.....The BiKeWriTer

A day full of history and kindness of strangers


Thursday I was trying to make time and got as far as Ottumwa, Iowa. 

I don’t often write about the churches that turn down my requests as I think it’s just part of the adventure of the tour, but after the pastor at the church declined my request, a woman named Sharon stepped up and let me stay at her furnished trailer. 

“It’s less than a mile up the road and here’s the key,” she said. “There’s air conditioning and a shower and a fridge; just feel at home.”

So generous – and I slept like a stone. 

Friday morning I headed to Fairfield and stopped at Johnson’s corn stand. 

“This spot has been in the family for 30 years,” said Mrs. Johnson who was assisted by her two kids. 


On to Fairfield where I detoured at AJ’s Bike Shop for a quick check in tire pressure. 

“This used to be home to a monument shop,” said AJ.


AJ and Mark were a biker’s dream – helpful, funny, and they provided good directions to get out of town. 

Here’s a look at their rates: 


I like the one “if the repair draws blood.”

On to the next small town of Brighton. 

The other thing that was amusing was the Amish guy at the gas pump with his horse and buggy. I asked permission to take his photo and he said he didn’t mind, but drove away. 

Next, I found myself in Washington County – and I’ll dedicate this photo to Sandy Lang. 

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