Indiana can get a lot of heat and criticism…especially Muncie. When I was at City Market, I told the bartender I lived in Muncie, who without missing a beat immediately said in all seriousness “I’m sorry.” Talking to people outside of the town, or outside of Indiana, we hear a lot of apologies that we live in Indiana and way too many jokes about corn. (Come on. There has to be a better joke the rest of the country can think of.) But to those who wouldn’t wish Indiana (or Muncie) on anyone – I say, give it a chance, open your eyes to a little more, and give it another try.
I realized Indiana was beautiful all in its own right on one of my very first rides. My friend Christopher had come back to visit Muncie and go on a ride with me as I had recently acquired my first road bike (a KHS). We met up with the Delaware County group ride this time of year, and very early in the morning. When the air was cool, and the sky was clear, we rode past cornfields on the greenway, and I thought to myself “Now this. This is beautiful.” We may not have mountains that take your breath away, or rivers that make your heart beat a little faster, but we do have moments like this. We have families that sell vegetables in front yards, farmland that stretches on and on across very low hills, Amish children playing in their yards who wave as you ride by, and if you’ve been anywhere in Southern Indiana in autumn then, well, yeah.
Most of my time in college was spent missing France, and I understand why I had to spend so much time getting over not being there. It’s still hard sometimes. It’s hard being away from naturally beautiful and magical places. I’d be overjoyed to be back there, or in Georgia, or North Carolina, but I’m glad that I also have room to love Indiana. I think it’s a pretty great thing, to love where you live. So find a bike, head out into the country and enjoy the ride.
Route: Prairie Creek Reservoir roads & Greenway
Total time: 1:26
Distance: 22.3 miles
Mileage to date: 112 miles
Total time on the bike: 8:10 minutes
P.S. It’s a manic Monday, but this may make you smile.