Monday, August 30, 2010

Biking update-Averaging about 200 miles per week. The weather has been extremely hot 93-95 with a heat index around 105. It may be hot but at least its humid!!
Anyone interested, the Washington Park district has requested that I lead a group of bicycle enthusiast on a ride from Russells Cycle shop in Washington to Metamora, do lunch and back to Russells. This event is on the 11th of September and begins at 11:00 a.m. Round trip is about 35 miles and should be finished in about two hours. All levels of riders are welcome. Then on October 9th they want me to lead a group from Russells to Busy Corners Cafe in Goodfield. We leave at 11:00, do lunch and ride back to Russells. Round trip is around 35 miles. all levels of riders are welcome and we should be back in around two hours. Anyone who would like to make this into a race--you win!! Apparently, the head of the park district seems to think I know the back roads around Tazewell and Woodford County and could safely lead a group. Ha! what do they know. I hope I don't get lost. Anyway, everyone is welcome to join me and I'm looking forward to the experience. Jim, Ira, Karen, Barbie, Hank, and anyone else from the 09 cross country ride is welcome. Note: there are no great climbs, it is relatively short, the corn and bean fields should be picked so the scenery would consist of farm fields that have incorporated conservation tillage. We could have great fun mocking those farmers still using "full till" farming.
Look forward to seeing everyone!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Yesterday was my annual 100 mile ride or "century" from Washington Il. to Champaign. I take a secondary road; rt 150. I had the wind at my back the entire time so with three stops I completed the ride in less than 6 hours. I had no close encounters or other misadventures. It was a very relaxing 100 mile ride if that is possible. Oddly enough, in the last three years, the road has been resurfaced and widened with smooth asphalt. What I find amazing is that it parallels interstate 74 so the only traffic are locals with very few semi-trucks . I imagine the trucks I see are attempting to avoid the weigh stations so the traffic is relatively light. The cost to resurface this road must be in the multiple millions of dollars. However, the most amazing thing is that IDOT is replacing a bridge over railroad tracks in Mansfield. Il. with a population of 200. Now here is the rub. After placing barricades to block route 150, a short detour will put you on a parallel road that crosses the tracks at ground level. There is no need for a bridge!!. The amount of money spent on these roads is okay with me because it makes by bike ride so much smoother. I will suggest that is not the states intent, but I certainly enjoy it. Illinois is in debt to the tune of 12 billion dollars and is still putting money into roads that do not need repair. I find that amazing.
On another note, as I was coming into town from my local ride I had an encounter with a motorist. He berated me for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. We had a verbal exchange and I was in fear for my safety. (Okay not really) Apparently he is not aware of the bill recently signed by the governor that makes it a crime to "hassle" a bicyclist. Maybe I should turn him in. I guess I should come to a complete stop at all stop signs. I will try to do that in the future. (Okay, not really)
I continue to follow Teddy Herrera's biking adventure. It will be something if he completes his 11,000 mile ride. When he arrives in New York I will alert Peter. When he passes through West Palm beach I will alert Fred Hampton. When he passes through Tampa I will alert magic Mike. When he passes through LA I will alert Ira and Jim and when he finally arrives in Sacramento I will alert Karen and Hank. Hopefully they will find the time to seek him out and exchange pleasantries. More updates later.