Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Indiana Nice, cont.

So off we went, my bike on top, to the next SAG stop and waited for the riders to come in.  Karen Cooper rolled in and said she had a surprise for me. She was riding a long and as she pedaled past a yard,  'this old guy on a mower without a shirt, jumped off his riding mower and came running and yelling across the yard. He was going so fast, I thought he was going to have a heart attack."  Stopping, the man asked Karen if she was with the group riding to Maine.  When Karen confirmed that she was, he pulled out a baggie, and said that the woman with broken bike had left it behind.  His wife had called the police to try and get it to me!  In it was my driver's license, credit card, money and ipod.   I never even knew I had dropped it!  Not only did this couple share their shade, hospitality and puppy with me, but went to great lengths to return my lost items!!  Indiana nice!!

At the last and final SAG stop, Rita and I pulled into the driveway of a honey farm to wait for the final riders to come through.  I walked up to the barn to get permission, and was greeted by two elderly dogs, who were quite determined to protect the property.  They alerted the owner, Cindy, who graciously gave us permission.  I chatted with her for awhile, and she took me into her shop, which was filled with honey and honey products.  The business is quite fascinating.  They have over 3000 hives, that they 'rent' out all over the country to pollinate fruit trees.  Currently, they have hives pollinating in Michigan, Georgia and California.  A by-product of the pollination is honey....lots of it!  In addition to selling the honey, Cindy makes all sorts of organic, honey-derived products.  Her cute little shop contained all sorts of wonderful smelling, handmade soaps, candles, and other honey-based beauty products. Cindy gave me soap for each person on the tour!  I have to say, that after a long hot day on the bike, that her peppermint soap was both soothing and refreshing!    Thank you, Cindy!! (Majenica Creek Honey Farm ) Indiana nice!
Cindy of Majenica Creek Honey Farm

These are called queen cells.  All bees are start life as drones, but some larvae are moved to larger honeycombs, or cells.  These larvae are feed a special diet and have room to grow into the larger queen in these oversized cells.  This apparently occurs in nature but is done more frequently in captivity by humans to produce more hives.  Cindy's 21 yr old daughter cultivates the queens.  Maybe if I got a bigger house and had special food I would become a queen....sorta like Kate Middleton.
 I got a wonderful message from her on my blog inviting the Womantours riders to stop by anytime for 'some honey sweetened tea' and to use her new bathrooms. (Her ca 1880 home, which she and her husband had spent years restoring, burned down in December.  They are living in the barn until the new house is done.  It was a heartbreaking loss.)  Like I said, Indiana nice!  Thanks again, Cindy!
Once I arrived at the hotel, (a flea bitten....literally....Super 8), our guide, Denise, said she would take me and Sara to a bike shop in Ft Wayne to get out bikes fixed.  Yay!!  I thought I wouldn't be riding for a few days due to the broken spoke!  After a 45 min ride, we got there, and were attended to immediately.  It was a very busy bike shop, Summit City.  A nice young man, Aaron, waited on me; as luck would have it, he was a custom wheel builder.  I knew my wheel was in good hands.  Another young man worked on Sara's bike, which need a new wheel and derailleur.  We browsed around the store for about 45 minutes, when Aaron brought out my wheel...better than new!  And at no charge!!  We spent some time talking; Aaron is an engineering graduate of Purdue University and is applying to Yale grad school.  We talked about the tour for awhile and bikes, when he said, "Wait right here--I'll be right back."  He returned with 3 jars of a chamois cream he formulated just for women.  (He originally made it for his girlfriend, saying girls just weren't designed to sit on bikes)  It's made of all natural, organic products; I used it today, and it is wonderful.  Thank you, Aaron--Indiana Nice!!
Aaron, a Purdue University grad, with Denise Purdue, whose great-great uncle founded the school
So, three times today, folks in Indiana were nice....more than nice; they were fantastic!  Thank you!


  1. Let's see if I can post a comment.

  2. Hi Sue,
    I am riding the NE segment in July with Womantours so I read your blog everyday. What interesting and nice people you are meeting. Tell Jan S, Lin B, and Carol D. that I said hello. May the tailwinds be with you.

  3. Judie~~be sure and stop by the honey farm. On your Huntington day, Cindy's farm is at about mile 61.9--she is right before the 'unsigned 4 lane highway SR9" If you go to her website, you can get her phone number, and let her know you are coming through. She is wonderful, and her business is fascinating!

  4. PS Pappy's owners are around mile 48 on the left side, adjacent to a field. New brick house~~if you see them, please thank them for me.

  5. Hey. Can I try some of Aarons chamois butter?

  6. Sounds like a long day! You could make a short story about the nice Indiana people.
    Secret Friend