Chicago – Carol Stream IL to Toledo OH – 480km

Aug 20, 2019

After enjoying the wonderful soft mattress for two nights we woke to hear there had been 4inches of rain to our south west overnight and there was a severe storm cell heading our way with severe wind, rain, hail and potentially tornado activity, the whole shebang.

The weather was hot and humid all day as we rode through lots of rolling fields of corn and potatoes, at least I think that’s what they were, the leaves looked a bit different to what we’re used to.

We saw very few bikes on the road, and we were pretty much the only ones in anything resembling protective safety gear … apart from those wearing a safety bandana, we can only assume the outsides are Teflon coated and the inside Kevlar lined … or not!

The weather predictions came true 35kms out of Toledo when the rain hit and we were on the turnpike so by the time we could stop (amongst roadworks behind barriers) we were soaked and figured it was too late to be of any great use to saturate our wet weather gear inside and out so headed off again. We had about 5km of nearly dry roads and thought ‘well that wasn’t too bad’ which was a mistake because the skies opened up 25km out with incredible rain accompanied by lightning and strong winds and a lot of hail for good measure. Apparently a lot of cars didn’t consider they could see well enough and pulled over and we were amazed we could see given we had water inside and outside the visors, perhaps that’s why they didn’t fog up, so we kept travelling. The water was pouring across the road and in one place was flooded across a dip around 4 – 6 inches deep. By the time we got in we couldn’t have been any more wet than we would have been if we had jumped into a swimming pool! We felt really bad dripping all over the hotel floor at the desk and on our way to the room.

It was a lovely old Art Deco Hotel which was looked after well but Toledo looked very tired and there is an obvious effort to revive the old industrial area. It looked rather nice and would be good to check it out later perhaps.


Services Plaza straddles the freeway so accessible from both sides. Very clever.


The first coffee for the riding trip in the services plaza.


A partial work shot with trucks in the background and some police very interested in our bikes, again at the services plaza.


The things you find on country roads ... when you can find them that is ...


A work shot.


Staying tonight at Park Inn by Radisson Hotel, the lovely Art Deco foyer.

Category: Travel to USA