Thursday, June 25, 2015

55 years ago today


On this date – June 25, 1960 – Lonnie Gordon Miller and I (seen in this Science Fair photo shot three years later) rode our clunky single-gear, coaster-braked bicycles from Delphi to West Lafayette.

It was the longest bicycle ride of my life and I like to think of it as the Genesis of my later long motorcycle rides.

Why West Lafayette? That’s where my girlfriend at the time – Anne Ohlrogge – lived. The address was 112 W. Stadium Ave.ohlrogge

We rode most of the way on what used to be Ind. 25, a narrow mostly two-lane highway with some formidable hills that I couldn’t hope to pedal up today with another 55 years on my odometer.

We stopped at a Zephyr gas station in Lafayette where I phoned Anne to tell her we were in town and she invited us up to her house where she was hosting a going-away party for her friend Jaye (I think) Trabant, whose family was moving to Buffalo, NY. Her mother served us lemonade and we hung around for maybe a half-hour before making the trek home.

Somewhere on the way we were passed by neighbor John Jones in his old Chevy on a mission to a Lafayette driving range with friends Tom Popejoy and Bill Sieber.

This was on the first Saturday of summer and, although I don’t remember traffic being a problem, there had to be lots of cars and trucks hauling boats from Lafayette to Monticello and Lakes Shaffer and Freeman.

How do I remember all of this? I kept a diary through my high school years.

Lonnie, who remains a good friend and reads my blog, commented:

Thanks for the verification of the big bike ride. I had related the incident to our kids and grand kids over the years, but you have added details that make it a real story. Two things I always remember are your transistor radio and the front tire of my bike with the tube bulging thru the weak spot on the side of the tire. How did you know I was mowing Hannas’ yard that morning? That 's where we started.

Google Maps says our route was 18.9 miles or 37.8 miles round trip. We were pretty proud of ourselves.

Here we are again, with classmate Mike Chapman in the middle, at our 50th anniversary class reunion on Aug. 17, 2013.


1 comment:

Lonnie G Miller said...

That's Mike "Country Style" Chapman.