. However, overnight my blood sugar dipped low and the beeping from the iPhone clearly did not wake me up. This is pretty concerning so moving forward a new alarm type is going to be set.

The Daily Overview

Day 12
Miles: 62
Date Written: 6/7/17
Place of shelter: First Baptist Church, IL
Weather: Sunny and beautiful