Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Karma, luck, destiny, whatever. Rode to Champaign on Saturday. It was my usual 100 mile trek. I've ridden it three times already this summer. Beautiful day, little wind and nothing unusual to report. I left my house at 6:30 with the intent to arrive in Champaign by noon. With a 25 minute rest at mile 40 off I went. Shortly after my break, I heard what I thought was a "pop" sound. Expecting a puncture I noticed the tire did not deflate I arrived at my destination at exactly 12 noon. I thought I had just ran over something to cause the noise. After celebrating my mother in laws 89th birthday my wife and I loaded my bike and gear into the car and headed to Carbondale Il.; a 3 hour drive. During my visit I planned to ride the hills of southern Illinois. After inspecting my bike I discovered the rear wheel was out of "true" as it rubbed on the brake pads. That should have ended it right there. But, of course, I was determined to ride while my son and his mother shopped. My plan was to release my rear brakes to allow the wheel to spin freely. Yes, I admit not the brightest idea but that was the plan nevertheless. After they left I put on my riding clothes and began looking for my helmet, shoes and gloves. Nowhere to be found, I realized they were still in the car. Not to worry. I would just call them on the cell phone. But, for some reason my cell phone had no reception. No way to contact them, thus, not able to ride. Drats, riding plan was foiled. Got back to Washington on Monday and took my bike to my bike shop. "Need to true the wheel" I stated confidently. Five minutes later, my bike guy came out with the wheel and showed me a 2 inch crack in the wheel. Then it occurred to my that if I rode the hills of Southern Illinois with no rear breaks, and the spoke comes off on a downhill 40-45 mph coast, the results would have been disasterous. Karma, luck, destiny whatever. Someone or something definitely had my back!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

That's right, it's hot and humid here in central Illinois. Today--96 degrees with high humidity. The temperature all week has been in the low to mid 90's with humidity in the 70-80% range. In addition, the county road workers need a reason to exist to they pour oil and rock chips to make the county roads nearly impassable for a bicyclist. So how do I adjust my biking routine? I golf!! Ha!! Yea, right me golf!! That's ridiculous. What are my other options. That's easy! "man up" "grow a pair" and hit the road!! That's right----mad dogs and Englishmen and noon day sun and all that other stuff. Go hot or go home. Road through the heat and humidity all week and loved it!! All a state of the mind!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

To the county road commissioner I give you a salute Another nice blacktop/asphalt road bites the dust. Cruegar road, that had no real repair issues, has just been oil and rock chipped. And, they used the cheap rock to save money. Each of my daily rides starts out on this two mile stretch of county road. With the crappy repair I'm now forced to ride on state roads. That pisses off the motorists and creates a dangerous situation for me. But it is what it is. Tazewell county now has gained the distinction of the worst county roads in the state of Illinois.